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THEY BEGAN AS STRANGERS -- FOUR TEENAGE GIRLS WITH NOTHING IN COMMON BUT THEIR MISERABLE CHILDHOODS. SOON, THEY WOULD REALIZE THAT THEIR SECRET PASTS HAD BOUND THEM TOGETHER FOREVER....

Misty, Star, Jade, and Cat first came together in Dr. Marlowe's group therapy sessions. They trusted no one but each other -- and even that bond was fragile at best. One by one, each of the Wildflowers told her own story and bravely unveiled the inner wounds inflicted by years of lies, deceit, and untold family secrets; each revealed the shocking tales of how their parents hurt them, used them, or simply abandoned them. And as they shared their darkest feelings, they no longer felt like lost souls with nowhere to turn. Finally, years of loneliness and pain gave way to the realization that someone else in this world understood them. But then the sessions ended, and the girls didn't know if they would ever see each other again.

Now they are coming together one more time. Jade has sent out invitations to her parents' mansion -- the sprawling, opulent home that served as a battleground for much of her young life. There, the four will rekindle their bonds of friendship and trust. But this time, away from Dr. Marlowe's watchful eye, it will be different. Today, in the mansion's attic, Star, Jade, Cat, and Misty will take each other's hands and swear to tell the real truth -- the shattering secrets that lie deep within them like smoldering coals. And once the darkest secret of all is spoken aloud, there will be no turning back. For there may be some things the Wildflowers should leave buried forever....
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2016

Part mystery, part psychological drama, Julia Rochester's The House at the Edge of the World is a darkly comic, unorthodox and thrilling debut

When I was eighteen, my father fell off a cliff. It was a stupid way to die.

John Venton's drunken fall from a Devon cliff leaves his family with an embarrassing ghost. His twin children, Morwenna and Corwin, flee in separate directions to take up their adult lives. Their mother, enraged by years of unhappy marriage, embraces merry widowhood. Only their grandfather finds solace in the crumbling family house, endlessly painting their story onto a large canvas map.

His brightly coloured map, with its tiny pictures of shipwrecks, forgotten houses, saints and devils, is a work of his imagination, a collection of local myths and histories. But it holds a secret. As the twins are drawn grudgingly back to the house, they discover that their father's absence is part of the map's mysterious pull.

The House at the Edge of the World is the compellingly told story of how family and home can be both a source of comfort and a wholly destructive force. Cutting to the undignified half-truths every family conceals, it asks the questions we all must confront: who are we responsible for and, ultimately, who do we belong to?
'A story that carries you along - clever plotting and a startling outcome. An impressive first novel' Penelope Lively

'Wonderfully crisp and funny and it's so full of vivid, surprising images that the reader almost doesn't notice the moment that deep secrets begin to be revealed' Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing

Julia Rochester grew up on the Exe Estuary in Devon. She studied in London, Berlin and Cambridge and has worked for the BBC Portuguese Service and for Amnesty International as Researcher on Brazil. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.

"Easily the most brilliant fiction I've seen this year -- it proves the potential brilliance of the novel form."
-- John Fowles, author of The Magus

Observatory Mansions, once the Orme family's magnificent ancestral home set on beautiful grounds, is now a crumbling apartment block stranded on a traffic island, peopled with eccentrics.

Thirty-seven-year-old Francis Orme lives in Observatory Mansions with his peculiar parents and a collection of misfits. By day he is a street performer, earning money as "a statue of whiteness" in the park, wearing white gloves to ensure that his skin never touches anything. He steals items for his museum of significant objects (996 in all), not for their monetary value but because they have been loved, often bringing grief to their erstwhile owners. His bedridden mother, Alice, who has created for herself an alternative time frame called "fiction," and his father, Francis, are among the occupants set apart from the rest of the busy city by their histories, their memories, and their relationships with the other seven inhabitants of the flats.

Each of the house dwellers has his or her own story, as seen through Francis's eyes, and the careful routine and harmony of the house are shaken when along comes a new resident, the half-blind, vulnerable Anna Tap. She is sympathetic and resourceful, and slowly the desperately lonely residents begin to open up their long-closed hearts. As the delicate balance of Observatory Mansions begins to shift, Francis finds himself having to protect the secrets of his past and the sanctity of his collection, while growing emotionally closer to Anna.

Hailed as no less than a tour de force, Observatory Mansions is a debut novel of immense originality--a strangely haunting landscape occupied by compelling and unforgettable characters.
One windy April afternoon, a young woman bicycles alone along a stretch of Iowa highway. She's pedaling hard, hurrying to get home in time for dinner . . .

Alex Voormann is a cerebral thirty-year-old archaeologist married to the woman of his dreams--a beautiful, ambitious botanist named Isabel. When Isabel, an organ donor, is killed by a reckless driver, Alex reluctantly consents to donate her heart. Janet Corcoran is a young, headstrong mother of two, an art teacher at an inner-city school in Chicago. Sick with heart disease, she is on the waiting list for a transplant, but her chances are slim. She watches the Weather Channel, secretly praying for foul weather and car accidents, a miracle. The day Isabel dies, she gets her wish.

Flash forward a year. Janet sends Alex a long letter. She'd like to learn something about the woman who saved her life. Alex isn't interested in talking to the recipient of his dead wife's heart. Since Isabel's accident, he's become grief-stricken and bewildered. His closest companion is his mother-in-law, Bernice. They spend their nights reminiscing about Isabel and hiding out from the world. Meanwhile, a local blues musician named Jasper, the man responsible for Isabel's death, attempts to atone for his misdeed. Jasper is devastated by the knowledge that he destroyed a life but attracted to the idea that he was partially responsible for saving another life--Janet's. He sees her as his ultimate salvation.

Irreplaceable is the story of what happens after the transplant--not only to Alex but within the concentric circles of family that spiral outward from him and from Janet. Stephen Lovely takes us vividly inside the lives of these characters to reveal their true intentions--however misguided--and gives us a stunning debut novel of loss and love.
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