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It is 1903. Doctor Ravell is a young Harvard educated obstetrician whose reputation for helping others conceive has made him a rising star.He is flattered when a family of illustrious Boston physicians turns to him to treat one of their own members - a lovely opera singer named Erika van Kessler, who has struggled for years to become pregnant.

As his attraction to her increases, and his treatments prove ineffectual, the pressure on this young doctor mounts. Becoming Doctor Ravell's patient will change Ericka's life in ways she never could have imagined, and she has no idea of the lengths to which her husband will go to keep her by his side.

Inspired by the author's family history, the novel is sensual and heart stopping in its bittersweet beauty.

"The Doctor and the Diva," by Adrienne McDonnell, is on the Reserve Shelf at Walla Walla Public Library.

Featured books will be available for the public today. They can also be placed on hold online at wallawallapubliclibrary,org or call the library for assistance at 527-4550. Other books include:

"Skippy Dies," by Paul Murray

Why does Skippy, a 14 year old boy at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doran, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using 10-dimensional string theory?

With a cast of characters that ranges from the hip-hop-loving Eoin "MC Sexecutioner" Flynn to the basketball-playing midget Philip Kilfether - and packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin to bungee jumping to the meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost - "Skippy Dies" is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy and occasional beauty of adolescence and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members.

Nonfiction

"Tomato: a Fresh From the Vine Cookbook," by Lawrence Davis-Hollander

When local tomatoes are in season, they deserve center-stage. Here are 150 recipes - many contributed by celebrity chefs - that makejuicy, fresh tomatoes the stars of your table. Some of the contributing chefs are Rick Bayless, Kitty Morse, Dan Smith and Josie LeBalch.

Lawrence Davis-Hollander founded and directed the Eastern Native Seed Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to seed preservation and the rediscovery of heirloom plants.

"Not Quite Paradise," by Adele Barker

In 2001, centuries after the arrivals and departures of Dutch admirals, Portuguese soldiers, Arab traders and British tea planters, Adele Barker and her son, Noah, came from Tucson, Ariz., to the island.

Settling into its verdant central highlands, they would spend the next year immersing themselves in the customs, cultures and landscapes of Sri Lanka - its elephants, birds and monkeys; its hot curries and sweet mangoes; the cacophony of its markets; the resonant evening chants from its temples. They would also encounter there a world infused with the religious traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and missionary Christianity.

Missing neither the nuances of the peaceful Buddhist pace of life nor the explosive violence of civil war, Barker offers an eye-opening account of the "pearl" of the Indian Ocean, inviting American readers to experience firsthand the vivid beauty and turmoil of a place few have ever visited.

Others

"World and Town," by Gish Jen; "Playing the Game," by Barbara Taylor Bradford; "Afghanistan; Graveyard of Empires," by David Isby; "Colossus," by Michael Hiltzik.

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