Witches on the Road Tonight

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
8
Free sample

“This richly layered novel” from the acclaimed author of The Dress Lodger explores Americana, witchcraft, love, and betrayal (People, starred review).
 
As a child growing up in Depression-era rural Virginia, Eddie Alley’s quiet life is rooted in the rumors of his mother’s witchcraft. But when an outsider violently disrupts the spell of his mother’s unorthodox life, Eddie is inspired to pursue a future beyond the confines of his dead-end town.
 
He leaves for New York and becomes a television horror-movie presenter beloved for his kitschy comedy. When he opens his family’s door to a homeless teenager working as an intern at the TV station, the boy’s presence not only awakens something in Eddie, but also in his twelve-year-old daughter, Wallis, who has begun to feel a strange kinship to her notorious grandmother.
 
As the ghost stories of one generation infiltrate the next, Wallis and Eddie grapple with the sins of the past in this gripping novel that “explores the dark vein of magic that runs just beneath our real lives” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“Holman is a master of the miniature. She uses tiny, achingly accurate details to bring each moment to life on the page; her sentences sing . . . [her] most ambitious and successful yet.” —People, starred review
 
“Holman has an imagination that is both capacious and meticulous, and by turns somber and antic . . . Witches on the Road Tonight is a path into her work that beckons, with strange lights and mysterious apparitions.” —Jane Smiley, Los Angeles Review of Books
 
“Mysterious, beautiful, and immediately engrossing . . . A tour de force of meticulous research brought urgently to life by headlong, transporting prose.” —Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach and A Visit From the Goon Squad
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About the author

Sheri Holman is the author of A Stolen Tongue; The Dress Lodger, a New York Times Notable Book; and The Mammoth Cheese, short listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction and a San Francisco Chronicle and Publishers Weekly Book of the Year.
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4.0
8 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Mar 1, 2011
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780802195975
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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In one of Jim Harrison’s greatest works, five members of the Northridge family narrate the tangled epic of their history on the Nebraska plains.
 
The Road Home continues the story of the captivating heroine Dalva and her peculiar and remarkable family. It encompasses the voices of Dalva’s grandfather John Northridge, the austere, hard-living half-Sioux patriarch; Naomi, the widow of his favorite son and namesake; Paul, the first Northridge son, who lived in the shadow of his brother; and Nelse, the son taken from Dalva at birth, who now has returned to find her. It is haunted by the hovering spirits of the father and the lover Dalva lost to this country’s wars. It is a family history drenched in suffering and joy, imbued with fierce independence and love, rooted in the Nebraska soil, and intertwined with the destiny of whites and native Americans in the American West.
 
Epic in scope, stretching from the close of the nineteenth century to the present day, The Road Home is a stunning and trenchant novel, written with the humor, humanity, and inimitable evocation of the American spirit that have delighted Jim Harrison’s legion of fans.
 
“A graceful novel . . . To read this book is to feel the luminosity of nature in one’s own being.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“The Road Home confirms what his longtime fans already know: Harrison is on the short list of American literary masters.” —The Denver Post
 
“Demonstrates why [Harrison] is considered one of the best storytellers around.” —The Washington Post
 
“The Road Home is Harrison at the peak of his powers, a splendid combined prequel and sequel . . . very much alive and probably his best novel.” —Boston Sunday Herald
Edward is nearly four years old when he begins his slow, painful withdrawal from the world. For those who love him -- his father, Jack, and mother, Rachel, pregnant with their third child -- the transformation of their happy, intelligent firstborn into a sleepless, feral stranger is a devastating blow, one that brings enormous ramifications not just for Edward and his parents, but also for their younger son, Matt, and soon-to-be-born daughter.
A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards follows this nuclear family as Rachel and Jack try to come to terms with their son's descent into autism (or something like it) and struggle to sustain their marriage under this unanticipated strain. Threaded through the novel, too, is the story of Rachel's deceased uncle Mickey, who may have suffered from a similar disorder at a time when parenting, pediatrics, and ideas about child psychology were entirely different from today's. As Rachel delves into her own family history in search of answers, flashbacks to Mickey's life afford moving insight into the nature of childhood disorders and the coping mechanisms of different families.
A spellbinding, brilliantly nuanced portrait of a marriage and a family, this compelling drama also poses provocative, real-life questions: How much should a mother sacrifice for her children? How much intervention is too much? When do parents' ambitions for their offspring become counterproductive, even destructive? Who should decide what is best for the child? Is it ever worth sacrificing a marriage for a child?
A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards is a carefully crafted, compulsively readable, emotional page-turner that reveals a remarkable gift for language and storytelling and enormous insight into the complexities and dilemmas of domestic life and parenthood. It is a striking exploration of love, faith, and sacrifice that will resonate with readers everywhere.
When Manda Frank conceives eleven babies with the help of fertility treatments, she brings the world's attention to rural Three Chimneys, Virginia. As the news media descends on the town, even bringing presidential candidate Adams Brooke to Manda's hospital bedside, the residents of Three Chimneys celebrate before the cameras. When all eleven children are born alive, Pastor Leland Vaughn rejoices in his belief that the miraculous event will enliven his community.

Meanwhile, artisanal cheese-maker Margaret Prickett has devoted herself to campaigning for Brooke, who has promised to instate a sweeping amnesty for family farms that will erase the debt that threatens her own centuries-old farm. At home, tension swells as Margaret's daughter Polly, after suffering through her parents' messy divorce, finds her own rebellious urges expressed in the radical ideas of Mr. March, a young history teacher. At the same time, August Vaughn, Margaret's loyal farm hand, struggles with his feelings for Margaret, taking solace in being a living historian of Thomas Jefferson. As autumn progresses and the sickly Frank babies begin to die, all of Three Chimneys becomes infected with the same disquiet simmering in the Prickett household.

In an effort to heal his shaken flock, Pastor Vaughn encourages Margaret and August to recreate the Mammoth Cheese, a 1,235-pound wheel of Cheshire delivered to the newly inaugurated President Thomas Jefferson by his New England supporters. Margaret reluctantly agrees, and soon the whole town is involved in the new project. As Margaret plunges herself into first the Adams Brooke campaign and then the making of the giant cheese, she loses sight of the events unfolding in Polly's life. Polly's crush on Harvey March, her revolutionary-minded history teacher, gradually develops into a dangerous relationship. As the novel progresses, March's words and actions towards Polly become questionable and finally blatantly inappropriate and sinister, soon showing that Polly's suspicions of his affection for her aren't wishful thinking at all.

August Vaughn also begins to question his place in Margaret's life. For years, he harbored a love for her that kept him living at home with his parents and working as a laborer on her farm. Now that Margaret's marriage has ended, August admits his feelings for her, and Margaret, overwhelmed by her work on the farm and the increasingly threatening letters from the bank regarding foreclosure on her property, rebuffs him. August distances himself from the Prickett and Vaughn families, buying a piece of land and overseeing the construction of his own, small home.

August's parents are hurt by their only son's decision to leave home, especially his father Leland, who struggles with guilt from his involvement in the birth of the Frank Eleven. He begins to question the wisdom of his council in encouraging Manda to carry all eleven embryos to term. The first babies die and the rest suffer in the hospital and or at the new Frank home, which has been left half-finished by Polly's father's construction firm in the wake of dwindling interest in and charity for the Frank family. But even Leland doesn't understand Manda's suffering. A celebrity and town hero while pregnant, the deaths of her children have returned Manda to her status as the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She miserably cares for the six implacable infants, babies with whom she has been unable to bond. As her life descends into increasing chaos, and her older daughter Rose suffers a terrible dog bite from Manda's untrained pack, Manda finds herself overcome by deep despair and even contemplates killing the babies and herself.

Finally, the cheese is complete. Leland, optimistic that all of Three Chimneys will benefit from Margaret's project, organizes the trip to Washington D.C. Polly's history class, under the supervision of Mr. March, joins the trip, as does a reluctant August, who despite his father's pleas, has refused to dress as Jefferson for the trip. The cheese has at this point become an ethically questionable endeavor, but Margaret finds herself unable to stop what she has begun. Brooke has used Margaret's family motto to get elected, and Margaret is dismayed by the commercial aspect her gift to Brooke has taken on-the cheese now sports corporate sponsorship and is trailed by the media. Margaret's feels even more defeated when a reporter accompanying the caravan tells her that Brooke's farm amnesty is sure to succumb to a compromise with congress. She also realizes her own feelings for August but is unable to bridge the distance that has grown between them.

As Margaret, Polly, August, Leland, and Mr. March travel towards Washington, the tensions threatening their families and all of Three Chimneys builds to a startling conclusion that forces everyone to face the gap between their intentions and their actions.

In the vivid world of The Mammoth Cheese, the present is immersed in the ppppppast and the meaning of community is elusive. As the characters struggle to understand their own debts to parents, friends, and neighbors, they learn to assert their independence.
A New York Times Notable Book from the author of A Stolen Tongue: A tale of crime and survival in nineteenth-century England “as unsettling as it is brilliant” (The Washington Post Book World).
 
In Sunderland, England, a city quarantined by the cholera epidemic of 1831, a defiant, fifteen-year-old beauty in an elegant blue dress sells her body to feed her only love: a fragile baby boy. When the surgeon Henry Chiver offers Gustine a different kind of work, she hopes to finally change her terrible circumstances.
 
But Chiver was recently implicated in the famous case of Burke and Hare, who murdered beggars and sold their corpses for medical research. And soon, Gustine’s own efforts to secure cadavers for Chiver’s anatomy school will threaten the very things she’s working so hard to protect . . .
 
“Reminiscent of Wuthering Heights . . . or the novels of Dickens . . . An even better book than Holman’s first, with prose that’s more limber and vivid—and with, appropriately, even more heart.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“As unsettling as it is brilliant. Holman attempts Herculean feats of plot and character, and the resulting novel is seamlessly crafted.” —The Washington Post Book World
 
“Holman seduces you. Her prose, tart, racy and somber, will sing in your soul a long while.” —Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes
 
“Holman’s style is risky and direct . . . with unflinching emotional precision. This dazzlingly researched epic is an uncommon read.” —Publisher Weekly, starred review
 
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