Themes of identity and loss drive these meaty novels. Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin, a young boy becomes entranced by a ramshackle cottage that a family had disappeared from there 50 years earlier, Marcus seeks answers long buried by time. In The Defectors by Joseph Kanon, a spy. who ruined his brother’s life years ago now asks for help. In Everybody’s Son by Thrity Umriger, an abandoned bi-racial son of a drug-addicted mother enters into foster care and is taken in by David Coleman, a judge from a well-connected family. In Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King, a magical gift transforms the recipient’s like–until curiosity gets the better of her.