New Fiction at Tenley-Friendship

Americanah book coverAmericanah, Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie

As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can.

The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. 

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

The Conditions of LoveConditions of Love Book Cover, Dale M. Kushner

In 1953, 10-year-old Eunice lives in the backwaters of Wisconsin with her outrageously narcissistic mother. Abandoned by her father as an infant, Eunice worries that she will become a misfit like her mother.

When her mother's lover, the devoted Sam, moves in, Eunice imagines her life will finally become normal. But her hope dissolves when Sam gets kicked out, and she is again alone with her mother.

A freak storm sends Eunice away from all things familiar. Rescued by the shaman-like Rose, Eunice's odyssey continues with a stay in a hermit's shack and ends with a passionate love affair with an older man. Through her capacity to redefine herself, reject bitterness and keep her heart open, she survives and flourishes.

Perfume Collector Book CoverThe Perfume Collector, Kathleen Tessaro

Grace Monroe is a young newlywed, eager to make a success of her marriage. With her intellectual curiosity and her unladylike talent for advanced mathematics, she finds the routine of elegant luncheons and exclusive parties among post-war London’s social set tiresome. 

When Grace receives an unexpected inheritance from a woman she’ s never met, she finds herself suddenly in Paris, embarking upon a journey to discover not only the identity of her mysterious benefactor but also the hidden secrets of her own past. 

In a story that takes us from New York in the 1920s to mid-century Monte Carlo, Paris and London, Grace discovers a world filled with the evocative, intoxicating power of perfume; an obsessive, desperate love between muse and artist; and a trail of dark memories.

Plum Tree Book CoverThe Plum Tree, Ellen Marie Wiseman

Ellen Marie Wiseman “Bloom where you’re planted,” is the advice Christine Bolz receives from her beloved Oma. But 17-year-old domestic Christine knows there is a whole world waiting beyond her small German village. It’s a world she’s begun to glimpse through music, books—and through Isaac Bauerman, the cultured son of the wealthy Jewish family she works for. Yet the future she and Isaac dream of sharing faces greater challenges than their difference in stations.

In the fall of 1938, Germany is changing rapidly under Hitler’s regime. Anti-Jewish posters are everywhere, dissenting talk is silenced, and a new law forbids Christine from returning to her job—and from having any relationship with Isaac. In the months and years that follow, Christine will confront the Gestapo’s wrath and the horrors of Dachau, desperate to be with the man she loves, to survive—and finally, to speak out.

-- Book descriptions are adapted from Goodreads.com.