Top 10 First Novels: 2009. from booklistonline.com accessed 12/16/09
Hooper, Brad (author).
FEATURE. First published October 15, 2009 (Booklist).
Readers pick up a first novel with both excitement and trepidation. An untried author is always a reader’s gamble. But pick up the following first novels, all reviewed in Booklist over the past year, with no trepidation, only excitement.
Dream House. By Valerie Laken. HarperCollins, $24.95 (9780060840921).
Laken is masterful at character construction as she explores issues of race and class.
A Fortunate Age. By Joanna Smith Rakoff. Scribner, $26 (9781416590774).
This novel provides a pitch-perfect portrait of the generation that came of age in the 1990s.
Grace Hammer. By Sara Stockbridge. Norton, $23.95 (9780393067187).
Stockbridge deftly captures the mood of Dickensian London in this gripping debut.
The Invisible Mountain. By Carolina De Robertis. Knopf, $24.95 (9780307271631).
Words, so beautifully employed by this author, seem inadequate to convey the essence of this twentieth-century Uruguayan woman-centered family saga.
Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange. By Amanda Smyth. Crown/Shaye Areheart, $23 (9780307460646). In lithe, lyrical prose, the author evokes the lush language of the West Indies and the modest lives lived at the mercy of fate.
Mathilda Savitch. By Victor Lodato. Farrar, $24 (9780374204006).
Lodato indelibly captures the fragile vulnerability and fearless bravado of adolescence.
Miles from Nowhere. By Anmi Mun. Riverhead, $21.95 (9781594488542).
There is nothing simplistic or sensationalized here as Mun, a writer of gravitas, portrays the dispossessed and the cast out.
The Moon Opera. By Bi Feiyu. Houghton, $18 (9780151012947).
At once a sad and lovely story, this slender novel on a rather narrow topic—the Peking Opera—nevertheless resonates with a clear, crystalline tone.
Precious. By Sandra Novack. Random, $25 (9781400066803).
Trouble simmers beneath the surface of a bucolic Pennsylvania town in Novack’s dramatic, elegantly rendered debut.
Under This Unbroken Sky. By Shandi Mitchell. HarperCollins, $25.99 (9780061774027).
The author’s screenwriting skills serve her well in this remarkable portrait of a Ukrainian farming family in Alberta during the late 1930s.