Updated March 20, 2006 12:00 PM


White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway In delicate prose, first novelist Greenway suggests the political and personal turmoil of two sisters coming of age in Hong Kong in the late ’60s. A surprise ending has the stunning impact of a grenade.

The People’s Act of Love by James Meek A Russian revolutionary epic, set in 1919, in which Solzhenitsyn fans will find that familiarly Eastern Bloc sense of absurd humor. Meek’s writing is heavy but his fluid storytelling allows him to craft a complex novel that reads like a literary thriller.

Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland A fast-paced psychological drama told from the point of view of a troubled Irish boy, Hyland’s novel is a fresh yet troubling reminder of the pain of lost innocence and the price of pursuing the truth.

The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne A cheeky romp through upper-crust London in which our high-born heroine turns into a kind of super nanny for single men, finding plenty of adventure along the way. Like its heroine, it’s funny and original.