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Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy (2001)
Slow, leisurely reading book for travelers. It's easy to pick up and put down due to being divided into 12 months of one year. Set in contemporary Ireland; the novel follows two people who begin a catering business. The story develops around the families and friends of Cathy and Tom.

Preview the book before you visit the library and read reviews of the book at Amazon.com.

The Used World by Haven Kimmel

The Used World by Haven Kimmel (2007)
Contemporary setting in small town about three women and the relationships in their lives. Fast, easy read with twists and an interesting way of life in small town USA today. The story has an interesting ending and all is well. The author's use of descriptions in her story makes for good reading flow. A person should read this book 30 years from now to know the terminology and setting of life in the beginning of the 21st century.

Read reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author's website.

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber (2008)
Mary Jo Wyse is pregnant; she heads to Cedar Cove in search of David, the father of her baby. Following her are three overprotective brothers (the three Wyse men). Although she doesn’t find David, Mary Jo is embraced by the close knit Cedar Cove community. A nice light read that’s good for the holidays.

Girls in Trouble by Caroline Leavitt

Girls in Trouble by Caroline Leavitt (2003)
Caroline, a pregnant teenager, makes the decision for an open adoption and ends up losing all contact with her baby. We “grow-up” with Caroline during her quest to be reunited with her now teenage daughter. Leavitt has written a touching, realistic story.

Visit the author's website for book discussion questions, interviews with the author, and essays about the novel.

Before the Storm by Diane Chamberlain

Before the Storm by Diane Chamberlain (2008)
This is an interesting novel that shows the complexities of human relationships. Laurel Lockwood is a mother who is trying to help and protect her special needs son after he is accused of arson. The author shifts from past to present so you really get to know the characters. Very enjoyable read!

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (2005)
This story had a very interesting plot and lots of good character development. A doctor delivers his own twins during a fierce snowstorm. He keeps his infant son, but secretly gives away his daughter who has Down syndrome.

Visit the official website for an excerpt, reviews, an interview with the author, and much more. Did you know that the novel was made into a Lifetime movie starring Dermot Mulroney, Gretchen Mol, and Emily Watson? It premiered on April 12. Check out Lifetime's website for more details.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult (2000)

Very well-written story about Ellie, a defense attorney who is helping a young Amish girl accused of murder. I couldn’t put it down!

Visit the author's website for a synopsis, an excerpt, and discussion questions. Read a Lifetime interview where Picoult discusses her inspiration for the book and her experience living with the Amish. Compare the novel to the 2004 TV movie adaptation starring Mariska Hargitay.

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Other Small Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg (2008)
This collection of short stories deals with women taking chances at all stage of their lives. Some of the stories will have you howling with laughter; others will bring you to tears, but all feature characters and writing that will find a place in your heart.

Today's the day! Call the Downers Grove Public Library at 630-960-1200 to reserve your tickets for An Evening with Elizabeth Berg on Thursday, May 8. Listen to the author talk about her inspiration for Dream When You're Feeling Blue, the research, and the response. Berg will read an excerpt, answer questions, and sign books.

We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg

We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg (2006)

This story is set in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1964. It is about three extraordinary women – Paige, a victim of polio, who is paralyzed from the neck down; Diana, her 13-year-old daughter; and Peacie, their black caregiver. The reader gets a real glimpse into each of their struggles, and also sees how hard it was for blacks to live in the rural South during this time period. As usual, Elizabeth Berg’s character development is so terrific, the reader will be sorry to see this story come to an end.

Don't forget -- starting April 16, call the Downers Grove Public Library at 630-960-1200 to get your tickets for An Evening with Elizabeth Berg on May 8.