Breaking the Silence by Diane Chamberlain
Chamberlain (The Escape Artist) explores psychiatric tensions in this disturbing story of dark secrets and redemption. Before astronomer Laura Brandon's father dies, he asks her to visit Sarah Tolley, an elderly woman he's never before mentioned. This seemingly simple request sets off a series of alarming events, most dramatically the suicide of Laura's husband, Ray, and the subsequent emotional withdrawal of her five-year-old daughter, Emma. Laura tries to help her daughter by contacting Emma's birth father, Dylan Geer. Laura and Dylan's affair had been short-lived, and Dylan never knew he had a child. A bond is formed when the three get together, and Dylan decides to help Laura solve the mysteries. Despite minor flaws (the connection between Sarah and Laura's husband is obvious early on), the story offers relentless suspense and intriguing psychological insight (Chamberlain is a former psychotherapist) as well as a satisfying love story.
Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle MoranThe marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s vengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome, but only two— the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander— survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.