by Nelson DeMille
When it was first published in 1975, Nelson DeMille’s “first best book,” The Quest, had a paltry audience. The story introduced readers to the contemporary Ethiopian Revolution, where the old emperor, Haile Selassie, had recently been deposed by Marxists — but when the book was published, the revolution wasn’t even over. This time around, DeMille is searching for the Holy Grail of bestsellers.
It’s the same story, only bigger. Equal parts thriller and love story, the resurrected adventure novel takes the reader from the war-torn jungles of Ethiopia to the magical streets of Rome, all in search of Christ’s cup from the Last Supper. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. While DeMille first told the Holy Grail quest story 25 years before The Da Vinci Code, he hopes that retelling it in light of the current popularity of religious thrillers will give it new life.
In his first major rewrite, DeMille carefully toes the line between modernizing certain spelling, punctuation and dialect while maintaining the flavor of the original, which was set in the 1970s. Ultimately, it’s a thrilling story that deserved to be retold — and one that fans of both DeMille and Dan Brown will devour.
He Heard His Brother Call His Name
by Patsy Dorris Hale
Patsy Hale has it all. She was married at 19 to her high school sweetheart, Billy. She has a beautiful Texas ranch home and four happy, healthy children. It’s the life she always dreamed of — until Billy’s free-wheeling twin brother, Bobby, arrives in a beaten-down army surplus truck with an assortment of children and tales of high-rolling gypsy life in tow. Patsy’s engrossing memoir tells the story of what begins as a joyous reunion of long-lost brothers leads to the loss of her friends, her home, her inheritance, and ultimately, her marriage.
The psychological warfare between twins makes a surprisingly mesmerizing villain. As Patsy learns all too well, it’s very difficult to sever that umbilical cord between twins — figuratively, at least. With an unusual power to hypnotize his upstanding brother, Bobby leads Billy and Patsy down a harrowing road from which they can never return — from the remote summits of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to Hollywood and back.
A Fort Worth native who married into the larger-than-life, infamous Hale family, Patsy lends a local perspective to historical events such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the death of Marilyn Monroe. It’s a chilling Wild West tale that folks from Panther City should be proud to keep on their bookshelf.
The Longest Ride
by Nicholas Sparks
Fans of The Notebook, grab the tissues. It’s been 17 years since Nicholas Sparks tugged at heartstrings like this with the poignant love story of Allie and Noah — and his newest novel proves he hasn’t lost his touch. In The Longest Ride, Sparks tenderly interweaves two love stories that span generations, tapping into what makes us human along the way.
For a prolific novelist like Sparks, finding inspiration between tearjerkers can be a challenge. This time around, he stumbled upon it at Black Mountain College, an isolated school greatly influential to the American art scene, and right in his home state of North Carolina. There he began piecing together the tales of Ira and Ruth, Sophia and Luke — two couples with years and experience between them, but whose lives will converge in an unexpected way.
It’s an old-fashioned Blue Ridge love story. Through survival and success, ruin and reward, you’ll turn the pages eagerly, waiting to discover when and how the couples’ paths will cross. Don’t be surprised if the final page is wet with tears of both sorrow and joy though — sorrow that the story is finished, but joy in knowing that, once again, good has triumphed over evil.