People PICK

Schroder

by Amity Gaige |

REVIEWED BY DANIELLE TRUSSONI

NOVEL

Gaige, the ubertalented literary novelist who brought us The Folded World, is back with a chilling story about an obsessional father who deceives his wife and kidnaps their only child. After his divorce, Eric Kennedy, a “young and handsomeish” real estate agent, finds himself the noncustodial parent of 6-year-old Meadow. Unhappy with the arrangement, he flees with her to Vermont’s Lake Champlain region, where he is ultimately apprehended and brought to a correctional institution. As Kennedy relates his life story, he reveals that he is not a member of the “near Hyannis Port” clan but a German immigrant named Eric Schroder who changed his name to sound more American. Like Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert, Schroder is charming and deceptive, likable and flawed, a conman who has a clever way with words. Schroder’s tale is deeply engaging, and Gaige’s writing is surprising and original, but the real pull of this magnetic novel is the moral ambiguity the reader feels. When Schroder, questioning his abilities as a husband and father, asks, “What was so unacceptable about the way I was?” you almost find yourself wondering the same thing.

The Aviator’s Wife

by Melanie Benjamin |

REVIEWED BY MEREDITH MARAN

NOVEL

In this well-researched novel, Benjamin imagines Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s evolution from wife of Charles and mother of their famously kidnapped son to an aviator in her own right, an author, and lover of a married man. “After a lifetime … with a man who did not want to hear me speak unless I was mimicking his own views,” Benjamin’s Anne says, “I was ready.” What Mrs. Lindbergh was ready for will fascinate history buffs and surprise those who know of her only as “the aviator’s wife.”

Touch & Go

by Lisa Gardner |

REVIEWED BY ELLEN SHAPIRO

THRILLER

Returning home after a date night meant to repair their marriage, Justin and Libby Denbe are abducted along with their teenage daughter from their glamorous Boston townhouse, leaving cops with no motive or ransom demand. The suspense crackles as the Denbes grapple with their captors’ bewildering brutality. But what gives the story heart is Libby’s dawning realization that her family may have been broken long before their kidnappers appeared.

Drinking with Men

by Rosie Schaap |

REVIEWED BY JOANNA POWELL

MEMOIR

Thirteen thousand hours. That’s how much time New York Times Magazine “Drink” columnist Schaap estimates she’s spent in bars, the sticky-floored havens that shepherded her coming of age from a grungy Grateful Deadhead to a married interfaith preacher. Celebrating her 10 top watering holes from Dublin to New York City, Schaap warmly toasts the urge so many of us share to find a spot where everybody knows your name.

COMMENTS? WRITE TO KIM HUBBARD: bookseditor@peoplemag.com

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