Memoir set mainly in Verona
Ten Great Books set in ATLANTA
12th August 2021
Atlanta is the latest location for us to visit in our Great Books series. Ten Great Books set in Atlanta. The city is the capital of the U.S. state of Georgia. It played an important part in both the Civil War and the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Atlanta History Center chronicles the city’s past, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is dedicated to the African-American leader’s life and times. Downtown, Centennial Olympic Park, built for the 1996 Olympics, encompasses the massive Georgia Aquarium.
‘If you don’t like the way the Atlanta Braves are playing, then you don’t like baseball’. – Chuck Tanner
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
The author of Silver Sparrow returns with a stunning novel about race, loyalty, and love that endures.
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward–with hope and pain–into the future.
Every Crooked Nanny by Kathy Hogan Trocheck
After ten years of cleaning up the dirt on Atlanta’s streets, Callahan Garrity is trading in her badge for a broom and a staff of house cleaners. But, though the uniform is a little different, Callahan soon finds herself right back in the middle of a mystery when a client’s pretty, pious nineteen-year-old nanny is gone … along with the jewelry, silver, and a few rather sensitive real estate documents.
Before she knows it, the meticulous Callahan is up to her elbows in a case involving illicit love triangles, crooked business deals, long-distance scams, and a dead body. Now she has to roll up her sleeves and start some industrial strength sleuthing to solve — and survive — this mess.
I Couldn’t Love You More by Jillian Medoff
Which child would you save? A decision no parent can even fathom. Eliot Gordon would do anything for her family. A 38-year-old working mother, she lives an ordinary but fulfilling life in suburban Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The two older girls are actually Eliot’s stepdaughters, a distinction she is reluctant to make as she valiantly attempts to maintain a safe, happy household . . . Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot’s long-lost first love, appears, triggering a shocking chain of events that culminates in a split-second decision that will haunt her beloved family forever. How Eliot survives-and what she loses in the process-is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child. With hilarious honesty, wrenching depth, and a knockout twist, I COULDN’T LOVE YOU MORE illuminates the unbreakable bonds of family and reveals the lengths we’ll go to save each other, even as we can’t save ourselves.
Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews
In a suburban Atlanta neighborhood where divorce is as rampant as kudzu, Mary Bliss McGowan doesn’t notice that her own marriage is in trouble until the summer night she finds a note from her husband, telling her he’s gone—and taken the family fortune with him.
Stunned and humiliated, a desperate Mary Bliss, left behind with her seventeen-year-old daughter, Erin, and a mountain of debt, decides to salvage what’s left of her life by telling one little bitty lie.
At first, Mary Bliss simply tells friends and family that Parker is out of town on a consulting job. Then the lies start to snowball, until Parker turns up dead. Or does he?
Mary Bliss’s formerly staid existence careens into overdrive as she copes with an oversexed teenager, a mother-in-law with Ethel Merman delusions, and the sudden but delicious shock of finding herself pursued by two men: the next-door neighbor who’s looking for a suitable second wife, and a dangerously attractive ex-cop who’s looking for the truth about Parker McGowan.
Sweetwater Deception by Sylvia Nickels
Dana Tucker Pennington returns to the farm in Georgia she inherited from the grandparents who raised her and where she grew up. She did not expect to meet and rekindle her romance with the boy, now a successful businessman in Atlanta, who broke her teenaged heart. One year later, now finally married, secrets from their shared past threaten their new-found happiness as well as the two daughters they adore.
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner
Each time he struck, he took two victims. Day after day, he waited for the first body to be discovered—a body containing all the clues the investigators needed to find the second victim, who waited… prey to a slow but certain death. The clock ticked—salvation was possible.
The police were never in time.
Years have passed; but for this killer, time has stood still. As a heat wave of epic proportions descends, the game begins again. Two girls have disappeared… and the clock is ticking.
Rookie FBI agent Kimberly Quincy knows the killer’s deadline can be met. But she’ll have to break some rules to beat an exactingly vicious criminal at a game he’s had time to perfect.
For the Killing Hour has arrived….
Undone by Karin Slaughter
When a tortured young woman enters the trauma center of an Atlanta hospital, Dr. Sara Linton is thrust into a desperate police investigation with Special Agent Will Trent and his partner, Faith Mitchell. Though guarding their own wounds and their own secrets, Sara, Will, and Faith find that they are all that stand between a madman and his next victim.
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry
The place is the Deep South, the time 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement. Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Wertham, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two, is informed by her son, Boolie, that henceforth she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. The person he hires for the job is a thoughtful, unemployed black man, Hoke, whom Miss Daisy immediately regards with disdain and who, in turn, is not impressed with his employer’s patronizing tone and, he believes, her latent prejudice. But, in a series of absorbing scenes spanning twenty-five years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer to, and more dependent on, each other, until, eventually, they become almost a couple. Slowly and steadily the dignified, good-natured Hoke breaks down the stern defenses of the ornery old lady, as she teaches him to read and write and, in a gesture of good will and shared concern, invites him to join her at a banquet in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. As the play ends Hoke has a final visit with Miss Daisy, now ninety-seven and confined to a nursing home, and while it is evident that a vestige of her fierce independence and sense of position still remain, it is also movingly clear that they have both come to realise they have more in common than they ever believed possible-and that times and circumstances would ever allow them to publicly admit.
The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
Step into the powerhouse life of Bull Meecham. He’s all Marine — fighter pilot, king of the clouds, and absolute ruler of his family. Lillian is his wife — beautiful, southern-bred, with a core of velvet steel. Without her cool head, her kids would be in real trouble. Ben is the oldest, a born athlete whose best never satisfies the big man. Ben’s got to stand up, even fight back, against a father who doesn’t give in — not to his men, not to his wife, and certainly not to his son. Bull Meecham is undoubtedly Pat Conroy’s most explosive character — a man you should hate, but a man you will love.
The Untelling by Tayari Jones
Aria is no stranger to tragedy-as a young girl, she and her older sister and mother survived a car crash that took the lives of their father and beloved baby sister. And although relations with her remaining family are strained, she’s done her best to establish a solid, normal life for herself, living in Atlanta and teaching literacy to girls who have fallen on hard times.
But now she has a secret that she’s not yet ready to share with Dwayne, her devoted boyfriend, or Rochelle, her roommate and best friend: Aria is pregnant. Or so she thinks. The truth is enough to make her question her every assumption, and reevaluate the life she has worked so hard to build for herself.
Any others you would like to add? Let us know in the Comments below…
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