A quiet mail week for me to start the year off with:
From Simon & Schuster Canada for review:
School Library Journal:
Gr 4 6—Tiny dynamo Nilly and his friend Lisa, first introduced in Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder (S & S, 2010), return to save the day (and the doctor). At the end of their last outing, Doctor P. headed back to Paris to save the love of his life, Juliette Margarine, from having to marry evil Claude Cliché. A mysterious postcard from the past sends Nilly and Lisa on a mission to rescue him, both helped and hindered by the doctor's crazy inventions, including a time-traveling bathtub and translating nose plugs. A whirlwind tour of French history ensues, including stops at the Moulin Rouge, the Tour de France, Waterloo, the Bastille, Monsieur Eiffel's workroom, and Joan of Arc's jail cell, with our heroes changing history right and left. Chasing them through time is Raspa, Proctor's one-legged former assistant, inventor of time-travel soap, who makes the ultimate sacrifice to atone for past misdeeds. This story is darker and less icky than the first, though it still has plenty of goofy moments, a few farts, and a mostly happy ending. Buy where the first book is popular.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
From the author of the beloved #1 national bestseller Crow Lake comes an exceptional new novel of jealously, rivalry and the dangerous power of obsession.
Two brothers, Arthur and Jake Dunn, are the sons of a farmer in the mid-1930s, when life is tough and another world war is looming. Arthur is reticent, solid, dutiful and set to inherit the farm and his father’s character; Jake is younger, attractive, mercurial and dangerous to know – the family misfit. When a beautiful young woman comes into the community, the fragile balance of sibling rivalry tips over the edge.
Then there is Ian, the family’s next generation, and far too sure he knows the difference between right and wrong. By now it is the fifties, and the world has changed – a little, but not enough.
These two generations in the small town of Struan, Ontario, are tragically interlocked, linked by fate and community but separated by a war which devours its young men – its unimaginable horror reaching right into the heart of this remote corner of an empire. With her astonishing ability to turn the ratchet of tension slowly and delicately, Lawson builds their story to a shocking climax. Taut with apprehension, surprising us with moments of tenderness and humour, The Other Side of the Bridge is a compelling, humane and vividly evoked novel with an irresistible emotional undertow.
The year is 1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on Dove River, a tiny isolated settlement in the Northern Territory, when a man is brutally murdered. Laurent Jammett had been a voyageur for the Hudson Bay Company before an accident lamed him four years earlier. The same accident afforded him the little parcel of land in Dove River, land that the locals called unlucky due to the untimely death of the previous owner.
A local woman, Mrs. Ross, stumbles upon the crime scene and sees the tracks leading from the dead man's cabin north toward the forest and the tundra beyond. It is Mrs. Ross's knock on the door of the largest house in Caulfield that launches the investigation. Within hours she will regret that knock with a mother's love -- for soon she makes another discovery: her seventeen-year-old son Francis has disappeared and is now considered a prime suspect.
In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the crime and to the township -- Andrew Knox, Dove River's elder statesman; Thomas Sturrock, a wily American itinerant trader; Donald Moody, the clumsy young Company representative; William Parker, a half-breed Native American and trapper who was briefly detained for Jammett's murder before becoming Mrs. Ross's guide. But the question remains: do these men want to solve the crime or exploit it?
One by one, the searchers set out from Dove River following the tracks across a desolate landscape -- home to only wild animals, madmen, and fugitives -- variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for seventeen years, and a forgotten Native American culture before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good.