18 Books to Watch for in May 2012

This month, we delve into the past with a reissued classic from W. Somerset Maugham, a found cookbook from Elizabeth Gilbert's grandmother, and new historical fiction set in WWI.
The Lion Is In
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

The Lion Is In

304 pages; Blue Rider Press
Delia Ephron's latest novel, The Lion Is In (Blue Rider), is a gentle fable that finds three women traveling on a dusty North Carolina highway, all desperately trying to escape something. When their car breaks down, Tracee, an unsophisticated kleptomaniac, and Rita, a minister's wife, follow boisterous ringleader Lana into The Lion—a lowly tavern named for Marcel, a retired circus lion, kept in a cage. As the three runaways settle into waitressing jobs at the bar, they begin creating new worlds for themselves, thanks to Marcel and his anthropomorphic wisdom. Of course, their former lives eventually catch up with them, but not before this sleepy town and the people in it somehow manage to jump-start their hearts.
— Abbe Wright