Enjoy these four must-read books from our friends at Bookish, Fort Smith, Arkansas’s only independently owned bookstore.
Lucy by the Sea
by Elizabeth Strout
If we must relive the early days of the pandemic, let us do so with Lucy Barton. In Strout’s latest book, Lucy Barton leaves her life in Manhattan and heads to small town Maine to weather the lockdown. Accompanied by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend William, the trio is stuck together, sheltered away in a little house by the sea. The relationships that are happening apart from them are the highlights in this story, and Strout’s sparse and intimate prose connects the readers and the characters to a story about grief, friendship, and abiding love.
The Marriage Portrait
by Maggie O’Farrell
O’Farrell’s newest work is inspired by the life of the woman who inspired the painting that inspired the poem “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning. O’Farrell’s novel follows the life of Lucrezia through her fascinating childhood to the betrothal. As she sits uncomfortably for the painting which is to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes abundantly clear. In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferrarese dynasty. Until then, for all her rank and nobility, her future hangs in the balance.
Night of the Living Rez
by Morgan Talty
Talty’s collection of short stories is set in a Native community in Maine. His debut illuminates what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after tragedy. There are twelve striking stories, and Talty breathes life into tales of family and a community as they struggle with a painful past and an uncertain future. The collection examines the consequences and merits of inheritance. Readers who liked There, There by Tommy Orange or Empire of the Wild by Cherie Dimaline will enjoy this selection immensely.
Don’t Know Tough
by Eli Cranor
Small towns, football, and murder, what else do you want in your early autumn read? Cranor, an Arkansas native, captures the ongoing strife between outsiders following a divine calling and the circumstances that surround life in the rural South. The story follows Billy Lowe, a talented but erratic running back, and his coach, Trent Powers. When a murder in town points to Billy, the days leading up to the playoffs could rip the town apart. Author Eli Cranor is scheduled to be at Bookish on November 19th – make sure you schedule plans to attend!