As it so happens, our favorite fiction of February involves many a fractured family, but also a fascinating biographical novel that tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (and the famous film that followed).
See all of our literature and fiction picks, or browse the rest of the Best Books of the Month.
Valeria Luiselli does a deft job of blending the personal and the political in this unusual and illuminating road trip read that finds a naive New York family bound for the U.S.--Mexico border. When the family's children go missing, the ills of a broken immigration system are felt first-hand.
In The Last Romantics, a 102-year-old poet reminisces about a time in her childhood that she refers to as "the Pause," when her mother succumbed to depression and she and her siblings were left to fend for themselves. What follows is a clever character study, and a moving portrait of a fragile but loving family.
In this fascinating novel, inspired by real events, L. Frank Baum's widowed wife, Maud, is determined to ensure that MGM does The Wonderful Wizard of Oz justice; this involves shielding its ingénue, Judy Garland, from bullying studio bosses, and an overbearing stage mom.
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