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Chatelaine book club: March's best books

Our editors pick six books for your bedside table this month

Book Five Bells

6. Five Bells

Book The Odds

5. The Odds: A Love Story

Book A Place of Secrets

4. A Place of Secrets

Book What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

3. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Book Ru

2. Ru

Book A Good American

1. A Good American

woman reading book in park against tree

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1. A Good American, Alex George, $30
A rollicking multi-generational saga that immigrants everywhere will identify with. Frederick and Jette sail for the New World in 1904 to escape her wrathful mother. Once there, they endeavour to embrace the new country’s customs, but their past is a constant and inescapable companion — even for their children and grandchildren . – Laurie Grassi

2. Ru, Kim Thúy, $25
Awarded the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award for French fiction, this autobiographical work, now translated into English, examines how concepts of possession and self are shaped amid impermanence. Fragmented prose recounts Kim Thúy’s youth in Saigon, her flight from Communism to Quebec and her eventual return to Vietnam. This is a story of how sharply different cultures and lives can be grafted onto one another to form a new whole. – Meghan Davidson Ladly

3. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, Nathan Englander, $28
In this finely crafted collection of short stories, Englander asks the big questions about history, morality and love, confronting the often ugly, sometimes funny truths about human nature with an amazing blend of wit and grace. – Madeline Cravit

4. A Place of Secrets, Rachel Hore, $17
A story within a story lies at the heart of the mystery in this page-turning treat for lovers of intrigue and romance. City girl Jude discovers more than she ever imagined when she takes a job assessing antique astronomy books at a country estate and the stars align to reveal ancestral secrets. – Kari Pritchard

5. The Odds: A Love Story, Stewart O’Nan, $30
With their finances and 30-year marriage in shambles, Art and Marion head to Niagara Falls for Valentine’s Day to risk all that remains at the roulette tables. A bittersweet yet refreshingly honest story about forgiveness and taking chances in love and in life. – Maggie Ma

6. Five Bells, Gail Jones, $17
There’s a perfect way to discover great novels: Check out the nominees for fiction prizes in other countries. Five Bells was shortlisted for Australia’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. A fascinating look at modern city life that’s reminiscent of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, the book weaves together the stories of four strangers whose lives intersect over the course of a single day at Circular Quay, by Sydney Harbour. – Terri Coles

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