Firefly by Janette Jenkins
This short, sparkling novel from Europa Editions imagines life a few weeks toward the end of the great dramatist Noel Coward’s life, with walk-ons from Gielgud, Guinness, Redgrave, and Dietrich. It opens: “The sky is a wavering sheet of blue, and when the lilo stays in one place it feels like he’s flying, suspended halfway between heaven and no-man’s land.”
Stop Here by Beverly Gologosky
Centered around the fictional Murray’s Diner on Long Island, Gologorsky’s beautiful novel looks at working class families affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sample: “When Bobby was a baby and threw his toys on the floor she’d retrieve them—again and again—to teach him that what leaves comes back. Except she doesn’t believe it herself.” At heart, says the author, “It’s about the emotional rewards of struggle.” Published by Seven Stories Press.