Russell's Knob is not paradise. But already in 1849 this New Jersey highlands settlement is home to a diverse population of blacks, whites, and reds who have intermarried and lived in relative harmony for generations. It is a haven for Dossie Bird, who has escaped north along the Underground Railroad and now feels the embrace of the Smoot family. Duncan Smoot presides as accidental patriarch, protector of his enterprising sister, Hattie, and his two rambunctious nephews. As Dossie busies herself with cleaning, cooking, and tending the chickens at Duncan's homestead, she wonders: Could this man, her rescuer--so godlike in her eyes, so much older than she--expect her to become his helpmeet? Tentatively, Dossie begins to put down roots--until a shocking act of violence propels her away from Russell's Knob and eventually into the mayhem of New York City's mean streets.
No one steps up to life's banquet, holds out her tray, and orders, "Grief, please!" Yet as a child, Candy Pekkala was served a heaping helping of it. But every buffet line has a dessert section, and when a cousin calls with a Hollywood apartment to sublet, it seems though Candy is finally offered something sweet. It's good-bye to Minnesota and hello to California, where a girl who has always lived by her wits has a real chance of making a living with them. And with that, Lorna Landvik launches her latest irresistible character onto the world stage--or at least onto the dimly lit small stage where stand-up comedy gets its start.
Returning to the sweeping romantic saga, Colleen McCullough presents a new major work: the story of four unforgettable sisters navigating work, love, and their dreams in 1920s Australia. Because they are two sets of twins, the four Latimer sisters are as close as can be. They are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit, and ambition, but as they step into womanhood, they are not enthusiastic about the limited prospects life holds for them. Instead, Edda wants to be a doctor, Tufts wants to organize everything, Grace won't be told what to do, and Kitty wishes to be known for something other than her beauty. Together they decide to enroll in a training program for nurses--a new option for women of their time. As they become immersed in hospital life and the demands of their training, they meet people and encounter challenges that spark new maturity and independence. They meet men from all walks of life--the local farmers, their professional colleagues, and even men with national roles and reputations, and each sister must make decisions about what she values most. The results are sometimes happy, sometimes heartbreaking, but always...bittersweet.
A terminal breast cancer diagnosis shatters Kendra Woods' life and dreams. But through the hurt and the pain, she learns to view her life - however many days that includes - in a new way. Kendra Woods has always known success. Raised in a prominent black family in well-to-do Clayton, Missouri, she had high aspirations for herself and, thus far, has met them. After graduating from law school she went to work at a prestigious law firm. Now she's just made partner and in one month will marry the man of her dreams. And it's only the beginning. Kendra envisions herself becoming a judge one day and she can't wait to have kids. But a terminal diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer shatters her world - weeks before her wedding. Kendra is devastated as the reality sets in that she could have no more than two years to live. Her fiance leaves, and as word travels around the firm, she's no longer given big cases. Kendra is angry with God and feels her life has already ended. Her path keeps crossing Lance's, a troublemaker who briefly attended her high school. Kendra has trouble letting go of the person he was a decade ago and can't believe an encounter in jail turned his life around and he's now leading a church plant in Clayton. He's becoming the unlikely source of hope she needs. Kendra is in the midst of a storm - one that's apparently here to stay. But, the hidden blessings may be just the shelter she needs.
It’s April 1948 and war hangs over Jaffa. One minute seven-year-old Salim is dreaming of taking his first harvest from the family orange tree with his father; the next he is swept away by “the great catastrophe” into a life of exile. Meanwhile Jude is growing up in the north of England, a girl from a Jewish family that survived the Holocaust. When their paths collide in swinging-‘60s London and they fall in love, they think they are aware of the many challenges ahead of them, but before long they face unexpected choices. Can they defy the lessons of their childhoods, or will old seeds ripen to bitter fruits? Ishmael’s Oranges tells the story of two cultures clashing as the relentless tides of history wash over the many crossroads of the Middle East. Spanning three generations, it follows the journeys of those cast adrift by war — as well as by their own impulses — until at last they find themselves thrown headlong into it. Through Salim, Jude, and their twins, we explore the longest conflict of our era in universally human terms: the families we build, the loyalties we owe, and the stories we pass on to our children.
Marie, a young single mother, lands a job at an upscale Dallas steakhouse. She is preternaturally attuned to the appetites of her patrons, but quickly learns to hide her private struggle behind an easy smile and a crisp white apron. In a world of long hours and late nights, where everything runs on a currency of favors, cash and cachet, Marie gives in to brutally self-destructive impulses. She loses herself in a tangle of bodies and the kind of coke that 'napalms your emotional synapses.' But obliteration--not pleasure--is her goal. Pulsing with fierce, almost feral energy, Love Me Back is an unapologetic portrait of a woman cutting a precarious path through early adulthood. In the words of Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, "Tierce roams like an avenging angel across the landscape of twenty-first century American decadence, and the truths she writes achieve a state of near-sacred subversion."
Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a small shadow department buried within the multinational corporation DBG, headquartered in New York City. Jacob is not a businessman . . . he is a hired assassin . . . and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. But Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. After a catastrophic motorcycle accident leaves him with Cotard's syndrome--an actual condition that causes those afflicted to believe they are dead--Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a "Shell," with no emotions and no tether to the concept of right and wrong. Emily Buchanan is a bright young second-year associate for DBG, and she has disappeared without a trace. Suspecting that Emily has stolen either vast sums of money or valuable information from the company, Ms. Holquist, Jacob's handler at DBG, assigns him the task of tracking down the young woman and neutralizing her. Jacob's condition allows him to carry out assignments with ruthless, logical precision, devoid of guilt, fear, or dishonor. But as his new assignment draws him inside a labyrinthine network of dark dealings, Jacob finds himself up against something he is completely incapable of understanding.
A vivid and intricate novel-in-stories, The Scatter Here Is Too Great explores the complicated lives of ordinary people whose fates unexpectedly converge after a deadly bomb blast at a train station in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. Comrade Sukhansaz, an old communist poet, is harassed on a bus full of college students minutes before the blast. His son, a wealthy, middle-aged businessman, yearns for his own estranged child. A young man, Sadeq, has a dead-end job snatching cars from people who have defaulted on their bank loans, while his girlfriend spins tales for her young brother to conceal her own heartbreak. An ambulance driver picking up the bodies after the blast has a shocking encounter with two strange-looking men whom nobody else seems to notice. And in the midst of it all, a solitary writer, tormented with grief for his dead father and his decimated city, struggles to find words.
On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear. Ava has an unusual gift-- she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava's unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she's willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.
Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce. The timing couldn't be worse. Hoping to encourage her son's artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world's greatest works of art as a family, and she can't bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie.