Thomas Quicksilver, known to his classmates as "Pucker," has always been an outsider. His crazy mother, the secret of his family's strange origins, and above all, the terrible scars on his face from a childhood fire--these things have kept Thomas isolated and alone. <P><P> Now, at seventeen, a quest to save his dying mother takes Thomas back to his birthplace, an alternate world called Isaura from which he and his mother were exiled years earlier. In Isaura, Thomas's scars will be magically healed. He will fall in love for the first time. And he will face a devastating, impossible choice. <P> In shimmering prose, Melanie Gideon's new novel takes readers from the lonely places in a boy's soul to a miraculous world of infinite possibility and frightening temptation.
Have you ever sat across the breakfast table from your husband and wondered, "How did I get here?" Do the things that once made you complete-including your husband-now feel like a burden? Is the life you are leading an unrecognizable version of the one you imagined for yourself not so very long ago? Welcome to the world of Melanie Gideon. THE SLIPPERY YEAR chronicles a year in which Gideon confronts both the fantasies of her receding youth and the realities of midlife with a husband and a child and a dog (one of whom runs away). Marriage changes passion, Gideon confides; suddenly you're in bed with a relative (in Gideon's case, a relative with a penchant for buying residential vehicles online.) She reflects on the exigencies of family life-the need for a household catastrophe plan, the fainting spell occasioned by the departure of her nine year old son for camp. With wit, tenderness, and unsparing honesty, Gideon captures that moment in our lives when the magic starts to ebb, and when the things you have loved forever begin to fall away for the first time. It is the story of a woman's quest, in the face of all the big questions ("What's this loose skin around my knees? I don't look as old as she does, do I?") to reignite passion, beauty and mystery, and discover if 'happily ever after' is a possibility after all.
The author of the critically acclaimed Wife 22 has written a captivating novel about a love that transcends time--perfect for readers of The Time Traveler's Wife, Time and Again, and the novels of Alice Hoffman. San Francisco, 1975. A single mother, Lux Lysander is overwhelmed, underpaid, and living on the edge of an emotional precipice. When her adored five-year-old son goes away to visit his grandparents, Lux takes a solo trip to Sonoma Valley--a chance to both lose herself and find herself again. Awakened at midnight, Lux steps outside to see a fog settled over the Sonoma landscape. Wandering toward a point of light in the distance, she emerges into a meadow on a sunny day. There she meets a group of people whose sweetly simple clothing, speech, and manners almost make them seem as if they are from another time. And then she realizes they are. Lux has stumbled upon an idyllic community cut off not only from the rest of the world but from time itself. The residents of Greengage tell a stunned and disoriented Lux that they've somehow been marooned in the early twentieth century. Now that she has inexplicably stepped into the past, it is not long before Lux is drawn in by its peace and beauty. Unlike the people of Greengage, Lux discovers that she is able to come and go. And over the years, Lux finds herself increasingly torn between her two lives. Her beloved son is very much a child of the modern world, but she feels continually pulled back to the only place she has ever truly felt at home. A gorgeous, original, and deeply moving novel about love and longing and the power that time holds over all of us, Valley of the Moon is unforgettable.Advance praise for Valley of the Moon"Magical, cinematic . . . Valley of the Moon is breathlessly romantic and alive with the love of language."--Sarah Addison Allen"An enjoyable magic carpet ride . . . Two narrators, separated by nearly a century, tell a tale of old-time charm and contemporary agita."--Kirkus Reviews "Captivating . . . reminiscent of Brigadoon."--Booklist Praise for The Slippery Year "A love song to her family and to life . . . One of the happiest books to cross our paths in a very long time."--San Francisco Chronicle "Gideon explores her pain, doubt, regret, and confusion as a wife and mother at midlife with great poise and insight and, ultimately, a gentle aura of hope."--Elle "[A] perfect balance of gorgeous writing, quirky wit, and lovable impertinences."--Elinor Lipman "Like all the best books, The Slippery Year reminds us that we are not alone. . . . Truly the one thing wrong with this book is that it had to end."--Allison Pearson Praise for Wife 22 "Poignant and fresh."--People "Playful but incisive."--NPR "Delightful . . . compulsively readable."--Gretchen Rubin "I loved it, loved it, loved it. It's so funny and true and sad and real and clever . . . also so hopeful and wise and ultimately heartwarming."--Marian Keyes "Superb . . . Gideon's work is an honest assessment of a woman's struggle to reconcile herself with her desires and responsibilities. . . . Fully formed supporting characters and a nuanced emotional story line make Gideon's [novel] shimmer."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)From the Hardcover edition.
For fans of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary and Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.Maybe it was those extra five pounds I'd gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other. But when the anonymous online study called "Marriage in the 21st Century" showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn't long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101). And, just like that, I found myself answering questions. 7. Sometimes I tell him he's snoring when he's not snoring so he'll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself. 61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man's children. 67. To not want what you don't have. What you can't have. What you shouldn't have. 32. That if we weren't careful, it was possible to forget one another. Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor's appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions. But these days, I'm also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I'll have to make a decision--one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I'm too busy answering questions. As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.BONUS: This edition includes a Wife 22 discussion guide.
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