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THE FIGHTER PILOT’S WIFE

At age 21, Gilberta meets and, a year and a half later, marries a dashing young Air Force fighter pilot. She leaps into the unique challenges of raising a family with lives framed by worldwide travel, military aviation, and the constant specter of combat. She learns to cope with seeing young pilots lose their lives in plane crashes, joining other wives in comforting the widows, and helping them pack up their children and leave the familial embrace of the military. Meanwhile, Gilberta strives to protect her own children from that looming unspoken fear—that their father could perish while in service as a jet pilot.

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THE MADONNAS OF LENINGRAD

Seamlessly moving back and forth in time between the Soviet Union in the 1940s and contemporary America, The Madonnas of Leningrad is a searing portrait of war and remembrance, of the power of love, memory, and art to offer hope in the face of overwhelming despair. It is the story of Marina, an aging Russian woman caught in the grips of Alzheimer’s. While she cannot retain fresh memories, vivid images of her youth in Leningrad and the toturous German siege are preserved. To hold on to sanity when the Luftwaffe’s bombing began, she burned to memory the exquisite artworks of the Hermitage where she worked as a guide using them to furnish a “memory palace”

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GARDENIAS

In a story about love, independence, and the power of women, renowned author Faith Sullivan captures World War II on the home front. It is 1942, only a month after the United States has joined the war, and everything is in upheaval—including the Erhardt family. Arlene has left her husband to pursue a new life in California, taking her sister, Betty, and nine-year-old Lark with her.

Betty and Arlene quickly find jobs in the booming San Diego wartime industry, and a small house to rent in a housing project. In a community full of people with similarly uprooted lives,

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CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

Artist Miranda Jones loves the life she’s been building in the picturesque coastal town of Milford-Haven. But while persistent dreams of a deep connection with a man haunt her, she’s unable to tell whether dashing Zack Calvin’s attentions are genuine. Sally is distracted from dishing up her home cooking by the reappearance of her high school sweetheart, Vietnam Veteran Tony Fiorentino. With the disappearance of reporter Chris Christian, Deputy Delmar Johnson digs for clues. Meanwhile the Doobie Brothers give a sold-out concert at the Central Coast Bowl against a web of complex relationships backstage, and Samantha Hugo’s private journal reveals her struggle to discover whether her long lost child is farther away than ever,

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MISSION TO KABUL

As you read the newspapers with their daily stories of the Middle East and Afghanistan, do you ever wonder what Muslim family life is like, with men and women inhabiting separate parts of the home? Or what it would be like to be a woman in purdah? Mission to Kabul starts there, in 19th century India, then takes the protagonist from his comfortable, predictable environment on a life-changing journey. Attempting to protect his younger brother, Mahmoud is jailed for a crime he didn’t commit. This makes him vulnerable, on his release, to being blackmailed into undertaking a dangerous mission to Afghanistan.

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THE GARDEN OF RUTH

Sitting beneath a tree in ancient Bethlehem, Osnath, niece of the prophet Samuel, examines a dusty scrap of parchment she found hidden in her relative’s scroll room. Scrawled on the decaying page is an intriguing message addressed to Ruth the Moabite—great-grandmother of David, the future king of Israel. Compelled to discover the truth about Ruth’s life, Osnath begins searching for the identity of Ruth’s nameless lover and the secret that is still cloaked behind his anonymity. But as she digs deeper into the past, she finds her inquiries blocked by David’s brother Eliab. What is the long-buried truth he fears will come to light?

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