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For readers of Rules of Civility and The Marriage Plot, Joanna Hershon's A Dual Inheritance is an engrossing novel of passion, friendship, betrayal, and class--and their reverberations across generations. Autumn 1962: Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley meet in their final year at Harvard. Ed is far removed from Hugh's privileged upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, yet his drive and ambition outpace Hugh's ambivalence about his own life. These two young men form an unlikely friendship, bolstered by a fierce shared desire to transcend their circumstances. But in just a few short years, not only do their paths diverge--one rising on Wall Street, the other becoming a kind of global humanitarian--but their friendship ends abruptly, with only one of them understanding why. Can a friendship define your view of the world? Spanning from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the present-day stock market collapse, with locations as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen, and Fishers Island, A Dual Inheritance asks this question, as it follows not only these two men, but the complicated women in their vastly different lives. And as Ed and Hugh grow farther and farther apart, they remain uniquely--even surprisingly--connected. Advance praise for A Dual Inheritance "Sharply observed and masterfully constructed, Hershon's fourth novel is her strongest yet, a deft and assured examination of ambition, envy, longing, and kinship."--Booklist (starred review) "Hershon deftly explores how individuals often sabotage their chances for happiness. . . . The characters in this novel are fully realized, the story moves along at a fast pace, and the author is well informed about her subject. Highly recommended."--Library Journal (starred review) "[A] searing novel about class, ethnicity, and love . . . The intensely detailed love triangle is reminiscent of an East Coast elite answer to the Midwestern trio of Freedom, but with mere keen observation in place of that other novel's sweeping moral pronouncements. Hershon explores the ways we can, and can't, escape our backgrounds."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"A Dual Inheritance is a big, captivating, multigenerational sweep of a romance, ranging from Africa to China to New England's blue-blooded enclaves. With deftness and swagger, Joanna Hershon spins the intertwining of two Harvard men's lives into a searching exploration of class and destiny in late-twentieth-century America."--Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad"Joanna Hershon has written a vivid, elegant novel that deftly roams the decades and the globe in telling a story about friendship, family, and the murky area in between. A Dual Inheritance is a rich and satisfying read."--Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements "Simultaneously a riveting story of two very different families and a portrait of the United States through the boom and bust decades . . . Think of Anne Tyler and Tom Wolfe, both. This marvelous novel is a mix of heartache and history. I just couldn't stop reading, and when it was over I felt sad the experience had ended."--Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in SilverFrom the Hardcover edition.
A new novel by the author of "Swimming," this elegant story describes one woman's quest for identity as she leaves Germany in the mid-19th century and makes a new life in the wild and untamed American frontier.
Critics and readers alike hailedSwimming, Joanna Hershon's fiction debut. "Compelling," said theWashington Post, whileVanity FaircalledSwimminga "page-turning premiere. " Now Hershon brings us her anticipated second novel, in which she vividly explores the secrets of an American family. The Outside of Augustis a mesmerizing, beautifully written story that combs the emotional landscape of its characters with power and precision. For as long as Alice Green can remember, her elusive mother, Charlotte, has moved in and out of family life--disappearing relentlessly and often without explanation. Despite the exotic clutter of souvenirs that detail Charlotte's international travels, the Green's home becomes progressively hollow, as nothing but Charlotte can fill the empty spaces. With their mother's tenuous presence, and their tender but distant father working long hours, Alice and her brother, August, react in different ways. While seeking constant affection from other women, August relies on an unspoken bond with Charlotte that allows him a certain freedom. But Alice feels no such security and grows increasingly unmoored, always in search of ways to keep her mother at home. When, years later, her unfettered brother becomes strangely remote, Alice journeys to find him in an isolated beach town. It is there that a deeply buried secret will have to unravel in order for Alice to come to terms with her fractured family and her place within it--and learn to let go of a mother she perhaps never really knew.
When Vivian Silver married Jeb Wheeler, their hand-built house and swimming pond on acres of untamed New Hampshire land became the family's universe. Lila, their youngest, was consumed with love for her older brothers Aaron and Jack, and blind to the simmering tension between them. Into this scene glides Aaron's girlfriend, Suzanne, whose visit will unleash the forces of rage between them, compelling one brother to commit an act against the other that could never be taken back. A decade later Lila is trying to piece together what happened that fateful weekend and recover the things lost down by the water . . . before she can at last let them go.
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