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New books by Jane Hamilton, William Geroux and Graham Swift

"The Excellent Lombards" by Jane Hamilton. Photo Credit: Grand Central

THE EXCELLENT LOMBARDS, by Jane Hamilton. The author of “The Book of Ruth” and “A Map of the World” — both early Oprah Book Club selections — is back with a new novel, her seventh, about a young girl’s coming of age on her family’s Wisconsin apple orchard. The material is close to home: Hamilton lives in Wisconsin and is married to an apple farmer. (Grand Central, $26)

THE MATHEWS MEN: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats, by William Geroux. When German U-boats preyed on American merchant ships during World War II, it fell to the U.S. Merchant Marine, not a branch of the military, to protect them. This book looks at several families in Mathews County, Virginia, the unsung heroes of this forgotten theater of the war. (Viking, $28)

MOTHERING SUNDAY, by Graham Swift. This glorious novella (just 177 pages) is set on a single day in March 1924, when an English maid has one last assignation with the heir of a neighboring estate. The Booker-Prize winning author imbues this scenario with significance, as we see how young Jane — alert to all the nuances of class, love and sex — will one day transform into a famous author. (Knopf, $22.95)

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