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IN THE TURBULENT WORLD OF VICTORIAN ENGLAND, A MAID, MISTRESS, AND MASTER ARE DRAWN INTO A FATEFUL LOVE TRIANGLE.
On the night of the Luftwaffe's devastating bombing of Coventry, two women traverse the city and transform their hearts. Helen Humphreys draws on history to delve into the lives torn asunder by the German attack of November 14, 1940. Harriet, a widow from World War I, is atop Coventry Cathedral, part of the nightly watch, when first the factories and then the church itself are set on fire. In the ensuing chaos she bonds with a young man, very much like the husband she lost, who relies on her to find the way back to his home where he left his mother. On their journey through a hell of burning shops and collapsed homes, Harriet awakens to emotions she had long put aside. At home, the youth's mother awaits his arrival and rethinks the life that has brought her to this city and her life raising her son alone. Ultimately, together these two women must face a world as immeasurably changed as their own selves.
"The Evening Chorus serenades people brutally marked by war, yet enduring to live -- and relish -- the tiny pleasures of another day. With her trademark prose -- exquisitely limpid -- Humphreys convinces us of the birdlike strength of the powerless." -- Emma Donoghue Downed during his first mission, James Hunter is taken captive as a German POW. To bide the time, he studies a nest of redstarts at the edge of camp. Some prisoners plot escape; some are shot. And then, one day, James is called to the Kommandant's office. Meanwhile, back home, James's new wife, Rose, is on her own, free in a way she has never known. Then, James's sister, Enid, loses everything during the Blitz and must seek shelter with Rose. In a cottage near Ashdown forest, the two women jealously guard secrets, but form a surprising friendship. Each of these characters will find unexpected freedom amid war's privations and discover confinements that come with peace. The Evening Chorus is a beautiful, astonishing examination of love, loss, escape, and the ways in which the intrusions of the natural world can save us. "The Evening Chorus sparkles." --Jo Baker "A poised, lyrical novel about the griefs of war, written with poetic intensity of observation." --Helen Dunmore "This riveting novel is a song. Listen." --Richard Bausch www.hhumphreys.com
A groundbreaking, genre-bending new work from one of Canada's most respected writers. In its long history, the River Thames has frozen solid forty times. These are the stories of that frozen river. And so opens one of the most breathtaking and original works being published this season. The Frozen Thamescontains forty vignettes based on events that actually took place each time the river froze between 1142 and 1895. Like a photograph captures a moment, etching it forever on the consciousness, so does Humphreys' achingly beautiful prose. She deftly draws us into these intimate moments, transporting us through time so that we believe ourselves observers of the events portrayed. Whether it's Queen Matilda trying to escape her besieged castle in a snowstorm, or lovers meeting on the frozen river in the plague years; whether it's a simple farmer persuading his oxen the ice is safe, or Queen Bess discovering the rare privacy afforded by the ice-covered Thames, the moments are fleeting and transformative for the characters -- and for us, too. Stunningly designed and illustrated throughout with full-colour period art,The Frozen Thamesis a triumph. From the Hardcover edition.
Leaving London to grow food for the war effort, Gwen discovers a mysterious lost garden and the story of a love that becomes her own. This word-perfect, heartbreaking novel is set in early 1941 in Britain when the war seems endless and, perhaps, hopeless. London is on fire from the Blitz, and a young woman gardener named Gwen Davis flees from the burning city for the Devon countryside. She has volunteered for the Land Army, and is to be in charge of a group of young girls who will be trained to plant food crops on an old country estate where the gardens have fallen into ruin. Also on the estate, waiting to be posted, is a regiment of Canadian soldiers. For three months, the young women and men will form attachments, living in a temporary rural escape. No one will be more changed by the stay than Gwen. She will inspire the girls to restore the estate gardens, fall in love with a soldier, find her first deep friendship, and bring a lost garden, created for a great love, back to life. While doing so, she will finally come to know herself and a life worth living. Reading group guide included.
"A perspective on love and loss [that] will haunt you for days."--Entertainment Weekly Alice's boyfriend abandons her dog, which joins a feral pack. Every evening, Alice and five others gather at the forest's edge, trying to call their dogs back. Most have similar tales of jealousy or vengeance enacted upon them through their dogs: Jamie is rebelling against his stepfather; Lily, who has suffered brain damage, is considered irresponsible. Becoming more deeply involved, Alice moves out to a cabin on land owned by Malcolm, one of the group, whose motives in having her there are suspicious. As she falls in love with the wildlife biologist whose wolf has gained lead of the pack, she feels the tug between love's wild power and her desire to domesticate it. After a tragic accident, all members of the group must rethink their lives and find their places in an untamed world. Wild Dogs strips away the conventions of love and passion to reveal deeper, richer truths. Reading group guide included.
A haunting story of love and wildness; a group of people try to call their dogs back from a pack in the forest.
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