It’s no surprise that Linda Olsson's The Memory of Love (Penguin, Feb.) jumped to the top of my “must-read” list—this terrific author has written two of my favorite books, Astrid & Veronika and Sonata for Miriam. In her latest, we meet Marion, who’s living on the coast of New Zealand and has retreated from life—until she encounters young Ika. As Marion begins to care about, and help this troubled little boy, she finds herself reflecting on the many loves of her past, and attempting to reconcile those memories. We learn of the grandfather who cared for Marion as a small child and her beautiful but troubled mother, among others. Olsson’s eloquent prose offers an intimate, poignant portrait of a woman at midlife who finds her way back, with help from Ika, to a life filled with love. For bibliophiles new to Olsson, be prepared to add three books to your reading list.

Carol Blizzard Dunn, Northwind Book & Fiber, in Spooner, Wis.