1970s -- fiction

Lamb in Love

By Carrie Brown

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Lamb in Love is set in a rural English village the year of the Apollo moon landing and tells of two people surprised, halfway through their lives by...what? passion? desire? love? They haven't the experience to quite identify it. Norris and Vida have known each other forever. Neither has had any idea how to go about falling in love. Vida Stephen has been nanny for twenty years to the mentally handicapped son of a rich American widower. Every day for most of her life, she nods to Norris Lamb, the postmaster, when calling for her mail. Sometimes Norris offers pretty stamps to the boy. A fussy, stamp-collecting bachelor and church organist, Norris has fallen suddenly, amazingly, and secretly in love with Vida.
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An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

By P.D. James

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Handsome Cambridge dropout Mark Callender died hanging by the neck with a faint trace of lipstick on his mouth. When the official verdict is suicide, his wealthy father hires fledgling private investigator Cordelia Gray to find out what led him to self-destruction. What she discovers instead is a twisting trail of secrets and sins, and the strong scent of murder.
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Beach Boy

By Ardashir Vakil

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"Eight-year-old Cyrus Readymoney introduces us to his magical universe of movies and mischief; tennis tournaments and truant afternoons; sex and samosas; the sea and the shore. Exploring Bombay in the early 1970s, Cyrus strays from his mostly absent parents, members of the Parsi elite, into the complex world of his neighbors, including a mysterious maharani and her seductive adopted daughter. In his travels, he experiences the splendor of Hindi films and delights in all manner of mouthwatering food.

"But in the course of his wanderings, Cyrus finds himself caught between the innocence and insouciance of his youth and the responsibility and worry that await him in adulthood. When his parents' marriage falls apart and his family is shattered, Cyrus is forced out of his carefree existence into a more severe reality. With an acute ear for the nuances of Indian English and a comic appreciation of a boy's life, Ardashir Vakil creates an extraordinarily vivid tableau of India while at the same time drawing a rich portrait of adolescence and its appetites."

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Monkey Bridge

By Lan Cao

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Mai Nguyen, a young Vietnamese woman, comes of age in America after leaving Saigon in 1975, while her mother has difficulty adjusting to life in their new country, in a moving novel filled with Vietnamese lore.

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Big Girls Don't Cry

By Fay Weldon

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A satiric novel of four women, unhappy with their lives, who band together to form a feminist publishing house, and learn to wield corporate power as well as the best of the men.
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My Father's Geisha

By James Gordon Bennett

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"This fresh, poignant first novel features two siblings who will capture readers's hearts in the manner of Salinger's Franny and Zooey. Army brats Teddy and Cora are constantly on the move from base to base with their warring parents. With their edgy intelligence and precocious charm, this duo jumps off the page and pulls readers into their hearts."

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Madame

By Antoni Libera

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"Madame tells the story of a charmingly self-absorbed teenager as he pursues sexual and intellectual maturity-and the woman of his dreams-in Communist-dominated Warsaw of the early '70s. His French teacher, 'Madame,' is the object of both his affections and aspirations as news of the Cultural Revolution in the West seeps through the Communist walls. Libera paces his exuberant young hero's fulminations, fantasies, and discoveries beautifully, building a remarkably subtle characterization of a free mind in a repressive culture."

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Big Stone Gap

By Adriana Trigiani

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It's 1978, and 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan is about to discover a skeleton in her own family's tidy closet that will blow the lid right off her quiet, uneventful life. This is the first of a trilogy about people in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

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Resident Aliens

By Joseph Ashby Porter

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"In the mid-seventies three women and a man from beyond their national borders find themselves marooned in Charlottesville, Virginia. Resident Aliens culminates in a festive weekend of comical blunders, shifting allegiances, and maturing love."

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A Town Where the Lights Are Blue

By William Saffell

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"The 'town' is Yokohama. John Sky is a Vietnam War veteran who takes up residence there during the early 1970s. Finding work playing piano in a small jazz club, he immerses himself in the seductive lifestyle of the water business, a modern version of the floating world--a traditional metaphor for life's transient nature. This is an after-hours world inhabited by the people who work in Japan's bars and nightspots. While wandering the streets of this intriguing and sometimes dangerous landscape, Sky meets two women who will change his life forever: Sayoko, a young cabaret hostess whose ethereal beauty and mercurial mood shifts mask a tragic secret, and Miyako, an aging water business woman who says as much with silence as with words."
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