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The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III
The Garden of Last Days is set just before 9/11 at the Puma Club for Men in Florida. April is a single mom who is perhaps the club's most popular dancer. She usually has reliable child care, but for just one day, she's brought her daughter to work with her. AJ Carey is one of the club's regulars, but he's reeling from a really bad day where his wife has taken out a restraining order against him because he hit her. Bassam al-Jizani is an Islamic terrorist and religious fanatic who looks forward to bringing death and destruction to the infidels on 9/11, but he comes to the club because he has a weakness for forbidden pleasures. Their hopes, dreams, and weaknesses will all intertwine as they all struggle with their roles in life. Andre Dubus' novel has received positive reviews with the Boston Globe saying, "The Garden of Last Days is storytelling of the finest kind: unforgettable and desperate characters caught up in a plot thundering toward catastrophe. Maybe the end of the novel is rushed, or maybe I think it is because I wanted to read another hundred pages. Take your toddler to a strip club? What were you thinking? Murder thousands of innocents? Kidnap a child? Why on earth do people do the unthinkable? Dubus knows that you may not make sense out of the incomprehensible, but you can make art. He has done just that in this incandescent and absorbing novel."