Told through four ingeniously interlocking narratives, Margot Livesey's The House on Fortune Street is a provocative tale of lives shaped equally by chance and choice.
What if -- by stroke of fortune -- you could start afresh, could wipe away that catastrophic blunder in your past? And to what lengths would you go to establish that in fact you'd done nothing wrong at all? After an accident robs Hazel of three years' worth of memory, just such an opportunity is granted to Jonathan, undone by his betrayal of this woman, whom he professes to love above all. While he begins to rewrite their history, two other misfits -- an American sojourner and a luckless English actress -- knock about London, each of them haunted by indelible memories they would much rather forget. Eventually their hopes of redemption draw them toward Jonathan's house, where Hazel has become a virtual prisoner . . .
Replete with compelling characters and extravagantly plotted, The Missing World weaves together these separate quests for love and truth in a manner both thrilling and, ultimately, revealing about our imperfect lives.
Zeke is twenty-nine, a man who looks like a Raphael angel and who earns his living as a painter and carpenter in London. He reads the world a little differently from most people and has trouble with such ordinary activities as lying, deciphering expressions, recognizing faces. Verona is thirty-seven, confident, hot-tempered, a modestly successful radio show host, unmarried, and seven months pregnant. When the two meet in a house that Zeke is renovating, they fall in love, only to be separated less than twenty-four hours later when Verona leaves abruptly, without explanation, for Boston.
Both Zeke and Verona, it turns out, have complications in their lives, though not of a romantic kind. Verona's involve her brother, Henry, who is tied up in shady financial dealings. Zeke's father has had a heart attack and his mother is threatening to run away with her lover, all of which puts pressure on Zeke to take over the family grocery business. And yet he finds himself following Verona to Boston. As he pursues her, and she pursues Henry, both are forced to ask the perplexing question: Can we ever know another person?
Deftly plotted and filled with unexpected twists, Livesey's Banishing Verona marks the arrival of another lyrical and wise novel from a writer whose work "radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery" (Alice Sebold).
Mercury’s owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harbored, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.
Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv’s ambitions and his own myopia.
At once a tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart, Mercury is a riveting tour de force that showcases this “searingly intelligent writer at the height of her powers” (Jennifer Egan).
On the morning of Eva McEwen's birth, six magpies congregate in the apple tree outside the window-a bad omen, according to Scottish legend. That night Eva's mother dies, leaving her to be raised by her aunt and heartsick father in the small town of Troon, Scotland.
As a child, Eva is often visited by two companions: a woman and a girl. Invisible to everyone else,
they seem benevolent at first, helping her to tidy her room and collect the hens' eggs. But as she grows older, their intentions become increasingly unclear: Do they wish to protect or harm her? Is their meddling in her best interest or prompted by darker motivations?
In the shadow of World War II, Eva studies nursing in Glasgow, tending to the wounded soldiers. But when she falls in love with a young plastic surgeon, the companions seem to have a very different idea as to her fate, and once again she finds herself unable to resist their pull.
A magical novel about loneliness, love, and the profound connection between mother and daughter, Eva Moves the Furniture fuses the simplicity of a fairy tale with the complexity of adult passions.
“Read everything that is good for the good of your soul. Then learn to read as a writer, to search out that hidden machinery, which it is the business of art to conceal and the business of the apprentice to comprehend.”
In The Hidden Machinery, critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Margot Livesey offers a masterclass for those who love reading literature and for those who aspire to write it. Through close readings, arguments about craft, and personal essay, Livesey delves into the inner workings of fiction and considers how our stories and novels benefit from paying close attention to both great works of literature and to our own individual experiences. Her essays range in subject matter from navigating the shoals of research to creating characters that walk off the page, from how Flaubert came to write his first novel to how Jane Austen subverted romance in her last one. As much at home on your nightstand as it is in the classroom, The Hidden Machinery will become a book readers and writers return to over and over again.
A compelling historical novel of two families wrestling with questions of honor, class, loyalty, democracy, and independence during the American Revolution, now available in a Harper Perennial Modern Classics Legacy Edition.
In The Linwoods, Catharine Maria Sedgwick illuminates the American character and explores issues of civic virtue and national identity in the early republic, through the lives of two families: the Linwoods, dutiful loyalists, and the Lees, passionate revolutionaries. At the novel’s heart is Isabella Linwood, a bright and independent young woman who will transform from a proud Tory to ardent Rebel, challenging not only British rule but its accepted social, economic, and political institutions, including the aristocracy, slavery, and patriarchal authority.
This Legacy Edition features a lush design and French flaps.
“Gemma is real—it’s as simple as that. And through her eyes we see step by step what it means . . . to take possession of one’s own life.” —David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
A taut emotional thriller about love, obsession and the secrets that pull a family apart.
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optician in suburban Boston, he rests assured that he and his wife, Viv, who works at the local stables, will live out quiet lives with their two children. Then Mercury—a gorgeous young racehorse—enters their lives and everything changes.
Viv’s friend Hilary has inherited Mercury from her brother after his mysterious death—he was riding Mercury late one afternoon and the horse returned to the stables alone. When Hilary first brings Mercury to board at the stables everyone there is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv dreams of competing with Mercury, rebuilding the ambitions of grandeur that she held for herself before moving to the suburbs. But her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred quickly escalates to obsession.
By the time Donald understands the change that has come over Viv, it is too late to stop the impending fate that both their actions have wrought for them and their loved ones. A beautifully crafted, riveting novel about the ways in which relationships can be disrupted and, ultimately, destroyed by obsession, secrets and ever-escalating lies.