Three new books in bookstores

Posted Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Here’s what’s new in bookstores this week.

•  Archangel by Andrea Barrett (W.W. Norton & Co., $24.95) — The author, winner of the 1996 National Book Award for Ship Fever, mines her personal interest in science (she studied biology) for a collection of five long-form stories with a thread of interconnectivity between the characters. There’s a scientific discovery in each story, spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and each character is a seeker of truth and knowledge — from a young widow struggling with the theory of relativity to an aging professor who clings to his belief in creationism.

•  After Her by Joyce Maynard (William Morrow, $25.99) — The bestselling author ( Labor Day, The Good Daughters) has loosely based her latest on a true crime in Marin County in the 1970s. It follows children of divorce, sisters Rachel and Patty, whose detective father is in charge of investigating the Sunset Strangler, a serial killer who is murdering young women on the mountain behind the family’s house in Marin County. As months go by and more women are killed, Rachel — to help her father solve the case — uses herself as bait and “alters forever the lives of everyone she loves.”

•  The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (Riverhead, $27.95) — The bestselling author ( The Color of Water, Song Yet Sung) mixes history with fiction to tell the tale of Henry Shackleford, a boy born a slave in the Kansas Territory of 1857 — ground zero for the battle between pro- and anti-slavery factions. When he’s freed by abolitionist John Brown, who believes the youngster is a girl, “Henrietta” becomes a key part of Brown’s small band and encounters Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and others while on the way to the raid on Harpers Ferry.

— Celeste Williams

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