The Practical Magic author makes a striking departure from her previous works with an engrossing, meticulously researched epic set in biblical times. Still, fans of Hoffman will find the author’s signature all over the four fierce, sensual women at the center of this remarkable novel. A-
The Family Fang
Despite the title, this quirky debut novel has nothing to do with vampires or werewolves. Rather, it focuses on something stranger and at times more frightening: a clan of eccentric, attention-craving artists. B+
The Long Goodbye
O’Rourke, a journalist and poet, chronicles the grief of losing her mother to cancer with profound intelligence and raw emotion.
EW’s favorite novel of 2011 paints a humane, surprisingly readable portrait of post-9/11 anti-Muslim sentiment in New York City. A-
Turn of Mind
This boldly ambitious debut, written from the point of view of an orthopedic surgeon turned fast-deteriorating Alzheimer’s patient, is part mystery novel, part family drama. B+