Pearl Louie Brandt has a terrible secret which she tries desperately to keep from her mother, Winnie Louie. And Winnie has long kept her own secrets – about her past and the confusing circumstances of Pearl’s birth. Fate intervenes in the form of Helen Kwong, Winnie’s so-called sister-in-law, who believes she is dying and must unburden herself of all falsehoods before she flies off to heaven. But, unfortunately, the truth comes in many guises, depending on who is telling the tale…
Thus begins a story that takes us back to Shanghai in the 1920s, through World War II, and the harrowing events that led to Winnie’s arrival in America in 1949. The story is one of innocence and its loss, tragedy and survival, and most of all, the enduring qualities of hope, love and friendship.
Larry Cook’s farm is the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa, and a tribute to his hard work and single-mindedness. Proud and possessive, his sudden decision to retire and hand over the farm to his three daughters, is disarmingly uncharacteristic.
Ginny and Rose, the two eldest, are startled yet eager to accept, but Caroline, the youngest daughter, has misgivings. Immediately, her father cuts her out.
In ‘A Thousand Acres’, Jane Smiley transposes the ‘King Lear’ story to the modern day, and in so doing at once illuminates Shakespeare’s original and subtly transforms it. This astonishing novel won both of America’s highest literary awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics’ Circle Award.
This is the story of Daisy Goodwill, from her birth on a kitchen floor in Manitoba, Canada, to her death in a Florida nursing home nearly ninety years later. Through Daisy’s life, Shields reflects and illuminates the unsettled decades of our century in this rich and poignant novel.
Quoyle is a hapless, hopeless hack journalist living and working in New York. When his no-good wife is killed in a spectacular road accident, Quoyle heads for the land of his forefathers – the remotest corner of far-flung Newfoundland. With ‘the aunt’ and his delinquent daughters – Bunny and Sunshine – in tow, Quoyle finds himself part of an unfolding, exhilarating Atlantic drama.
‘The Shipping News’ is an irresistible comedy of human life and possibility.
Latin terrorists storm an international gathering hosted by an underprivileged country to promote foreign interest and trade, only to find that their intended target, the President, has stayed home to watch his favourite soap opera on TV. Among the hostages are a world-class opera singer and her biggest fan, a Japanese tycoon who has been persuaded to attend the party on the understanding that she will perform half a dozen arias after dinner.
The tycoon’s engaging and sympathetic translator plays a vital role in the subsequent relationships between so many different nationalities closeted together, interpreting not only the terrorists’ negotiations but also the language of love between lovers who cannot understand what the other is saying.
Ultimately, it is the terrorist strike that does more to promote foreign relations than anyone could have hoped to achieve with the party.
Following the loss of her mother, eight-year-old Evie is sent to a new life in rural Wales – a dripping place, where flowers appear mysteriously on doorsteps and people look at her twice. With a sense of being lied to she sets out to discover her family’s dark secret – unaware that there is yet more darkness to come with the sinister disappearance of local girl Rosemary Hughes.
Now many years later Eve Green is waiting for the birth of her own child, and when she revisits her past something clicks in her mind and her own reckless role in the hunt for Rosie’s abductor is revealed…
A truly beautiful and hypnotic first novel, this is both an engaging puzzle and an enchanting work of literature.