Acts of Love: A Novel

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From the acclaimed author of Waiting to Surface comes a “searing” (Publishers Weekly) and emotionally powerful novel about a family and a community torn apart after an unthinkable tragedy.

In a suburb near Albany, New York, Ted and Ann Waring are waiting for divorce papers. Ted is hoping for reconciliation, but when he returns from a hunting trip with the couple’s two adolescent daughters, he loses his temper one last time, shooting and killing Ann in their living room. He claims it was an accident, but his thirteen-year-old daughter, Julia—the only witness—is sure it was murder. The younger girl, Ali, doesn’t know which way to turn. And when Julia testifies against her father, she sets into motion a struggle that pits family, friends, and townspeople against one another.

As the many layers of truth unfold in this “chilling meditation on the so-called acts of love” (The New York Times) Emily Listfield’s lean and subtle prose reveals the ways in which the emotions and evasions of the past reverberate uncontrollably into the present.
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About the author

Emily Listfield is the former editor in chief of Fitness magazine and author of seven novels, including the New York Times Notable It Was Gonna Be Like Paris and Waiting to Surface. Her writing has appeared everywhere from the New York Times Styles section to Harper’s Bazaar. She is currently Chief Content Officer of Kaplow PR, where she helps brands like Skype, Shiseido, and Laura Mercier refine their voice, storytelling, and strategy. She lives in New York City with her daughter. Visit her website at EmilyListfield.com.

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3.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 6, 2008
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781416560487
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
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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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Based on the author’s own experiences a “heartrending” (People) and haunting story about a magazine editor and mother whose life is changed by a phone call revealing that her husband has vanished without a trace.

On a steamy August morning, Sarah Larkin drops her six-year-old daughter, Eliza, off at camp and heads to her office, where she works as an editor of a women’s magazine. She is sitting at her desk testing a $450 face cream when the phone rings.

Detective Ronald Brook tells Sarah that her husband has vanished. A keening sound escapes from Sarah’s throat as the detective lays out the few facts he knows.

A noted sculptor, Todd Larkin went swimming at midnight off the coast of Florida and hasn’t returned. He was staying with a woman. He was drinking. He left behind his keys, wallet, cell phone, and his return airline ticket. They also found two drawings and pieces of a sculpture. But there is no trace of him or his body. The coast guard has been scouring the shoreline, but no one has seen a thing.

Has Todd run off to start a new life or is he dead? Could it have been an accident, suicide, or homicide? As Sarah grapples with the mystery of his disappearance, she is forced to confront the hopes and disappointments of her marriage. And through it all, she must also help her young daughter deal with the crisis while meeting the demands of the high-powered magazine world.

“A gripping story” (Parade) about coming to terms with loss, learning to live in a world without answers, and discovering the ability to treasure love once again, Waiting to Surface is a story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
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