Six new paperbacks to check out this week.
THE WIDOW, by Fiona Barton. (Berkley, $16.)After her husband dies in a gruesome accident, Jean, this debut novel’s namesake widow, is thrust again into the spotlight. Her husband had been a chief suspect in a missing child case that captivated the country, and his death has renewed interest in the crime. With some reporters suspecting Jean knows more than she has let on, she seems poised to reveal her story.
THEIR PROMISED LAND: My Grandparents in Love and War, by Ian Buruma. (Penguin, $17.) Drawing on thousands of his grandparents’ letters, Buruma sketches the story of their marriage, which spanned World War I and II — and the turbulent era in which they lived. His is a “wholly understanding, moving account of what it meant to be Jewish and English in one of the most troubled times of the last century,” our reviewer, Nick Fraser, said.
CARRY ME, by Peter Behrens. (Anchor, $17.) The troubled times framed by war are also the backdrop for Behrens’s novel, which tells the story of Billy Lange and Karin, the German-Jewish woman he loves. Growing up in England and Ireland during World War I, Billy saw his father, a German, interned, and felt the deep isolation that accompanies discrimination; later, living in 1930s Frankfurt, he dreams of escaping with Karin to America, whose allure is a bright spot amid Hitler’s rise to power.
IN EUROPE’S SHADOW: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond, by Robert D. Kaplan. (Random House, $18.) Kaplan first visited Romania more than three decades ago as a young journalist, reporting on the horrors under its repressive government. Drawing on his reporting from later trips, he traces Romania’s shift away from Communism, and attempts to untangle the country’s myriad influences, from Orthodox Christianity to contemporary Russia.
CAST OF CHARACTERS: Wolcott Gibbs, E.B. White, James Thurber, and the Golden Age of The New Yorker, by Thomas Vinciguerra. (Norton, $18.95.) In this ensemble biography, Vinciguerra chronicles the early years of the magazine, roughly spanning the Jazz Age through the end of World War II, with a focus on how many of its editorial stars shaped the The New Yorker’s legacy for decades to come.
GIRL THROUGH GLASS, by Sari Wilson. (Harper Perennial, $15.99.) The choreographer George Balanchine’s long shadow is evident in the stories of 11-year-old Mira, a ballet student in 1977, and Kate, a present-day dance historian. As our reviewer, Namara Smith, put it, the novel is less about ballet “than the costs of early virtuosity — the feeling of being propelled by a force you don’t understand and can’t control.”