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Spring into a good book

Embrace the season of renewal with a fresh read


COMPILED BY MOLLY HAINES RIDDLE


Women can be heroes, too. When 20-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these unexpected words in Kristin Hannah’s “The Women,” it is a revelation. Raised on idyllic Coronado Island and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing and being a good girl. But in 1965 the world is changing, and she suddenly imagines a different choice for her life. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she impulsively joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is overwhelmed by the chaos and destruction of war. Each day is a gamble of life and death, hope and betrayal; friendships run deep and can be shattered in an instant. In war, she meets—and becomes one of them—the lucky, the brave, the broken, and the lost.

But war is just the beginning for Frankie and her veteran friends. The real battle lies in coming home to a changed and divided America, to angry protesters, and to a country that wants to forget Vietnam. 

“The Women” is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on all women who put themselves in harm’s way and whose sacrifice and commitment to their country have too often been forgotten. A novel about deep friendships and bold patriotism, “The Women” is a richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose idealism and courage under fire will come to define an era. 



In Angela Jackson Brown’s “Homeward,” the country is changing, and the world is being turned upside down. Nothing—and no one—will ever be the same. 

Georgia, 1962. Rose Perkins Bourdon returns home to Parsons, Georgia, without her husband and pregnant with another man’s baby. After tragedy strikes her husband in the war overseas, a numb Rose is left with pieces of who she used to be and is forced to figure out what she is going to do with the rest of her life. Her sister introduces her to members of the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee—young people are taking risks and fighting battles Rose has only seen on television. Feeling emotions for the first time in what feels like forever, the excited and frightened Rose finds herself becoming increasingly involved in the resistance efforts. And, of course, there is also a young man, Isaac Weinberg, whose passion for activism stirs something inside her she didn’t think she would ever feel again.



June Farrow is waiting for fate to find her in Adrienne Young’s “The Unmaking of June Farrow.” The Farrow women are known for their thriving flower farm—and the mysterious curse that has plagued their family line. The whole town remembers the madness that led to Susanna Farrow’s disappearance, leaving June to be raised by her grandmother and haunted by rumors.

It’s been a year since June started seeing and hearing things that weren’t there. Faint wind chimes, a voice calling her name, and a mysterious door appearing out of nowhere—the signs of what June always knew was coming. But June is determined to end the curse once and for all, even if she must sacrifice finding love and having a family of her own. 

After her grandmother’s death, June discovers a series of cryptic clues regarding her mother’s decades-old disappearance, except they only lead to more questions. But could the door she once assumed was a hallucination be the answer she’s been searching for? The next time it appears, June realizes she can touch it and walk past the threshold. And when she does, she embarks on a journey that will not only change both the past and the future, but also uncover the lingering mysteries of her small town and entangle her heart in an epic star-crossed love. 



In the final installment of Anna James’s Pages & Co. series, Milo, Tilly, Oskar, and Alessia venture into Arthurian legend to find the first bookwanderer—the wizard Merlin—and discover that the magic of bookwandering is not what they thought.

Together, they must journey into Greek and Roman mythology to bargain with the trickster Loki and find a way to untangle the Alchemist’s grip on the world’s imagination. And to save Pages & Co. and protect the very foundations of bookwandering, the friends will have to learn the true power of imagination, all while an unexpected enemy stands in their way. 

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