Acacia (Anchor, 2004, reprinted 2012) is an excellent choice to suggest to fans of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. (Not the least of the reasons for doing so is that all three books in this trilogy are published and available, the first two in paperback editions.) When Acacia, their homeland, is invaded by their longtime enemy, the Mein, the four children of the royal family of the Akaran dynasty are forced to run for their lives.
Of all of Elinor Lipman’s wonderful novels, my favorite remains The Way Men Act (Washington Square Pr., 1993). Because Lipman adores her characters, it’s impossible for readers not to love them, too. After she returns to the New England college town where she grew up, Melinda LeBlanc works in her cousin’s flower shop, takes up old friendships, and falls in love with a man apparently uninterested in her, all the while trying to get along with her mother and live down a high school reputation as a “bad girl.”