Author: Anna Hope
Publisher: Random House
A searing novel of forbidden love on the Yorkshire moors—“a British version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (The Times U.K.)—from the author of the critically acclaimed debut Wake England, 1911. At Sharston Asylum, men and women are separated by thick walls and barred windows. But on Friday nights, they are allowed to mingle in the asylum’s magnificent ballroom. From its balconies and vaulted ceilings to its stained glass, the ballroom is a sanctuary. Onstage, the orchestra plays Strauss and Debussy while the patients twirl across the gleaming dance floor. Amid this heady ambience, John Mulligan and Ella Fay first meet. John is a sure-footed dancer with a clouded, secretive face; Ella is as skittish as a colt, with her knobby knees and flushed cheeks. Despite their grim circumstances, the unlikely pair strikes up a tenuous courtship. During the week, he writes letters smuggled to her in secret, unaware that Ella cannot read. She enlists a friend to read them aloud and gains resolve from the force of John’s words, each sentence a stirring incantation. And, of course, there’s always the promise of the ballroom. Then one of them receives an unexpected opportunity to leave Sharston for good. As Anna Hope’s powerful, bittersweet novel unfolds, John and Ella face an agonizing dilemma: whether to cling to familiar comforts or to confront a new world—living apart, yet forever changed. Praise for The Ballroom “The Ballroom successfully blends historical research with emotional intelligence to explore the tensions and trials of the human condition with grace and insight.”—New York Times Book Review “Part historical novel and part romance, The Ballroom paints an incredibly rich portrait of the mentally stable forced to live in an asylum. [Anna] Hope transports readers inside the asylum, to feel the thick humidity of the stale summer air of the day room, and the gritty and brutal reality inside those walls.”—Booklist “A compelling cast of emotionally resonant characters, as well as a bittersweet climax, render Hope’s second novel a powerful, memorable experience.”—Publishers Weekly “Hope’s writing is consistently beautiful. . . . Recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction by Sarah Waters or Emma Donoghue.”—Library Journal “A beautifully wrought novel, a tender, heartbreaking and insightful exploration of the longings that survive in the most inhospitable environments.”—Sunday Express “The Ballroom has all the intensity and lyricism of [Anna] Hope’s debut, Wake. At its heart is a tender and absorbing love story.”—Daily Mail “Compelling and masterful . . . Anna Hope has proven once again that she is a luminary in historical fiction. . . . She delivers profound, poignant narratives that stir the emotions.”—Yorkshire Post “As with Hope’s highly acclaimed debut novel, Wake, the writing is elegant and insightful; she writes beautifully about human emotion, landscape and weather.”—The Observer “A brilliantly moving meditation on what it means to be ‘insane’ in a cruel world . . . All the characters are vividly and sensitively drawn. . . . Deeply moving.”—The Irish Times From the Hardcover edition.
Hunters become the hunted in a pulse-pounding art heist thriller from an international bestselling author. It begins with a tantalizing clue: a recent photograph taken of Raphael's Portrait of a Young Man--one of the most priceless masterworks ever plundered by the Nazis, which disappeared and was believed destroyed. Now, with proof of its existence, the Polish government wants it back. One wrong move and it could vanish forever. Because bound together with the missing artwork are secrets that have remained buried for a reason. That's why they've enlisted a woman with the right motives: Dr. Zofia Lorentz, a tenacious historian driven by academic pride and personal desire. Zofia isn't going at it alone. Her crack team of experts includes an ex-paramilitary tactical genius, a slick art dealer with black-market connections, and a beautiful aristocrat who is also a family outcast and one of the most ingenious art thieves in the world. From an isolated mansion in New York to Poland's Tatra Mountains to the frozen Scandinavian wilderness, they're following the trail of an increasingly elusive puzzle--right into a trap that is a cunning work of art in itself.
Author: Michael Farris Smith
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
An Amazon Best Book of the Month An Indie Next Pick A Barnes & Noble Discover Pick One of Southern Living's Best Southern Books of 2017 In the vein of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and the works of Ron Rash, a novel set in a tough-and-tumble Mississippi town where drugs, whiskey, guns, and the desire for revenge violently intersect. For eleven years the clock has been ticking for Russell Gaines as he sits in Parchman Penitentiary in the Mississippi Delta. His sentence is now up, and he believes his debt has been paid. But when he returns home, he soon discovers that revenge lives and breathes all around him. On the same day that Russell is released from prison, a woman named Maben and her young daughter trudge along the side of the interstate under the punishing summer sun. Desperate and exhausted, the pair spend their last dollar on a room for the night, a night that ends with Maben running through the darkness holding a pistol, and a dead deputy sprawled in the middle o the road in the glow of his own headlights. With the dawn, destinies collide, and Russell is forced to decide whose life he will save--his own or those of the woman and child. Delivered in powerful and lyrical prose, Desperation Road is a story of troubled souls twisted with regret and bound by secrets that stretch over the years and across the land.
Only a teenager when Delphine was born, Lucile raised two daughters largely alone. She was a former child model from a Bohemian family, younger and more glamorous than the other mothers: always in lipstick, wayward and wonderful. But as Delphine grew up, Lucile's occasional sadness gave way to overwhelming despair and delusion. She became convinced she was telepathic, in control of the Paris metro system; she gave away all her money; she was hospitalized, medicated, and released in a kind of trance. Young Delphine was left to wonder: What changed her, or what shaped her all along? In this brilliant investigation into her own family history, Delphine de Vigan attempts to "write her mother," seeking out something essential as she interviews aging relatives, listens to recordings, and reads Lucile's own writings. It is a history of luminous beauty and rambunctious joy, of dark secrets and silences. There are untimely deaths and failures of memory. There are revelations and there is the ultimately unknowable. And in the face of the unknowable, personal history becomes fiction: De Vigan must choose from differing accounts and fill in important gaps, using her writer's imagination to reconstruct a life. De Vigan writes her most expansive novel yet with acute self-awareness and marvelous sympathy. Nothing Holds Back the Night is a remarkable work, universally recognizable and singularly heartbreaking.
Author: Paul Auster
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force Sunset Park follows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse. An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families. A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world. William Wyler's 1946 classic The Best Years of Our Lives. A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway. An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage. These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts. Sunset Park is a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.
Named the best personal finance book on the market by Consumers Union, Jane Bryant Quinn's bestseller Making the Most of Your Money has been completely revised and updated to provide a guide to financial recovery, independence, and success in the new economy. Getting your financial life on track and keeping it there -- nothing is more important to your family and you. This proven, comprehensive guidebook steers you around the risks and helps you make smart and profitable decisions at every stage of your life. Are you single, married, or divorced? A parent with a paycheck or a parent at home? Getting your first job or well along in your career? Helping your kids in college or your parents in their older age? Planning for retirement? Already retired and worried about how to make your money last? You'll find ideas to help you build your financial security here. Jane Bryant Quinn answers more questions more completely than any other personal-finance author on the market today. You'll reach for this book again and again as your life changes and new financial decisions arise. Here are just a few of the important subjects she examines: • Setting priorities during and after a financial setback, and bouncing back • Getting the most out of a bank while avoiding fees • Credit card and debit card secrets that will save you money • Family matters -- talking money before marriage and mediating claims during divorce • Cutting the cost of student debt, and finding schools that will offer big "merit" scholarships to your child • The simplest ways of pulling yourself out of debt • Why it's so important to jump on the automatic-savings bandwagon • Buying a house, selling one, or trying to rent your home when buyers aren't around • Why credit scores are more important than ever, plus tips on keeping yours in the range most attractive to lenders • Investing made easy -- mutual funds that are tailor-made for your future retirement • What every investor needs to know about building wealth • How an "investment policy" helps you make wise decisions in any market • The essential tax-deferred retirement plans, from 401(k)s to Individual Retirement Accounts -- and how to manage them • How to invest in real estate at a bargain price (and how to spot something that looks like a bargain but isn't) • Eleven ways of keeping a steady income while you're retired, even after a stock market crash • Financial planning -- what it means, how you do it, and where to find good planners Page by page, Quinn leads you through the pros and cons of every decision, to help you make the choice that will suit you best. This is the single personal-finance book that no family should be without.
Author: Leïla Slimani
Publisher: Faber & Faber
The baby is dead. It took only a few seconds. When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint and is able to host enviable birthday parties. The couple and nanny become more dependent on each other. But as jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul's idyllic tableau is shattered...
Author: Miguel Bonnefoy
Publisher: Gallic Books
Miguel Bonnefoy’s colourful tale of a family’s changing fortunes is also the fascinating story of Venezuela’s development over the course of the 20th century. On the edge of the Latin American rainforest, the Oteros family farm sugar cane in their remote corner of the earth. Cut off entirely from the modern world, life is peaceful, uneventful. Until, that is, a succession of ships arrive in search of Henry Morgan’s legendary lost treasure, said to be buried deep beneath the forest floor. Soon, the isolated villagers are exposed to all the trappings of modernity, while the travellers’ search for booty unearths more than anybody could have anticipated... And so it was that the treasure lay buried amid scraps of sail and a pirate’s corpse, preserved within the belly of the Caribbean...
This is a memoir by French bestselling and award-winning author and musician Mathias Malzieu. It focuses on a single year in which he explores his close encounter with death. Insightful, tragic and even often very funny, it is a hugely inspirational read. In November 2013 Malzieu is diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening blood disease: his bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells, and those that survive are being attacked by the body's natural antibodies as if they were viruses. Highly anaemic and at risk of a cardiac attack or fatal haemorrhaging, Malzieu is whisked into hospital, and spends months in a sterile isolation room. He is kept alive by blood transfusions, while waiting for a bone marrow transplant. When he has the energy for it, he writes in his diary and strums his ukelele. To read this book is to be in awe of the triumph of the human spirit. As a reader you find yourself marvelling at how we find the mechanisms to cope with tragedy and uncertainty when faced with the reality that we may die. Malzieu's highly active imagination allows him to transcend the limits of his body and its increasing failures through fantasy and escapism. His wonderfully addictive childish wonder with a punk Gothic twist lifts the narrative from being a depressing account to a reading experience that is evocative, poetic and intensely moving. Malzieu survived thanks to a revolutionary operation involving stem-cell treatment with the blood from an umbilical cord. As he leaves the hospital with not only a different blood group but also a different DNA, he describes himself as the oldest newborn in the world. As Malzieu says himself, 'To have had my life saved has been the most extraordinary adventure I have ever had.'
The Bridge of Beyond
Author: Simone Schwarz-Bart
Publisher: New York Review of Books
"In this intoxicating tale of love and madness, mothers and daughters, folkloric wisdom and the grim legacy of slavery on the French Antillean island of Guadeloupe, aged yet unbowed Telumee tells her life story, along with that of the proud line of Lougandor women she continues to draw strength from, even in their physical absence. Having obtained, with dizzying speed, love and happiness and the trust of others, Telumee must find the resources, personal and collective, both to rejoice without reserve and then, in less fortunate seasons, to survive suffering that would crush weaker vessels. In the words of Queen Without a Name, the stoic and tender grandmother who raises her, Behind one pain there is another. Sorrow is a wave without end. But the horse mustn't ride you, you must ride it. A masterpiece of Caribbean literature, The Bridge of Beyondrepresents at once a gorgeously thick description of the flora and climate, crafts and customs of the island, and the triumph of a spirit so generous and hopeful that no earthly adversity could outlast it. Simone Schwarz-Bart's sinuous and lyrical prose, interwoven with proverbs and other local sayings, appears here in an uncomm
New York Times Notable Book of the Year * Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home. When their lifelong neighbor Akhmed finds Havaa hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded. For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance. Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content from the author.
Author: Luca D'Andrea
Publisher: MacLehose Press
A CURSED PLACE. A COLD CASE. A KILLER WHO LEFT NO TRACE. The huge International bestseller. Gripping, unputdownable and packed with twists, The Mountain is a thriller that you will never forget. "Can be compared (with no fear of hyperbole) to Stephen King and Jo Nesbø" - Massimo Vincenz, La Repubblica. Jeremiah Salinger blames himself. The crash was his fault. He was the only survivor. Now the depression and the nightmares are closing in. Only his daughter Clara can put a smile on his face. But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach - a canyon in the Dolomites rich in fossil remains - he overhears by chance a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985 three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found. Salinger, a New Yorker, is far from home, and these Italian mountains, where his wife was born, harbour a close-knit, tight-lipped community whose mistrust of outsiders can turn ugly. All the same, solving this mystery might be the only thing that can keep him sane. Translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis
Mind of Winter
Author: Laura Kasischke
Publisher: Harper Collins
Laura Kasischke, the critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling poet and author of The Raising, returns Mind of Winter, a dark and chilling thriller that combines domestic drama with elements of psychological suspense and horror—an addictive tale of denial and guilt that is part Joyce Carol Oates and part Chris Bohjalian. On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Something followed them from Russia. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, their pretty, black-haired Rapunzel, from the Pokrovka Orphanage #2. Now, at fifteen, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever—and disturbingly erratic. As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behavior becomes increasingly frightening . . . until Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.
Life and a Half
Author: Sony Lab'Ou Tansi
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Listed as one of the 100 best books on Africa, Life and a Half was Sony Labou Tansi's response to the death of close friends during a bloody military and political crackdown in Congo. The novel takes place in an imaginary African country run by the latest in a series of cannibalistic dictators who has captured Martial, the leader of the opposition, and his family. Though shot, knifed, butchered, and bled, Martial's spirit lives on to guide his followers in their fight against the dictators. Facing censorship, Tansi insisted that his book was a fable and that if he were ever given the opportunity to write about real events, he would be much more direct rather than follow the torturous paths of a novel. This crisp translation by Alison Dundy maintains the fast-paced action and bitingly satiric tone of the original.