List: Best Fiction 2010

Best Fiction 2010


Trussoni, Danielle

Becoming Jane Eyre

Kohler, Sheila

A beautifully imagined tale of the Bronté sisters, Becoming Jane Eyre delicately unravels the connections between one of fiction's most indelible heroines and the remarkable woman who created her.


Greene, Amy


Nelson, Antonya


Harris, Robert

Day for Night

Reiken, Frederick

Day Out of Days

Shepard, Sam

Evening's Empire

Flanagan, Bill

In the Company of Angels

Kennedy, Thomas E.


Wayne, Teddy

Man in the Woods

Spencer, Scott

Paul Phillips, a carpenter living in upstate New York with Kate Ellis and her daughter, Ruby, commits a crime whose only witness was a mixed-breed dog, and fears getting away with the crime as much as he fears the discovery of his terrible secret.


Marlantes, Karl

Mink River

Doyle, Brian

... Brings a town to life through the jumbled lives and braided stories of its people--Publisher description.

Model Home

Puchner, Eric

My Hollywood

Simpson, Mona

Noah's Compass

Tyler, Anne

Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn't bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new, spare, and efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.

One Amazing Thing

Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee

Late afternoon, in a passport and visa office in an unnamed American city. Most customers and office workers have come and gone, but nine people remain: a punky teenager, an upper-class Caucasian couple, a young Muslim-American man, a graduate student, an African-American ex-soldier, a Chinese grandmother, and two visa office workers. When an earthquake rips through the afternoon lull, trapping these nine characters together, their focus first jolts to their collective struggle to survive. There's little food. The office begins to flood. Then, at a moment when the stress seems nearly too much for them to bear, the young graduate student suggests that each tell a personal tale, one amazing thing from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. And as their surprising stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstances, the novel proves the transcendent power of stories and the meaningfulness of human expression itself.--B.I.P.

Point Omega

DeLillo, Don


Malouf, David


Donoghue, Emma

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Hoffman, Beth

For years, 12-year-old CeeCee Honeycutt has been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille-the tiara-toting, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. But when Camille is hit by a truck and killed, CeeCee is left to fend for herself. To the rescue comes her previously unknown great-aunt from Savannah, Tootie Caldwell, who whirls CeeCee into her world of female friendship, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart.

Secrets of Eden

Bohjalian, Christopher A.

Shadow Tag

Erdrich, Louise

Skippy Dies

Murray, Paul


Coetzee, J. M.

The Ask

Lipsyte, Sam

The Changeling

Oe, Kenzaburo

The Cookbook Collector

Goodman, Allegra

The Good Son

Gruber, Michael

Somewhere in Pakistan, Sonia Laghari and eight fellow members of a symposium on peace are being held captive by armed terrorists. Sonia, a deeply religious woman as well as a Jungian psychologist, has become the de facto leader of the kidnapped group, while her son Theo, an ex-Delta soldier, uses his military connections to find and free the victims.

The Hand That First Held Mine

O'Farrell, Maggie

The Imperfectionists

Rachman, Tom

An imperfect crew of reporters and editors working for an international English language newspaper stumble toward an uncertain future as the era of print news gives way to the Internet age. The story is set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome.

The Infinities

Banville, John

The Instructions

Levin, Adam

The Lonely Polygamist

Udall, Brady

The Lotus Eaters

Soli, Tatjana

The Patience Stone

Rahimi, Atiq

In Persian folklore, Syngue Sabour is the name of a magical black stone, a patience stone, which absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. But here, the Syngue Sabour is not a stone but rather a man lying brain-dead with a bullet lodged in his neck. His wife is with him, sitting by his side. But she resents him for having sacrificed her to the war, for never being able to resist the call to arms, for wanting to be a hero, and in the end, after all was said and done, for being incapacitated in a small skirmish. Yet she cares, and she speaks to him, opening up her deepest desires, pains, and secrets. She speaks of her life, never knowing if her husband really hears. And it is an extraordinary confession, without restraint, about sex and love and her anger against a man who never understood her, who mistreated her, who never showed her any respect or kindness. Her admission releases the weight of oppression of marital, social, and religious norms, and she leads her story up to the great secret that is unthinkable in a country such as Afghanistan. The Patience Stone captures the reality of everyday life for an intelligent woman under the oppressive weight of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.--B.I.P.

The Privileges

Dee, Jonathan

Adam and Cynthia Morey are so perfect for each other that united they become a kind of fortress against the world. In their hurry to start a new life, they marry young and have two children before Cynthia reaches the age of twenty-five. With a beautiful home in the upper-class precincts of Manhattan, gorgeous children, and plenty of money, they are, by any reasonable standard, successful. But the future in which they have always believed for themselves and their children (a life of almost boundless privilege, in which any desire can be acted upon and any ambition made real) is still out there, but it is not arriving fast enough to suit them. As Cynthia, a stay-at- home mom, begins to drift, Adam is confronted with a choice that will test how much he is willing to risk to ensure his family's happiness and the life of infinite possibility. This is a timely meditation on wealth, family, and what it means to leave the world richer than you found it.--B.I.P.

The Surrendered

Lee, Chang-rae

The Unnamed

Ferris, Joshua

The Wake of Forgiveness

Machart, Bruce

The Widower's Tale

Glass, Julia

The Wife's Tale

Lansens, Lori

To the End of the Land

Grossman, David

Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer's release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the notifiers who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along their former best friend and her former lover Avram. Avram served in the army alongside Ilan when they were young. Avram was sent into Egypt and the Yom Kippur War, where he was brutally tortured as POW. In the aftermath, a virtual hermit, he refused to keep in touch with the family and has never met the boy. Ora supplies the whole story of her motherhood, a retelling that keeps Ofer very much alive and opens Avram to human bonds undreamed of in his broken world.


Tremain, Rose

Union Atlantic

Haslett, Adam

World and Town

Jen, Gish

Two years after burying her husband and best friend, 68-year-old Hattie Kong moves to a small New England town where she is joined by a Cambodian family and reunited with an ex-lover before tackling challenges in the form of fundamentalist Christians and struggling family farms.