Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty
Author: Ramona Ausubel
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2016-06-14
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780698410855

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"A timely, sophisticated tale [that] explores what happens when a charmed life loses its luster.” –O Magazine From the award-winning author of the new collection Awayland, an imaginative novel about a wealthy New England family in the 1960s and '70s that suddenly loses its fortune—and its bearings. An NPR Best Book of the Year Labor Day, 1976, Martha's Vineyard. Summering at the family beach house along this moneyed coast of New England, Fern and Edgar—married with three children—are happily preparing for a family birthday celebration when they learn that the unimaginable has occurred: There is no more money. More specifically, there's no more money in the estate of Fern's recently deceased parents, which, as the sole source of Fern and Edgar's income, had allowed them to live this beautiful, comfortable life despite their professed anti-money ideals. Quickly, the once-charmed family unravels. In distress and confusion, Fern and Edgar are each tempted away on separate adventures: she on a road trip with a stranger, he on an ill-advised sailing voyage with another woman. The three children are left for days with no guardian whatsoever, in an improvised Neverland helmed by the tender, witty, and resourceful Cricket, age nine. Brimming with humanity and wisdom, humor and bite, and imbued with both the whimsical and the profound, Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty is a story of American wealth, class, family, and mobility, approached by award-winner Ramona Ausubel with a breadth of imagination and understanding that is fresh, surprising, and exciting.

No One is Here Except All of Us

No One is Here Except All of Us
Author: Ramona Ausubel
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 416
Release: 2012-02-02
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781101559826

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From the award-winning author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and the new story collection, Awayland. In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years- across oceans, deserts, and mountains-but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world: deny any relationship with the known and start over from scratch. Destiny is unwritten. Time and history are forgotten. Jobs, husbands, a child, are reassigned. And for years, there is boundless hope. But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it, and soon our narrator-the girl, grown into a young mother-must flee her village, move from one world to the next, to find her husband and save her children, and propel them toward a real and hopeful future. A beguiling, imaginative, inspiring story about the bigness of being alive as an individual, as a member of a tribe, and as a participant in history, No One Is Here Except All Of Us explores how we use storytelling to survive and shape our own truths. It marks the arrival of a major new literary talent.

The Children

The Children
Author: Ann Leary
Publsiher: St. Martin's Press
Total Pages: 256
Release: 2016-05-24
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781466844025

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From New York Times bestselling author Ann Leary comes the captivating story of a wealthy, but unconventional New England family, told from the perspective of a reclusive 29-year-old who has a secret (and famous) life on the Internet. Charlotte Maynard rarely leaves her mother’s home, the sprawling Connecticut lake house that belonged to her late stepfather, Whit Whitman, and the generations of Whitmans before him. While Charlotte and her sister, Sally, grew up at “Lakeside,” their stepbrothers, Spin and Perry, were welcomed as weekend guests. Now the grown boys own the estate, which Joan occupies by their grace—and a provision in the family trust. When Spin, the youngest and favorite of all the children, brings his fiancé home for the summer, the entire family is intrigued. The beautiful and accomplished Laurel Atwood breathes new life into this often comically rarefied world. But as the wedding draws near, and flaws surface in the family’s polite veneer, an array of simmering resentments and unfortunate truths is exposed. With remarkable wit and insight, Ann Leary pulls back the curtain on one blended family, as they are forced to grapple with the assets and liabilities – both material and psychological – left behind by their wonderfully flawed patriarch.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Memoirs of a Polar Bear
Author: Yoko Tawada
Publsiher: New Directions Publishing
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2016-11-08
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780811225793

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The Memoirs of a Polar Bear stars three generations of talented writers and performers—who happen to be polar bears The Memoirs of a Polar Bear has in spades what Rivka Galchen hailed in the New Yorker as “Yoko Tawada’s magnificent strangeness”—Tawada is an author like no other. Three generations (grandmother, mother, son) of polar bears are famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany: they are polar bears who move in human society, stars of the ring and of the literary world. In chapter one, the grandmother matriarch in the Soviet Union accidentally writes a bestselling autobiography. In chapter two, Tosca, her daughter (born in Canada, where her mother had emigrated) moves to the DDR and takes a job in the circus. Her son—the last of their line—is Knut, born in chapter three in a Leipzig zoo but raised by a human keeper in relatively happy circumstances in the Berlin zoo, until his keeper, Matthias, is taken away... Happy or sad, each bear writes a story, enjoying both celebrity and “the intimacy of being alone with my pen.”

Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons
Author: Claire Fuller
Publsiher: House of Anansi
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2017-01-28
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781487002169

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From Desmond Elliot Prize winner Claire Fuller comes a family mystery about a woman’s disappearance and her daughter’s search for answers. In this spine-tingling tale Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but she never sends them. Instead she hides them within the thousands of books her husband has collected. After she writes her final letter, Ingrid disappears. Twelve years later, her adult daughter, Flora comes home to look after her injured father. Secretly, Flora has never believed her mother is dead, and she starts asking questions, without realizing that the answers she’s looking for are hidden in the books that surround her.

A Thousand and One Nights

A Thousand and One Nights
Author: Lara Tupper
Publsiher: Untreed Reads
Total Pages: 150
Release: 2014-06-19
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781611877069

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Elle.com described this debut novel as “an alternately hilarious and poignant look at the unsettled state of one woman trying to make it outside the socially sanctioned college-office-marriage trajectory.” Karla, 22, is thrilled to be hired as an entertainer on the Sound of Music cruise ship—where the rum punch is 80 percent Kool-Aid, the ice sculptures are plastic, and her "fake it till you make it" M.O. seems adventuresome. Karla is less thrilled when new beau Jack suggests they form a singing duo on land, but by now false enthusiasm has become second nature. They embark on a not-as-glamorous-as-it-should-be career performing in the luxury hotel bars of the Middle East and China. After a thousand and one nights on the road, Karla and Jack find themselves struggling to keep their act—both personal and professional—together. “Both an off-kilter take on the conventional coming-of-age tale and a sly commentary on the underbelly of celebrity culture, this truly original book is basically uncategorizable—blissfully so.” - Elle.com

Gather the Daughters

Gather the Daughters
Author: Jennie Melamed
Publsiher: Little, Brown
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2017-07-25
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780316463676

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Never Let Me Go meets The Giver in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems. Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers -- chosen male descendants of the original ten -- are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires. The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die. But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly -- they fight over food and shelter, free of their fathers' hands and their mothers' despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others. Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing. Gather the Daughters is a smoldering debut; dark and energetic, compulsively readable, Melamed's novel announces her as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.

The Long Answer

The Long Answer
Author: Anna Hogeland
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2022-06-21
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780593418130

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A young woman gathers intimate stories about pregnancy, motherhood, and the nature of female relationships, in this profound and provocative novel. How do women directly impact one another with the personal secrets they share? Anna, a writer who is pregnant with her first child, explores this question when she finds that she is a magnet for the private, tender stories of the women around her—strangers and family alike. In some cases, these stories take the place of more difficult conversations. When Anna’s sister, Margot, calls to say she’s lost a pregnancy no one knew she was carrying, Margot winds up telling a riveting story about a friend and what she has been going through. And when Anna’s own pursuit of motherhood upends her life, the stories become a guiding light to help her tell her own. “I needed stories like this now. I needed them like I needed water and salt, to tell me what was possible in the course of a life after the life you’d planned dies inside you.” Incisively written and deeply empathetic, The Long Answer lays open emotional dynamics around female friendship, sisterhood, and grief, fueled by women’s shared experiences of pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, and infertility. These stories, so intensely intimate, feel like they may be shared just this once and never again, and are relayed by the narrator in reserved, transluscent prose.

The Miracle on Monhegan Island A Novel

The Miracle on Monhegan Island  A Novel
Author: Elizabeth Kelly
Publsiher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 352
Release: 2016-05-10
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781631491801

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Back with another "tragicomic romp" (O, the Oprah Magazine), the award-winning author of The Last Summer of the Camperdowns brings her sparkling wit and big-hearted touch to Maine's Monhegan Island. When Spark—the rakish prodigal son—returns unannounced to the dilapidated family home, his arrival launches an unforgettable summer on Monhegan Island. During his absence, his gentle brother and shrewd, fork-tongued father, Pastor Ragnar, have been caring for Spark’s son, Hally. A temperamental adolescent emboldened by tales of his father’s mischief, Hally is careening through an identity crisis when he stuns his family by claiming to have had a spiritual vision. Though Spark is permanently dubious, Pastor Ragnar pounces on the chance to revitalize his flagging church. Hally is shoved into the spotlight and, in the frenzy that follows, this fragile family is pushed to the brink. Narrated in larger-than-life, crackling prose by one charismatic shih tzu, The Miracle on Monhegan Island is another "exquisite and occasionally uproarious" (Elizabeth Egan) must-read summer blockbuster from Elizabeth Kelly.

Paper is White

Paper is White
Author: Hilary Zaid
Publsiher: Bywater Books
Total Pages: 318
Release: 2018-02-19
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781612941141

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When oral historian Ellen Margolis and her girlfriend decide to get married, Ellen realizes that she can’t go through with a wedding until she tells her grandmother. There’s only one problem: her grandmother is dead. As the two young women beat their own early path toward marriage equality, Ellen’s longing to plumb that voluminous silence draws her into a clandestine entanglement with a wily Holocaust survivor—a woman with more to hide than tell—and a secret search for buried history. If there is to be a wedding Ellen must decide: How much do you need to share to be true to the one you love? Set in ebullient, 1990s Dot-com era San Francisco, Paper is White is a novel about the gravitational pull of the past and the words we must find to make ourselves whole.

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover
Author: Michael Andreasen
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 240
Release: 2018-02-27
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781101986622

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An astonishing fiction debut from a UC Irvine MFA graduate and recent contributor to The New Yorker. Bewitching and playful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover explores hope, love, and loss across a series of surreal landscapes and wild metamorphoses. Just because Jenny was born without a head doesn't mean she isn't still annoying to her older brother, and just because the Man of the Future's carefully planned extramarital affair ends in alien abduction and network fame doesn't mean he can't still pine for his absent wife. Romping through the fantastic with big-hearted ease, these stories cut to the core of what it means to navigate family, faith, and longing, whether in the form of a lovesick kraken slowly dragging a ship of sailors into the sea, a small town euthanizing its grandfathers in a time-honored ritual, or a third-grade field trip learning that time travel is even more wondrous--and more perilous--than they might imagine. Andreasen's stories are simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds that convey our common yearning for connection and understanding. With a captivating new voice from an incredible author, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human.

The Necklace

The Necklace
Author: Claire McMillan
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2017-07-04
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781501165061

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In this “glittering, Gatsby-esque” (Publishers Weekly) novel, two generations of Quincy women—a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and a young lawyer—are bound by a spectacular and mysterious Indian necklace. Always the black sheep of the tight-knit Quincy clan, Nell is cautious when she’s summoned to the elegantly shabby family manor after her great-aunt Loulou’s death. A cold reception from the family grows chillier when they learn Loulou has left Nell a fantastically valuable heirloom: an ornate necklace from India that Nell finds stashed in a Crown Royal whiskey bag in the back of a dresser. As predatory relatives circle and art experts begin to question the necklace’s provenance, Nell turns to the only person she thinks she can trust—the attractive and ambitious estate lawyer who definitely is not part of the old-money crowd. More than just a piece of jewelry, the necklace links Nell to a long-buried family secret involving Ambrose Quincy, who brought the necklace home from India in the 1920s as a dramatic gift for May, the woman he intended to marry. Upon his return, he discovered that May had married his brother Ethan, the “good” Quincy, devoted to their father. As a gesture of friendship, Ambrose gave May the necklace anyway. Crisp as a gin martini, fresh as a twist of lime, The Necklace is the charming and intoxicating story “written with wit, compassion, and a meticulous attention to period and cultural detail” (Kirkus Reviews) of long-simmering family resentments and a young woman who inherits a secret much more valuable than a legendary necklace.

Mothers and Daughters

Mothers and Daughters
Author: Erica James
Publsiher: HarperCollins UK
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2022-03-17
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780008413729

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A sweeping family drama of old secrets and new beginnings... ‘A satisfying treat’ Adele Parks, Platinum ‘A compelling family drama’ Sarah Morgan ‘Wise and warm with plenty of twists and turns’ Rachel Hore ‘Emotional and uplifting’ Veronica Henry ‘Captivating and vivid’ Miranda Dickinson

The Yellow Bird Sings

The Yellow Bird Sings
Author: Jennifer Rosner
Publsiher: Flatiron Books
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2020-03-03
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9781250179777

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National Jewish Book Award Finalist "Rosner’s exquisite, heart-rending debut novel is proof that there’s always going to be room for another story about World War II....This is an absolutely beautiful and necessary novel, full of heartbreak but also hope, about the bond between mother and daughter, and the sacrifices made for love." —The New York Times In Poland, as World War II rages, a mother hides with her young daughter, a musical prodigy whose slightest sound may cost them their lives. As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden: The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom. In this make-believe world, Róza can shield Shira from the horrors that surround them. But the day comes when their haven is no longer safe, and Róza must make an impossible choice: whether to keep Shira by her side or give her the chance to survive apart. Inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II, Jennifer Rosner’s debut is a breathtaking novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and a daughter. Beautiful and riveting, The Yellow Bird Sings is a testament to the triumph of hope—a whispered story, a bird’s song—in even the darkest of times.

A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres
Author: Jane Smiley
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 384
Release: 2011-01-05
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780307787712

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This powerful twentieth-century reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear centers on a wealthy Iowa farmer who decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. Ambitiously conceived and stunningly written, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride—and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity.