The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant - Told by a grandmother to her granddaughter, The Boston Girl is the story of Addie Baum, born at the turn of the century to immigrant parents in the North End of Boston. From her slightly rebellious teenage years to her start as a career woman, Addie is not your typical girl. She is intelligent, curious about the world around her, and not content to sit and watch life happen around her. Addie serves as a lens to view the changing world throughout the 1900s. Her story is both personally and historically fascinating. Maybe it was the familiar setting (I love Boston and Rockport) or maybe it was Addie's gumption, but I loved reading this.
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer - This book is hard. It's brutal, in fact. But it's also incredibly important. Krakauer dives right into the entitlement that athletes often feel and in fact, are given, by the team, school, town that rallies around them, even when they are accused of horrendous crimes. While a true story, Krakauer's writing is fluid and almost reads like a novel. He provides important facts and background information, without ever coming across as a lecturer. No one is left off the hook here, from the police officers to the attorneys to the community at large. Some may call Krakauer biased (I'm not one of them), but given the evidence that he presents, it's hard not to see his point.
The Invaders by Karolina Waclawiak - Cheryl is a discontented housewife. Teddy is her drug-addict/dealer stepson, recently kicked out of Dartmouth. Together, they make a strange pair, but over the course of a summer in their quiet Connecticut coastal town, they find that they share common ground. Looking at the darker side of a "perfect" world, Waclawiak captures the feel of a wealthy community intent on isolating themselves from anyone they consider less-than. Both Cheryl and Teddy, although officially part of said community, feel at odds with those attitudes and have become outsiders. Smart and haunting, this was a good one.