With dark poetry and domestic acuity, the author of Homework shows how families pull together, form themselves anew, and occasionally fly apart at the seams. Ranging from Scotland to America to Italy--and to a novel-within-a-novel--Criminals brilliantly captures the stories of complicated, sympathetic people who try to do right but turn somehow wrong. LG Alternate.
When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she's found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant. To Gemma's delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma's charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma's standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma's biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she's never dreamed. Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and '60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy-a captivating homage to Charlotte BrontË's Jane Eyre-is a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.
It seems like mutual good luck for Abigail Taylor and Dara MacLeod when they meet at university and, despite their differences, become fast friends. Years later they remain inseparable: Abigail, the actress, allegedly immune to romance, and Dara, a therapist, throwing herself into relationships with frightening intensity. Now both believe they've found "true love." But luck seems to run out when Dara moves into Abigail's downstairs apartment. Suddenly both their friendship and their relationships are in peril, for tragedy is waiting to strike the house on Fortune Street. Told through four ingeniously interlocking narratives, Margot Livesey's The House on Fortune Street is a provocative tale of lives shaped equally by chance and choice.
Abigail and Dara are friends despite their differences. They keep their friendship in spite of different careers. Later they find their love and settle in life. But trouble menaces their closeness when Dara moves into Abigail's apartment.
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury--a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past--arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.Mercury's owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harbored, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv's ambitions and his own myopia.At once a tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart, Mercury is a riveting tour de force that showcases this "searingly intelligent writer at the height of her powers" (Jennifer Egan).
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)In The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot re-creates her own childhood through the story of the wild, gifted Maggie Tulliver and her spoiled, selfish brother. Though tragic in its outcome, this tenderly comic novel combines vivid vignettes of family life with a magnificent portrait of the heroine and an acute critique of Victorian sexual politics. Eliot had no peer when it came to finding the drama at the heart of normal lives lived in tandem with the gigantic rhythms of nature itself, and in The Mill on the Floss she shows us once again how thoroughly the art of fiction can satisfy our deepest mental and emotional cravings.From the Hardcover edition.
Following the acclaimed Criminals comes a spellbinding new novel that confirms Margot Livesey's place "right up there," as Liz Smith wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "in the realm of P. D. James and the esteemed Patricia Highsmith."What if -- by stroke of fortune -- you could start afresh, could wipe away that catastrophic blunder in your past? And to what lengths would you go to establish that in fact you'd done nothing wrong at all? After an accident robs Hazel of three years' worth of memory, just such an opportunity is granted to Jonathan, undone by his betrayal of this woman, whom he professes to love above all. While he begins to rewrite their history, two other misfits -- an American sojourner and a luckless English actress -- knock about London, each of them haunted by indelible memories they would much rather forget. Eventually their hopes of redemption draw them toward Jonathan's house, where Hazel has become a virtual prisoner . . .Replete with compelling characters and extravagantly plotted, The Missing World weaves together these separate quests for love and truth in a manner both thrilling and, ultimately, revealing about our imperfect lives.
A riveting, resonant story that captures perfectly the emotional rhythms of suburban Los Angeles in the 60s and early 70s. Tom and Nedith have been married for thirty years, but their union is rooted firmly in the mores of the 1950s: he works hard as an engineer, she stays home; neither is happy. Meanwhile, their son Pete has recently split from hs wife, Killian, after less than a year of marriage. Their neighbour, Cynny, sees herself as reasonably happy in her marriage to Jim -- until she has an eye-opening conversation with one of her girlfriends, and begins to stray. Cynny's friend Nancy -- who knows she's unhappy in her marriage -- determines to go looking for fulfilment but stumbles into something so unexpected, it may make everyone in the community reconsider the choices they've made. The novel all takes place one stormy L.A. weekend, as a literal fog of unrest blows into town and alters these marriages forever. As a vivid distillation of its time and place, Sudden Rain is a spellbinding achievement and an exciting discovery.
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