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Five die-hard fans of Irish rocker Jack Lukeman form an unlikely friendship after they are trapped in an elevator at a concert.
In a little Irish town like Kenmare, there's no need to worry whether people will discover your secrets. They already have. For Mary, that means being remembered for her tragic losses, even if she'd rather get on with her life. For her cousin Ivan, as close as a brother, the gossip is all about how his wife took the kids and ran off with her new lover. For Mary's friend Penny, it's an old romance that didn't work out quite right, and a current affair with a bottle of vodka. Then Sam Sullivan rents the cottage next door to Mary, and within hours the whole town is talking about the film-star-handsome American. When Sam hurts his back while helping his new neighbor and spends the next week confined to a mattress on her floor, gossip runs rampant. But neither Kenmare nor Mary know about the secrets Sam is so successfully hiding. . . . For Mary's circle of friends, Sam's arrival marks more than one change. And Mary -- whose unlucky history has kept her apart from the crowd much of her life -- has finally found a man with whom she feels she might truly connect. But so long as both are captive to memories they dare not reveal, the past is a barrier that will keep them forever alone. In this powerful novel, Anna McPartlin perfectly captures the drama, the emotion, and the laughter of a small Irish community, for those who fit in -- and those who don't. Apart from the Crowd mixes wit and insight to create an engrossing tale that will keep you reading to the very last page.
When bride-to-be Harri Ryan ends up at the ER with a panic attack on her wedding day, her twin brother, George, jokes that she's the most glamorous patient there. But this is no joke. It's Harri's second try at the wedding, and when she returns to her Dublin apartment, her fiancé, James, has already packed his belongings. Harri doesn't want to lose him, but she doesn't know how to convince James it won't happen a third time.
There's a big life ahead of her. Can she find the courage to live it? Emma is twenty-six -- pretty, intelligent, and happily living with her childhood sweetheart John in a cute little Dublin apartment. Her biggest problem is that her mother won't stop nagging her to get married already. Emma and John feel like the perfect couple, their future alive with possibilities. But out of the blue, a tragedy throws her life into disarray -- and Emma is suddenly, incomprehensibly, alone. As she emerges from grief, Emma has to find a whole new way of living, and her loyal friends rally round in an attempt to help. Clodagh, Emma's lifelong friend, with whom she's shared everything from mud pies to dating disasters. Anne and Richard, more-or-less happily married and debating a move to the country. Emma's brother Noel, the young Catholic priest, finding his own faith tested even as he tries to comfort Emma. Seán, the gorgeous bad boy of a thousand one-night stands, uncomfortably aware of his and Emma's growing connection. Witty, acerbic, and sometimes downright shocking, Emma documents the stories of her friends and her own recovery from grief with a candor that engages the reader from the very first page. With an amazing insight into the power of friendship and a wry, irreverent humor that considers no subject off-limits, talented new Irish writer Anna McPartlin tells a heartwarming story of the courage it takes to move past loss and learn to live.
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