These recent releases are available at libraries throughout the East Bay. Visit yours or place a hold online at www.oslri.org.
‘Mrs. Kennedy and Me’
By Clint Hill
When Clint Hill, FBI agent, was assigned as Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy’s personal bodyguard upon her husband’s election to the presidency, he was not happy. Anticipating a continuous whirlwind of teas, receptions, and shopping excursions, he was, in fact, very disappointed. After all, he had served on the Secret Service detail of a number of previous presidents, and felt slighted to not continue in that role. Read this very personal account of the development of the relationship between Agent Hill and Mrs. Kennedy as he became her devoted guardian, caretaker, and friend—a comforting presence for both her and her children throughout her time as First Lady. The one constant in her life during this period, he shared her most significant experiences: births, miscarriages, family celebrations, vacations, and, yes, deaths and tragedies as well. He was the one to whom Jackie was reaching in that famous photo of her husband’s assassination as she climbed upon the trunk of the presidential limo in her blood-stained pink suit. Plagued by guilt forever after that day, Clint Hill was convinced that had he reacted a bit faster, history might have been different. It was a regret that negatively impacted the rest of his life and which he carried with him to the end of his days.
By Harlan Coben
Jake Fisher, a young, handsome professor is dumped abruptly by Natalie, the love of his life, and invited to her sudden marriage to Todd Sanderson; Natalie’s lifelong heartache at being abandoned by the father she adored and his mysterious disappearance; the unexplained and suspicious death of Todd Sanderson six years after his marriage to Natalie; an obituary of Todd with a photograph that does not resemble the man Natalie married; and Jake’s desire to be reunited with Natalie and his quest to find her. These events all lead Jake on a dangerous and puzzling journey where he is assaulted and kidnapped, repeatedly threatened and thwarted each time he seems to be getting closer to unraveling the mystery. Betrayal by his best friend, the only man he seems able to trust; violent assaults by unknown pursuers….Why are they stalking Jake? Where is Natalie? What do they not want him to find out? Read New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben’s most recent novel for the answers. It will engage you in a complicated plot of circuitous and unexpected turns before the author finally weaves these many seemingly unrelated events and characters to a surprising, but satisfying conclusion.
‘The Story Teller’
By Jodi Picoult
This latest novel by New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult focuses on the unlikely relationship between a troubled, guilt-ridden young woman, Sage Singer, and a 90-year old German whom she meets in a grief support group following the death of her mother. Sage is reclusive, withdrawn and very self-conscious of a facial scar received in the same accident which killed her mother, and in which Sage was driving. In order to avoid social contact, she has chosen to work nights alone in a bakery where she makes the most wonderful ethnic breads. These appear to be the attraction for the German, Josef Weber, who begins to visit the bakery regularly just at closing when Sage begins her evening shift. Over coffee and conversation one night, he confesses a secret he has kept hidden for 70 years: he was a Nazi officer during WWII. Since Sage is of Jewish origin, though not practicing, this revelation causes her intense conflict and forces her to confront history and make some difficult choices. The author very cleverly weaves a story-within-a-story; a kind of allegory about mythological, blood-thirsty beasts with an insatiable and uncontrollable urge to prey upon their victims. This is a plot involving moral themes: personal choices, guilt, punishment, atonement, justice, and ultimately forgiveness.
Donna DeLeo Bruno is a native Bristolian and a retired teacher of writing and literature. She now splits her time between Bristol and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where she gives book reviews at the local library as well as at book clubs and women’s clubs. Some of her most enjoyable and relaxing hours are spent reading a book beneath the shade of a tree at the foot of Walley Street with the sun sparkling its reflection on the water.