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Idaho by Emily Ruskovich

She instead feels that he is that dust and those thistles and those rocks and that early-morning fire, a force that holds her up. For weeks, she feels her grief like this. But she can also see through her grief, and what she sees is the end of their time on earth. It is finally over; it died with him. In a few years, the whole world—the dust of it, the thistles, rocks, and fire—will recover itself from that brief time when the Mitchells lived and when she destroyed them. How could such a rupture, of time and earth and the human heart, ever heal from that August day, when all things separated, broke into parts that lost one another in an instant?
A lyrical novel exploring the consequences of illicit love, how inconsequential all of us are, and how we are none of us, as adults,  blameless.

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

But don’t let the history distract you from the people who lived it.
A skillfully-woven time-travel love story partially set after World War I when Ireland was trying to throw off the yoke of colonialism. “Two million Irish emigrated during the famine. The British government didn’t care. England is only a stone’s throw away. It’s easy enough to send their own labor over when we leave or starve. We were truly—are truly—replaceable,” a young boy is sadly told by his the man who became like a father to him after his own father was killed fighting for Ireland.

The Body Myth by Rheea Mukherjee

When I look back, I see myself as an Indian city on the verge of finding an identity. And then I lost control, expanded without direction, without a plan, becoming a vast series of interconnected roads, chaotic lanes, and fumes that left my body and mind exhausted. It’s true, every love story has been told. Every hidden kiss, every love letter, every heartbreak, accounted for and documented—it’s been said. Mine is no exception, but like everything else my version will exist as well. To get it right, I’ll start at the beginning. Love stories, they deserve to be told—the way they bloomed, every little etch on the soul, every shift in the core, every fuck—like it was last night. 
The tale of a widow finding herself through reading a shelf of Western philosophers (or so we're told), through teaching (with disastrous results when a teenaged girl decides to demonstrate de Beauvoir by uncovering a breast), and through a threesome with a married couple. The wife who appears to have a num…

The Wife's Tale by Aida Edemariam

Now the loneliness flowed into the open, dimming the sky, an ache that kept her awake into the small hours, refusing to be kept at bay. This was to some extent a matter of perception, however, for it was also true that [her daughter] Alemitu was still at home, and now there were Alemitu's two daughters. 
There was a time when the slogan 'Etyopya Tikdem, Ethiopia First' was heard often enough in the country disrupting the old ways. By the time this happened, the author's grandmother, whose tale is told in the book has long been widowed. Once married to a priest, she chooses not to remarry after his death and through close to the hundred of her life, she saw political turbulence that led to the world changing over and over again. Her own life, drenched in religion and local belief, continued with the same concerns: her children, her grandchildren, putting food on the table, and collecting rents. She could not read till her 60s but became an experienced litigant learning…

The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys

The geologist in bunkhouse 2 has told him that limestone is formed from prehistoric marine life, from all the shells and dead sea creatures that collect at the bottom of the ocean and are compressed, over millions of years, into sedimentary rock. When James watches the barrack walls darken in the rain, he is reminded of the deep shade of the ocean, how it slopes off under the hull of a fishing boat. The darkness of the ocean always seemed empty to him, but now he thinks of the rock slowly forming along the seabed -a rock made of creatures that live in water. A rock essentially made from water.
A tale about nature and life carrying on despite the tumult of war, and there always being hope as long as there is life.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

'How can I betray you if I'm not on your side?' I said, feeling his fist against my scalp. Pulling hair was such a dirty trick.
Appearances can be deceptive and we are sometimes betrayed by those we've trusted the most, only to find a place for ourselves amongst those we've been taught to trust the least. And so it is for the young girl who is the protagonist of The Wren Hunt. Based in a contemporary Ireland that hasn't quite let go of the Old Ways, this is a tale that weaves back and forth between a distant past and a deceptive present...

At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier

Women might shun her, but James would not. 
A tale of a marriage which is what it is. A woman who follows her husband to a swamp where she has no wish to be till she has children die there after which she has no particular wish to leave. A husband who, flawed though he is, stands by her as well as he knows how to despite seemingly caring more for his apple trees... And, so, life goes on till a day comes when they accidentally kill each other during a fight leaving their four living children orphans. One of them, a boy, leaves home finding what solace he can in trees across the continent. He is ultimately joined by his sister who has not had an easy time of it and dies soon after... but not before giving him some apple seeds from what was once home.

A portrait of what it takes to be there for those one loves across distances, time, and absences. And what how little it takes to let those one loves down.