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Monsters, Murders and Marriages

Three books to dive into for spring

These picks are page-turners, no romance novel in sight — instead, we have short stories in which life changes in a few pages; an uncomfortable mystery; and a lyrical novel on the foibles of Gods. Time, truth, and unfortunate encounters with Gorgons are all to be savored.  

Games and Rituals by Katherine Heiny
These stories are crafted with arch humor or precise misery, not a word to spare. “Bridesmaid, Revisited” sees the protagonist don an inappropriate bridesmaid dress for a day’s work; the practical and existential causes are relatable yet hilarious. “Turn Back, Turn Back” hasn’t an ounce of humor. It is a precise detail of a marriage and family falling apart, set in a single evening. Somewhere in between, “CobRa” follows a woman cleaning house Marie Kondo-style—will her husband be included?!

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
Bodie revisits her New England boarding school and the circumstances of her roommate’s murder decades later. An athletic trainer was convicted. With the internet, cyber sleuthing and the jog of memory, she wonders whether they imprisoned the wrong man. This thriller teems with modern issues of the Me Too movement and social media voyeurism. No one comes off scot-free in this page-turner.

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
This gorgeous novel tells the story of Medusa engagingly. The characters are so accessible, they might be bickering families overheard at a restaurant. It’s hard to remember they are named Perseus, Andromeda or Poseidon. Yet when one asks “what makes a monster” or “is it a minute or a century that has passed,” the poignance is the stuff of myths.

All are available locally at Little Professor Bookshop.