Meet Jim Stegner: mid-40s, a fly-fisherman, painter and killer.
He is the masculine protagonist in Peter Heller’s new novel, The Painter. The opening line is masterful and captures our attention-- 45-year-old Jim reflects, “I never imagined I would kill a man.” From then on, Heller holds us until the very last sentence.
Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle introduced readers to Jimmy Rabbitte in 1987 in his beloved book about the finest soul band in Dublin, The Commitments.
The Guts, Doyle’s new novel, portrays Jimmy in his 47th year. He is married, has four children, owns a successful online music site selling the records of obscure ‘80s Irish bands, and has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The book opens in an Irish pub. Over numerous glasses of beer Jimmy tells his father about the cancer. We feel the love and the fear of both men as they work through the sobering news.
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.