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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Wednesday June 19, 2013 01:10PM EDT
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 25, 2011
- Vol. 76
- No. 3
Picks and Pans: Books
by Esmeralda Santiago |
REVIEWED BY SUE CORBETT
After reading the diary of an ancestor who explored with Ponce de Leon, Ana Larragoity Cubillas falls in love with the idea of conquering the New World herself-a far more adventurous life than a 19th-century Spanish girl of her aristocratic upbringing might generally expect. Then she meets twins Inocente and Ramon, who own a sugar plantation in the tropics, and senses she's found her destiny. Ana persuades Ramon not only to marry her but to talk his father into letting her and the brothers manage the hacienda, located on an isolated coast of Puerto Rico. What follows is an enthralling family saga interlaced with meticulously researched details of how the Caribbean economy of the day sustained itself through slave labor. The dilettantish twins have regrets after experiencing the privations of plantation life, but they are no match for steely Ana (think Scarlett O'Hara with jet black hair and a bullwhip), who won't let hurricanes, cholera or even outright revolution keep her from turning a profit raising cane. Santiago, author of the memoir When I Was Puerto Rican, uses her larger-than-life character to illuminate a pivotal moment in the history of the Western hemisphere.
The Summer of the Bear
by Bella Pollen |
REVIEWED BY ROBIN MICHELI
Set three decades ago amidst Cold War tensions in Europe, Pollen's affecting novel centers on a woman who retreats with her children to a remote Scottish island after the puzzling death of her diplomat husband. The plot artfully combines spy-thriller elements with the improbable yet riveting journey of an escaped grizzly bear on the island, but the central drama is the family's painful struggle with grief and suspicion. A thrilling tale that also unravels mysteries of the human heart, The Summer of the Bear is spine-tingling.
Then Came You
by Jennifer Weiner |
REVIEWED BY CLARISSA CRUZ
Weiner's latest revolves around an unborn child with one hell of a potential extended family: a Princeton coed who's donated her eggs to a surgically enhanced gold digger and her millionaire husband, said husband's daughter, and a woman considering surrogacy to pay the bills-and that's just for starters. As always, Weiner's subject is topical, her characters richly drawn. Then isn't as comical as her past novels, but its sharp take on class and family keeps it juicy.
by Chevy Stevens
Finding her birth parents means trouble for the heroine of Stevens's creepy latest.
THE SILENT GIRL
by Tess Gerritsen
The ninth Rizzoli & Isles novel begins with a severed hand found on a Chinatown rooftop.
EYES WIDE OPEN
by Andrew Gross
Did Jay Erlich's nephew commit suicide or were more sinister forces at play? A chilling page-turner drawn from the author's life.
by Cara Lynn Shultz
In People.com editor Shultz's Y.A. novel, Emma Connor transfers to a fancy Manhattan prep school-and things get spooky.
THE LAST BOOK I LOVED
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
"The way Franzen describes families and relationships is so real and feels so specifically personal-you can't believe someone else is writing exactly what you think."
Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
"It sounds all weighty... . It's an Anne Frank story set in Rwanda. When you read what this woman went through and what happens in the end, you'll realize you can forgive anybody."
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
"It's about a guy who loses his daughter and goes on this whole journey and finds God. Whether or not you're religious, it's just a really great story."
The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud
"This book came out a while ago. It's like a comedy of manners about people in New York, and it's just really intelligent and really invitingly funny."
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