The House Girl by Tara Conklin
Crystal ball prediction: This will be the book-club book of 2013. Plot notes: Chapters alternate between the present-day story of Lina, a top-notch law firm associate working on a landmark slavery case, and the 1852 tale of Josephine, a slave to an ailing mistress whose art hobby became celebrated posthumously. It's a look at our legal system, art, slavery, and tenacious women. Timeliness: Not only is February Black History Month, but this year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.