Whether it’s via their tone, topic, or tenor, certain works just say “America.” Here are three such titles, suggested by David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American Foundation, in partnership with the Washington Independent Review of Books.
- I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg. A 16-year-old girl enters a mental hospital to conquer her schizophrenia in a 1964 novel called “convincing and emotionally gripping” by the New York Times.
- The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. Gilded-Age Manhattan serves as both a rarefied playground and an emotional prison for its moneyed, hollow inhabitants, chief among them Lily Bart.
- Like a River: A Civil War Novel by Kathy Cannon Wiechman. Two teens — one an underage boy, the other a girl in disguise — fight for the Union and their own futures in this visceral tale written for middle-grade readers.