The Girl You Left Behind begins in France in 1916.
Most of the men from a small French village are off fighting in the war and the Germans have occupied the village. One of the women left behind, Sophie, is left to deal with this occupation of not only the village, but also her family inn and restaurant.
When Lee Sandlin was a young boy growing up in Chicago, each summer he was dropped off at the family home in Edwardsville, Ill., to stay with two great-aunts and two great-uncles. Sandlin describes his time there as a boot camp in old-fashioned values.
Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson is set in a sleepy university town a couple hours outside of New York City. The novel has a familiar cast of characters: an author, a book critic and the women who loved them.
David Gilbert’s novel & Sons is about a somewhat reclusive author who has written a book that has captured the imaginations of readers through the decades, much like J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye.
Cathleen Schine's journey to becoming an author included brief stints in medieval history and shoe buying at Bloomingdale's. Not a likely trajectory toward a profession as a novelist, especially since she turned to writing as a fall-back career.