The Light Between Oceans meets The Language of Flowers in this beautiful debut novel by an acclaimed Canadian children’s author.
Elizabeth's eyes have failed. She can no longer read the books she loves or see the paintings that move her spirit, but her mind remains sharp and music fills the vacancy left by her blindness as she ruminates on the secrets in her family's past.
When her late father's journals are discovered on a shipwrecked boat, she enlists the help of a delinquent teenager, Morgan, who is completing community service at the senior home where Elizabeth lives. An unlikely relationship develops between the two as they work to decipher the books and are drawn into the musty words he penned more than seventy years before as he manned the lighthouse on Porphyry Island.
In the process they come to realize that they are both connected to the isolated island, their lives touched by Elizabeth's enigmatic twin sister Emily and the beautiful but harsh Lake Superior environment. While the discovery of Morgan's connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals hold more questions than answers for Elizabeth, and threaten the very core of who she is.
Combining an emotional story of human connection with a mystery spanning decades, this tale of family, identity, and art will captivate and resonate with readers.
Jean E. Pendziwol was born in Thunder Bay, on the shores of Lake Superior, and spent much of her childhood aboard her family’s sailboat, exploring the islands of the inland sea. She is the author of nine books for children. She was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for her picture book, Once Upon a Northern Night, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. She lives in the shadow of Ontario’s Nor’Wester Mountains.
Things become less rosy when Matt, after twenty years with the same firm, is made redundant. Only Jess sees the potential calamity in this. Matt is delighted with his new freedom and takes to hanging out at the local bar with others of the male barely-employable tendency, drinking and drifting and dreaming up hopeless schemes to make them all rich. Daughter no. 1, meanwhile, has taken up with a mysterious boy living in an abandoned car on the allotment, and her younger sister is over-burdened with a surfeit of secrets. For Jess, trying to hold everything together and missing her first-flown child, it becomes ever-harder to maintain the carefree façade for her readers. Of course she could just tell them the truth...
Poor George gives us George Mecklin, a restless, soft-spoken teacher at a private school in Manhattan. Depressed by his life of vague moral purpose, George discovers a local adolescent named Ernest breaking into his house. Rather than hand the boy over to the police, as his nagging wife insists, George instead decides to tutor him. His life consequently implodes. Filled with vividly acid portrayals of American life in the 1960s, prescient explorations of suburban anomie, and a riotously disturbing cast of supporting characters, Poor George is a classic American novel—further reminder of Paula Fox’s astonishing literary gifts.
With an introduction by Jonathan Lethem.
“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”
1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.
1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.
Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love—the one thing he can’t give.
Everything except her . . .
Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.
When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants—or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride:
Never underestimate a Ravenel.
The chase for Cassandra’s hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun . . .
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
#1 New York Times Instant Bestseller (February 2018)
A People “Book of the Week”
Buzzfeed’s “Most Anticipated Women’s Fiction Reads of 2018”
Seattle Times’s “Books to Look Forward to in 2018”
Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.
In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.