The Biographies of Ordinary People

The Biographies of Ordinary People

Book 1
Nicole Dieker
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 A Millennial-era Little Women that follows three sisters from 1989 to the present.

Library Journal Self-e Selection, with five stars from Foreword Clarion Reviews: “This first volume is deeply satisfying.” 

The Biographies of Ordinary People is the story of the Gruber family: Rosemary and Jack, and their daughters Meredith, Natalie, and Jackie. The two-volume series begins in July 1989, on Rosemary’s thirty-fifth birthday; it ends in November 2016, on Meredith’s thirty-fifth birthday.

When the Grubers move to a small Midwestern town so Jack can teach music at a local college, each family member has an idea of who they might become. Jack wants to foster intellectual curiosity in his students. Rosemary wants to be “the most important person in her own life for the length of an afternoon.” Meredith wants to model herself after the girls she’s read about in books: Betsy Ray, Pauline Fossil, Jo March. Natalie wants to figure out how she’s different from her sisters—and Jackie, the youngest, wants to sing.

Set against the past thirty years of social and cultural changes, this story of family, friendship, and artistic ambition takes us into intimately familiar experiences: putting on a play, falling out with a best friend, getting dial-up internet for the first time. Drinking sparkling wine out of a paper cup on December 31, 1999 and wondering what will happen next.

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About the author

 Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer, a senior editor at The Billfold, and a columnist at The Write Life. Her work has appeared in Boing Boing, Popular Science, Scratch, SparkLife, The Freelancer, The Toast, and numerous other publications. The Biographies of Ordinary People is her debut novel, if you don’t count the speculative fiction epic she wrote when she was in high school.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Nicole Dieker
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Published on
May 23, 2017
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Pages
345
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ISBN
9780998674315
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Sagas
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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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 The Gruber sisters grow up in this second volume of The Biographies of Ordinary People, navigating jobs, friendships, and relationships in a constantly changing world.

The Biographies of Ordinary People is the story of the Gruber family: Rosemary and Jack, and their daughters Meredith, Natalie, and Jackie. The two-volume series begins in July 1989, on Rosemary’s thirty-fifth birthday; it ends in November 2016, on Meredith’s thirty-fifth birthday.

The second volume follows the three Gruber sisters as they each leave their rural Midwestern hometown and try to make their way in the larger world. Meredith is determined to pursue a career in the theater. Natalie begins sorting and filing for an insurance company. Jackie… well, Jackie still wants to sing, and if the classical music world isn’t interested in what she can do, she’ll figure out how to do it on her own.

Set against the Great Recession, Presidents Obama and Trump, and a growing sense of national unrest, this final volume explores Meredith’s question: is it possible for ordinary people to make art? It also takes us into the close emotional connections between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends, and the people we choose to love as adults.

Reviews and praise:

“…a satisfying family saga about growing up and coming into one’s own.” – Foreword Clarion Reviews

“A shrewdly unique portrait of everyday America.” – Kirkus Reviews

“…the writing is precise and wonderfully descriptive.” – BlueInk Review

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 Sandroand 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 

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis.

“Picoult at her fearless best . . . Timely, balanced and certain to inspire debate.”—The Washington Post

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order to save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester, disguised as a patient, who now stands in the crosshairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

One of the most fearless writers of our time, Jodi Picoult tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.

Praise for A Spark of Light

“This is Jodi Picoult at her best: tackling an emotional hot-button issue and putting a human face on it.”—People
 
“Told backward and hour by hour, Jodi Picoult’s compelling narrative deftly explores controversial social issues.”—Us Weekly
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