The Mirrored World: A Novel

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The critically acclaimed author of The Madonnas of Leningrad (“Elegant and poetic, the rare kind of book that you want to keep but you have to share” —Isabel Allende), Debra Dean returns with The Mirrored World, a breathtaking novel of love and madness set in 18th century Russia. Transporting readers to St. Petersburg during the reign of Catherine the Great, Dean brilliantly reconstructs and reimagines the life of St. Xenia, one of Russia’s most revered and mysterious holy figures, in a richly told and thought-provoking work of historical fiction that recounts the unlikely transformation of a young girl, a child of privilege, into a saint beloved by the poor.
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About the author

Debra Dean worked as an actor in New York theater for nearly a decade before opting for the life of a writer and teacher. She and her husband now live in Miami, where she teaches at the University at Miami. She is at work on her second novel.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Aug 28, 2012
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780062198921
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

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“An extraordinary debut, a deeply lovely novel that evokes with uncommon deftness the terrible, heartbreaking beauty that is life in wartime. Like the glorious ghosts of the paintings in the Hermitage that lie at the heart of the story, Dean’s exquisite prose shimmers with a haunting glow, illuminating us to the notion that art itself is perhaps our most necessary nourishment. A superbly graceful novel.”  — Chang-Rae Lee, New York Times Bestselling author of Aloft and Native Speaker

Bit by bit, the ravages of age are eroding Marina's grip on the everyday. An elderly Russian woman now living in America, she cannot hold on to fresh memories—the details of her grown children's lives, the approaching wedding of her grandchild—yet her distant past is miraculously preserved in her mind's eye.

Vivid images of her youth in war-torn Leningrad arise unbidden, carrying her back to the terrible fall of 1941, when she was a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum and the German army's approach signaled the beginning of what would be a long, torturous siege on the city. As the people braved starvation, bitter cold, and a relentless German onslaught, Marina joined other staff members in removing the museum's priceless masterpieces for safekeeping, leaving the frames hanging empty on the walls to symbolize the artworks' eventual return. As the Luftwaffe's bombs pounded the proud, stricken city, Marina built a personal Hermitage in her mind—a refuge that would stay buried deep within her, until she needed it once more. . . .

Hidden Tapestry reveals the unforgettable story of Flemish American artist Jan Yoors—childhood vagabond, wartime Resistance fighter, and polyamorous New York bohemian. At the peak of his fame in the 1970s, Yoors’s photographs and vast tapestries inspired a dedicated following in his adopted Manhattan and earned him international acclaim. Though his intimate friends guessed the rough outline of his colorful life, Hidden Tapestry is first to detail his astonishing secrets.

At twelve, Jan’s life took an extraordinary and unexpected turn when, lured by stories of Gypsies, he wandered off with a group of Roma and continued to live on-and-off with them and with his own family for several years. As an adult in German-occupied France, Yoors joined the Resistance and persuaded his adoptive Roma family to fight alongside him. Defying repeated arrests and torture by the Gestapo, he worked first as a saboteur and later escorted Allied soldiers trapped behind German lines across the Pyrenees to freedom.

After the war, he married childhood friend Annabert van Wettum and embarked on his career as an artist. When a friend of Annabert’s, Marianne Citroen, modeled for Yoors, the two began an affair, which led the three to form a polyamorous family that would last for the rest of their lives. Moving to New York, the trio became part of the bohemian life of Greenwich Village in the 1950s.

Told in arresting detail by Debra Dean, best-selling author of The Madonnas of Leningrad, Yoors’s story is a luminous and inspiring account of resilience, resourcefulness, and love.

Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he’d done something terrible?

 

‘A heart-wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.’ Write Escape 

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything he has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. 

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. Then one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves? 

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price. 

A USA Today bestseller – a heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping read for fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain. 

What everyone’s saying about The Silent Wife:

‘A compulsive read about secrets, lies, and the complexities of families.’ Bloomin’ Brilliant Books

‘What a great novel this is! A very moving story filled with deception, betrayal and, contrastingly, loyalty, love, caring and forgiveness... and it has a brilliant ending!’ Splashes Into Books

‘Well, this book is a firecracker!...you will experience a rollercoaster of emotions, with laughter, sadness and a satisfying ending that will bring a lump to your throat.’ Many Books Many Lives

‘A fantastic, thought-provoking story, told with pace and style.’ Laura Bambrey Books

‘My heart broke … The plot is so well written that you begin to feel as though you are one of the family and it is packed with twists and turns.’ The Reading Reverie

‘A page turner - full of implied secrets, unravelling family lives, new family dynamics.’ Bookworms and Shutterbugs

‘An addictive novel about family dynamics, secrets and betrayals that will have your mouth hanging open in disbelief many times along the way.’ Books of All Kinds

‘A compelling, chilling and heart pounding read which will take you on a rollercoaster ride you’ll never want to leave. Phenomenally written and undeniably powerful, Kerry Fisher has done it yet again.’ The Writing Garnet

‘My only regret about this book is beginning to read it at half term and not being able to finish it quicker. A gripping and emotional read.’ De Ja Reads

‘It is rare that a book will make you look at your own personality and inspire you to be a better person. A less judgmental person. A braver person. The Silent Wife did that for me – and in the most unexpected way … I gasped, laughed and cried.’ The Glass House Girls

‘I loved this book… I was riveted throughout. 5 stars.’ Emma B books

‘The Silent Wife had me engrossed from page one. Five Stars!’ Boon’s Bookcase

‘Another five star read from Kerry Fisher ... I love Kerry Fisher’s books and this was no exception!’ Strongly Review

‘A wonderful, poignant, heart breaking, heart warming story of families and secrets, of hidden strength and unexpected friendship. Brilliant! Very highly recommended. Cannot wait for Kerry’s next!’ Renita D’Silva

This book was previously titled The Secrets of Second Wives 

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