El Paso by Winston Groom (Forrest Gump) is an “expansive, rich novel” (Publishers Weekly) set in the 1916 Mexican revolution. When an American family is kidnapped by Poncho Villa’s men, a railway tycoon leads a band of hired cowboys on a rescue mission. As in Doctorow’s Ragtime, historical characters rub shoulders with fictional in this “engaging epic” (Booklist). In Mercury by Margot Livesey, marital discontent turns to crisis, when a wife becomes obsessed with a young thoroughbred at the stable where she is working. A “haunting inquiry” into marriage and human nature” (Jennifer Egan). In Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks, a newly minted single dad must raise his daughter on his own.