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New books to read

Wanda Brunstetter, an author who usually writes books about Amish life, has created something a little different in her Brides of Lehigh Canal series. Book number one, “Kelly’s Chance,” is a fast-paced and uplifting story about a young, hardworking girl determined to escape the drudgery of driving the mules that pull her father’s boat along the canal. Kelly dreams of owning a gallery where she can sell her drawings and paintings and she has vowed to never marry after seeing what her father has done to her mother. But when the local owner of the general store comes calling, how is Kelly going to react?
Betsy Nelson is reluctant to return to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, the town’s faithful minister, in book two of the series, “Betsy’s Return.” William Covington, a confirmed bachelor is sent to the town to become the new pastor. Having issues when she appeared in book one, Betsy has grown up and believes she will be an old maid. This page turner will captivate you as you try to determine the ending.
“Sarah’s Choice” is the third book of the Brides of Lehigh Canal series. Widowed Sarah Turner has her hands full raising three young children along with tending the lock on the canal, baking bread and washing clothes for boatmen. As Sarah vows not to lose her heart to another boatman, this intriguing historical story will keep you turning pages as the suspense mounts. Will Sarah’s interest indeed be another boatman, Captain Elias Brooks, or the handsome land-preferring blacksmith?
Archer Mayor has released his 22nd Joe Gunther novel, “Tag Man.” Rich people in Brattleboro, Vt., are waking up to find a Post-it note stuck to their bedside tables saying simply, “You’re it.” With no signs of entry, the security alarms not sounding, and nothing stolen, the press is loving the story and nicknames the burglar the Tag Man. No one knows what to believe or who to trust. Joe Gunther struggles to untangle the many pieces of conflicting evidence while the burglar struggles for survival between the police and the villains.
“The House By the Fjord” by Rosalind Laker takes place in 1946 in Norway just after the country has been occupied by the Nazis for five cruel years. Anna’s intent is to visit her friend Molly and to meet her late husband’s father but finds herself captivated by the land, the people and a journal. As Anna deals with her father-in-law’s attorney, she regains her zest for life and heals from the shock of widowhood in this postwar historical saga.
On the nonfiction shelf, reach for “Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock” by David Margolick. This book is about the famous picture of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High in 1957. Depicted in the photo were two teen aged girls, one black and one white. This book traces the two women’s journeys and how neither has ever escaped from its long shadow. Follow their journey as they progress from apology to forgiveness to reconciliation and finally, to friendship. The friendship foundered, and then collapsed yet the bond between them, though silent and complex, endures. This is a gripping story of race, relationships and the struggle to forgive.