1. Howards End Is on the Landing by Susan Hill. A book about books for book lovers. It isn't often that a book comes along that I want to underline just about every sentence....or at least snag them for my quote collection. Susan Hill's book is such a one. (Five stars on my five stars rating system)
2. What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper by Paula Marantz Cohen. An incredibly well-told re-telling of the most famous serial killer ever. (Five stars)
3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. A story about story-telling and truth. A lovely, well-written book that I am sure to recommend over and over. (Four & 1/2 stars)
4. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell. A haunting, disturbing, multi-layered novel. It tells the story of Esme (Euphemia) Lennox, a woman who has been locked away in a mental institution for over sixty years. (Four & 1/2 stars)
5. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. This was a delight to read. As always, it is a perfect commentary on the social mores and expectations of the time. I also enjoyed the send-up of the Gothic novel. [Four stars]
Honorable Mention: Winner of the most difficult book that I loved category--
Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner. I hate stream of conscious books. But I loved this one. Absolutely marvelous story about race and integrity....if you can manage to wade through the stream. Intruder earned Four stars...but would clearly have been a five star winner if not for that dratted S-of-C.