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Best novels of 2008

The Monitor’s annual gift guide to the best fiction books of 2008.

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A Golden Age
By Tahmima Anam (HarperCollins, 288 pp., $24.95)
Bangladeshi author Tahmima Anam’s moving debut novel tells the story of a widowed mother’s fight to keep her son and daughter safe during Bangladesh’s war for independence. This beautiful work celebrates Anam’s love for her homeland. (1/10/08)

The Konkans
By Tony D’Souza (Harcourt, 320 pp., $25)
Blond, ponytailed Peace Corp worker Denise marries an Indian villager because she has fallen in love with his country. They eventually return to the US, creating identity problems for themselves and their children in this resonant series of interconnected stories set in India and Chicago in the 1960s and ’70s. (2/19/08)

The Blue Star
By Tony Earley (Little, Brown & Co, 304 pp., $23.99)
This sequel to “Jim the Boy” continues the story of Jim Glass, now a teenager, who is being lovingly raised by his widowed mother and a trio of uncles in Aliceville, N.C., on the eve of World War II. This novel is a rarity: a good story, simply told, without fuss or flourish. (3/11/08)

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