(Viking; 211 pages; $19.95) This first novel by April Stevens is about the Iris family in a nameless Connecticut hamlet. Augusta Iris is a sad woman, who, abandoned by her husband, can't bear the thought of him living without her. The story is told from alternating points of view, between Augusta and her two sons who unsuccessfully try to shake their mother's sadness. Ultimately, they manage to get on with their lives, thanks to an outsider. TIME book reviewer Ginia Bellafante calls the book an "intelligent and moving first novel" with successful portrayals of characters who "seem withered by their inability to achieve the closeness they yearn for."