Seventh Heaven: A Novel

Open Road Media
12
Free sample

A New York Times bestseller about a 1950s suburb transformed by the arrival of a divorced mother: “part American Graffiti, part early Updike” (The New York Times).

On Hemlock Street, the houses are identical, the lawns tidy, and the families traditional. A perfect slice of suburbia, this Long Island community shows no signs of change as the 1950s draw to a close—until the fateful August morning when Nora Silk arrives.  

Recently divorced, Nora mows the lawn in slingback pumps and climbs her roof in the middle of the night to clean the gutters. She works three jobs, and when her casseroles don’t turn out, she feeds her two boys—eight-year-old Billy and his baby brother, James—Frosted Flakes for supper. She wears black stretch pants instead of Bermuda shorts, owns twenty-three shades of nail polish, and sings along to Elvis like a schoolgirl.  

Though Nora is eager to fit in on Hemlock Street, her effect on the neighbors is anything but normal. The wives distrust her, the husbands desire her, and the children think she’s a witch. But through Nora’s eyes, the neighborhood appears far from perfect. Behind every neatly trimmed hedge and freshly painted shutter is a family struggling to solve its own unique mysteries. Inspired by Nora, the residents of Hemlock Street finally unlock the secrets that will transform their lives forever.  

A tale of extraordinary discoveries, Seventh Heaven is an ode to a single mother’s heroic journey and a celebration of the courage it takes to change.  
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Sep 23, 2014
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Pages
255
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ISBN
9781497638051
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the author of The Rules of Magic: A novel of a Long Island family matriarch and her namesake granddaughter who discover the power the past holds over their present.

Esther the Black is eighteen years old and ready to leave the Compound, the collection of cottages on the North Shore of Long Island where she has lived all her life. But as July turns to August and her family braces for the height of Drowning Season, she realizes that she may not be able to escape her family’s legacy.

Her father will find a way through the locked sea-wall gate and try to drown himself in the harbor, her mother will be too hung over to leave her cottage for days at a time, and her grandmother will refuse to say a single kind word.  

Esther the White left home when she was just a girl, fleeing her abusive parents across a frozen Russian river with a pocketful of stolen jewels. Life has taught her to be cold and unyielding, but in the heat of another fraught summer at the Compound, she feels her resolve melting away. Cohen, the landscaper and chauffeur responsible for keeping her son out of the water, looks at her with a desire she finds harder and harder to resist. Her granddaughter’s name may be an insult to tradition, but does that mean the poor girl should never feel her grandmother’s love or know her story?  

Graceful, haunting, and wise, The Drowning Season “casts the spell of all great fairy tales. It takes daily life and transforms it into myth as we watch” (Chicago Sun-Times). 
Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters’ hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. We Are All Welcome Here features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom.

It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis’s birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently–and violently–across the state. But in Paige Dunn’s small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit–with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.

Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a fourteen-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town. What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from others’. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great–and relentless.

As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana’ s mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match.
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