THE YEAR OF NEEDY GIRLS
by: Patricia A. Smith
“Bradley, Massachusetts, is in many ways a typical small New England town—the green, the churches, the bricked library. But a river divides Bradley in half—on one side, the East End: tight triple-deckers, Most Precious Blood parish, and the Brazilian immigrant community; and on the other, the West End: renovated Victorians, Brandywine Academy, families with last names as venerable as the Mayflower.
Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane (SJ) Edmonds have just moved to the West End of Bradley, where Deirdre teaches French to girls at tony Brandywine Academy. A dedicated teacher from a working-class background, she is well loved by her students, and this particular fall, living for the first time in an open relationship with SJ, in their first house, should be her happiest yet.
But the murder of ten-year-old Leo Rivera from the East End changes everything—for Deirdre and SJ, for the girls at Brandywine, and for all of Bradley. And when Deirdre is falsely accused of sexually molesting one of her students, the entire town erupts.”
ALL WAITING IS LONG
by: Barbara J. Taylor
“All Waiting Is Long tells the stories of the Morgan sisters, a study in contrasts. In 1930, twenty-five-year-old Violet travels with her sixteen-year-old sister Lily from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to the Good Shepherd Infant Asylum in Philadelphia, so Lily can deliver her illegitimate child in secret. In doing so, Violet jeopardizes her engagement to her longtime sweetheart, Stanley Adamski.
Meanwhile, Mother Mary Joseph, who runs the Good Shepherd, has no idea the asylum’s physician, Dr. Peters, is involved in eugenics and experimenting on the girls with various sterilization techniques.
Five years later, Lily and Violet are back home in Scranton, one married, one about to be, each finding her own way in a place where a woman’s worth is tied to her virtue. Against the backdrop of the sweeping eugenics movement and rogue coal mine strikes, the Morgan sisters must choose between duty and desire. Either way, they risk losing their marriages and each other.
The novel picks up sixteen years after the close of Barbara J. Taylor’s debut novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night—a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book of 2014—and continues her Dickensian exploration of the Morgan sisters and other characters of Scranton in the early twentieth century.”