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A post-apocalyptic homage to The Scarlet Pimpernell! By day, Sophia Bellamy is a well-bred young lady about to save her family’s fortunes by marrying a rich, airhead parisian. By night, she is Le Corbeau Rouge, the Red Rook: a mysterious trickster who snatches prisoners from the very scaffold of the guillotine in a blood-washed, dystopian Paris. Swashbuckling! Swordplay! Narrow escapes! Romance! Repartee!— Fiona
A post-apocalyptic homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel! By day, Sophia Bellamy is a well-bred young lady about to save her family’s fortunes by marrying a rich, airheaded Parisian. By night, she is Le Corbeau Rouge, the Red Rook: a mysterious trickster who snatches prisoners from the very scaffold of the guillotine in a blood-washed, dystopian Paris. Swashbuckling! Swordplay! Narrow escapes! Romance! Repartee! Sink me, it’s awesome!
~Fiona— From Rook
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy's arranged marriage to the wealthy Rene Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiance is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and Rene find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.
About the Author
Sharon Cameron's debut novel The Dark Unwinding was awarded the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and was named a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. Sharon is also the author of its sequel, A Spark Unseen; Rook, which was selected as an Indiebound Indie Next List Top Ten selection, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection, and a Parents' Choice gold medalist; and The Forgetting, an Autumn 2016 Kids' Indie Next List selection. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee, and you can visit her online at sharoncameronbooks.com.
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From the author of Bread Crumbs, The Real Boy is beautifully written light fantasy—with some references to Pinocchio—perfect for anyone 8-12. Oscar is apprenticed to the most powerful magician on the island. But when the magician disappears, and the city’s children fall ill with a mysterious magical illness, Oscar must step up to fill his place. Is Oscar up to the challenge?
~Ariel— From The Real Boy
National Book Award Longlist * Bank Street Children's Book Committee Best Book of the Year
"Beautifully written and elegantly structured, this fantasy is as real as it gets."--Franny Billingsley, author of Chime
The Real Boy, Anne Ursu's follow-up to her widely acclaimed and beloved middle grade fantasy Breadcrumbs, is a spellbinding tale of the power we all wield, great and small.
On an island on the edge of an immense sea there is a city, a forest, and a boy named Oscar. Oscar is a shop boy for the most powerful magician in the village, and spends his days in a small room in the dark cellar of his master's shop grinding herbs and dreaming of the wizards who once lived on the island generations ago. Oscar's world is small, but he likes it that way. The real world is vast, strange, and unpredictable. And Oscar does not quite fit in it.
But now that world is changing. Children in the city are falling ill, and something sinister lurks in the forest. Oscar has long been content to stay in his small room in the cellar, comforted in the knowledge that the magic that flows from the forest will keep his island safe. Now even magic may not be enough to save it.
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Witty and Wise - Mary Norris brings good cheer to all of us - readers and writers. “The dictionary is wonderful thing, but you can’t let it push you around.” Read with pleasure!
~Frayda— From Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
April 2015 Indie Next List
“I was feeling pretty smug about my word skills until I learned something right there on page 26 of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. I have been mispronouncing 'elegiac.' Even so, I didn't begrudge Norris for taking me on a delightful tour of the offices of The New Yorker, the history of Noah Webster and his dictionary descendents, the city of Cleveland, and the hyphen in Moby-Dick. Between You and Me is a sprightly -- not 'spritely,' thank you -- gambol in the fields of grammar, and I enjoyed every step.”
— David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN
Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.
Between You & Me features Norris's laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usage--comma faults, danglers, "who" vs. "whom," "that" vs. "which," compound words, gender-neutral language--and her clear explanations of how to handle them. Down-to-earth and always open-minded, she draws on examples from Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and the Lord's Prayer, as well as from The Honeymooners, The Simpsons, David Foster Wallace, and Gillian Flynn. She takes us to see a copy of Noah Webster's groundbreaking Blue-Back Speller, on a quest to find out who put the hyphen in Moby-Dick, on a pilgrimage to the world's only pencil-sharpener museum, and inside the hallowed halls of The New Yorker and her work with such celebrated writers as Pauline Kael, Philip Roth, and George Saunders.
Readers--and writers--will find in Norris neither a scold nor a softie but a wise and witty new friend in love with language and alive to the glories of its use in America, even in the age of autocorrect and spell-check. As Norris writes, "The dictionary is a wonderful thing, but you can't let it push you around."
Coverage from NPR
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I think the 3 generation sweep makes for an extremely satisfying read. Masterful prose of rural life deeply observed. Highly recommended! The 1st in her “Last Hundred Years Trilogy.”— Anita
Reading Some Luck feels like paging through an old family photo album that’s come to life. Each chapter covers one year’s time, beginning in 1920. And while the story of the Langston family is told in a quiet and meditative fashion, the menace of the precariousness of farm life lurks beneath the pastoral calm. This first part of a planned trilogy ends in 1953, and you’ll want to plow right into part 2, Early Warning.
~Molly— From Some Luck
October 2014 Indie Next List
“With a novel as expansive and rich as the fertile farm grounds of Iowa, Smiley returns to the Midwest. Fans of her Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres will welcome this homecoming, the sweeping story of Walter and Rosanna Langdon's lives from 1920 to 1953. Memorable events - the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the McCarthy hearings, the Korean War - are all intertwined with the roller coaster of farm family life. The first volume in a planned trilogy, Some Luck is a celebration of the American family set against the backdrop of the land that will become the 'bread basket of the nation.'”
— Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA
Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award From the winner of the Pulitzer Prize a powerful, engrossing new novel--the life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her father's heart. Each chapter in Some Luck covers a single year, beginning in 1920, as American soldiers like Walter return home from World War I, and going up through the early 1950s, with the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change. As the Langdons branch out from Iowa to both coasts of America, the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis; later still, a girl you'd seen growing up now has a little girl of her own, and you discover that your laughter and your admiration for all these lives are mixing with tears. Some Luck delivers on everything we look for in a work of fiction. Taking us through cycles of births and deaths, passions and betrayals, among characters we come to know inside and out, it is a tour de force that stands wholly on its own. But it is also the first part of a dazzling epic trilogy--a literary adventure that will span a century in America: an astonishing feat of storytelling by a beloved writer at the height of her powers.
About the Author
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, as well as five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2006 she received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.
Coverage from NPR
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Deeply interesting and skillfully written, Spinster is a pleasure and a provocation (which is the highest compliment I can bestow). Brava!
~Fiona— From Spinster
A New York Times Book Review Notable Book"Whom to marry, and when will it happen--these two questions define every woman's existence." So begins Spinster, a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why- she--along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing--remains unmarried. This unprecedented demographic shift, Bolick explains, is the logical outcome of hundreds of years of change that has neither been fully understood, nor appreciated. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms: columnist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton. By animating their unconventional ideas and choices, Bolick shows us that contemporary debates about settling down, and having it all, are timeless--the crucible upon which all thoughtful women have tried for centuries to forge a good life. Intellectually substantial and deeply personal, Spinster is both an unreservedly inquisitive memoir and a broader cultural exploration that asks us to acknowledge the opportunities within ourselves to live authentically. Bolick offers us a way back into our own lives--a chance to see those splendid years when we were young and unencumbered, or middle-aged and finally left to our own devices, for what they really are: unbounded and our own to savor.
About the Author
Kate Bolick is a contributing editor to The Atlantic. She was previously the executive editor of Domino magazine. She lives in New York.
Coverage from NPR
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I am obsessed with this series! It’s a book I would not have picked up on my own--my friend made me read it and I am SO GLAD she did. Stiefvater writes compelling characters that you simply must root for. Part mystery, party mythology, it’s a series that is impossible to get out of your mind.
~Antonia— From The Raven Boys
July 2012 Indie Next List
“Blue has grown up in a house full of women psychics who have foretold certain death for her first love. She unwillingly becomes friends with a gaggle of boys, the Raven Boys, from the very expensive private school in town. They're on the search for a mythical king who is said to grant a wish to whoever finds him. Will Blue's ability to intensify the magic around them help on their quest or put them in danger? The Raven Boys will pull you into their thrilling journey.”
— Hannah Johnson-Breimeier, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.
About the Author
Maggie Stiefvater is the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the novels SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER, and THE SCORPIO RACES. She is also the author of LAMENT: THE FAERIE QUEEN'S DECEPTION and BALLAD: A GATHERING OF FAERIE. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children. You can visit her online at www.maggiestiefvater.com.
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A young girl’s quest for family and a place in the world. The Vietnam War transcends all wars and displacement in this lyrical novel. Beautiful writing.
~Frayda— From The Given World
May 2015 Indie Next List
“In this fresh take on stories about the devastation that war visits on those left behind as well as on those who are sent to fight, Riley resists believing her beloved older brother never emerged from the tunnels of Cu Chi. Since his body was never found, she follows this hope from the Montana plains to Vietnam and then spirals down into the back streets of 1980s San Francisco. As Palaia details Riley's struggle to move from denial to the eventual acceptance of reality, she portrays the starry Montana nights as vividly as the streets of Saigon and the bars of Haight-Ashbury. A brilliant debut!”
— Cheryl McKeon (M), Book Passage, San Francisco, CA
"Complex and haunting...vivid and unforgettable." --People "Ardent, ambitious." --The New York Times Book Review "Stunning...elegant...It's enormously refreshing to read a story that talks about complicated women with so much empathy." --Missoula Independent "Reverberates with the tones of a modern western--except that its tough-talking hero is a woman...all surliness and cheek...self-punishing, defiant, vulnerable." --San Francisco Chronicle From a quiet family farm in Montana in the 60s to the grit and haze of San Francisco in the 70s to a gypsy-populated, post-war Saigon, The Given World spins around its unconventional and unforgettable heroine, Riley. When her big brother is declared MIA in Vietnam, young Riley packs up her shattered heart and leaves her family, her first love, and "a few small things" behind. By trial and error she builds a new life, working on cars, delivering newspapers, tending bar. She befriends, rescues, and is rescued by a similarly vagabond cast of characters whose "'unraveled souls' sting hardest and linger the longest." (The New York Times Book Review) Foolhardy, funny, and wise, Riley's challenge as she grows into a woman is simple: survive long enough to go home again, or at least figure out where home is, and who might be among the living there. Lorrie Moore said, "It's been a long time since a first book contained this much wisdom and knowledge of the world." The Given World is the remarkable debut of "an immense writing talent." (Booklist)
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A thrilling dystopian adventure with a cyberpunk twist! Smart and fast-paced; I loved it and the ending left me desperate for the sequel (which is out now, so you won’t have to endure the pain of waiting)!
~Fiona— From Proxy
"Put down what you're doing and read this book. Right now. The complex characters, intricate world, and blistering pace are off-the-charts amazing." --Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy Syd's life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else's crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys' resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
This fast-paced thrill ride of a novel is full of breakneck action, shocking twists and heart-hammering suspense that will have readers gasping until the very last page. This edition includes a exclusive bonus story featuring Syd and Knox "Looking for an awesome YA summer read? Look no further than Alex London's Proxy." --EW.com "Whipping Boy + Blade Runner with a sprinkling of The Hunger Games (plus, of course, a dash of A Tale of Two Cities) = a treat for teen SF fans." --Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Alex London writes books for adults, children and teens. At one time a journalist who traveled the world reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he now is a full time novelist living in Brooklyn. You can visit Alex London at www.calexanderlondon.com
Rave Reviews for Proxy
“I fell in love with this story from the first sentence to the final, epic page. London is a force to be reckoned with.” —Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy
“A fast-paced dystopian novel which should appeal to readers of the Hunger Games.” —VOYA
“Not only is Proxy an edge-of-your-seat literary thrill ride, it’s an important and groundbreaking novel as well…London has crafted a true tour de force.” —Matt de la Peña, author of Mexican White Boy
“A big twist and heroic ending will leave readers eager for more” —Shelf Awareness
“Offering intriguing moral dilemmas amid breakneck action…The matter-of-fact presence of a gay lead [Syd] in an action driven story is welcome and overdue.” —Publishers Weekly
“An action-packed thrill ride.” —SLJ
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An astonishing first novel; reminiscent of John Steinbeck and Wallace Stegner.
~Sydney— From The Orchardist
September 2012 Indie Next List
“Set in rural Washington state in the early 20th century, The Orchardist tells the story of Talmadge, who has lived alone since his sister disappeared from their home and orchard when he was a young man. His life is changed when two young pregnant teens, escaping from a horrific situation, arrive at the orchard and he decides to let them into his life. Lyrically written, this is a moving book about a man's life, the land on which he lives, and the consequences of caring about others.”
— Nancy Felton, Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA
At once intimate and epic, The Orchardist is historical fiction at its best, in the grand literary tradition of William Faulkner, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Ondaatje, Annie Proulx, and Toni Morrison.
In her stunningly original and haunting debut novel, Amanda Coplin evokes a powerful sense of place, mixing tenderness and violence as she spins an engrossing tale of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the dramatic consequences of his actions.
“Many contemporary novelists have revisited the question of what constitutes a family, but few have responded in a voice as resolute and fiercely poetic.”
-New York Times Book Review
“Amanda Coplin’s somber, majestic debut arrives like an urgent missive from another century. You can only be thrilled by a 31-year-old writer with this depth of understanding…the final epiphany equals in stark grandeur similar scenes in Emily Bronte’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS and Pat Barker’s ANOTHER WORLD...”
“Coplin’s prose is fresh and compelling…While the ending of this striking debut may not make every reader happy, it is, undoubtedly, the right one for both the book and for Talmadge, an unlikely hero who—like the book—is true to life and sweetly honest from beginning to end.”
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A stunning debut…THE ORCHARDIST is a poetic book, but its strength doesn’t lie solely in its language. Coplin’s understanding of abuse and the lasting effects of fear and loss on the individual psyche are deeply resonant. As a debut novel, THE ORCHARDIST stands on par with Charles Frazier’s COLD MOUNTAIN.”
-The Oregonian (Portland)
“THE ORCHARDIST is engaging and enthralling. The reader wants to turn each page quickly as the story develops, and wants at the same time to dwell on the lyrical moments of sunshine, soil and love.”
“There are echoes of John Steinbeck in this beautiful and haunting debut novel set in early-20th -century Washington State...Coplin depicts the frontier landscape and the plainspoken characters who inhabit it with dazzling clarity.”
“Amanda Coplin has depicted her northwestern landscape with such fidelity that readers will know its every sight, smell, and sound. Within this world are compelling characters and their equally compelling stories. THE ORCHARDIST is an outstanding debut.”
-Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of SERENA and THE COVE
“To read this mysterious, compelling, elemental novel is to immerse yourself in the world of an old folk song, in which the passions and sorrows of plain people rage unseen and then blossom as madly (and quietly) as apricot trees. In THE ORCHARDIST, Amanda Coplin shows us what’s unknowable.”
-Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award and NBCC Award Finalist for Fiction, AMERICAN SALVAGE
“THE ORCHARDIST is a stunning accomplishment, hypnotic in its storytelling power, by turns lyrical and gritty, and filled with marvels. Coplin displays a dazzling sense of craftsmanship, and a talent for creating characters vivid and true.”
-Jane Ciabattari, NPR
“A breathtaking work from a genuinely accomplished writer…Coplin’s lyrical style and forceful storytelling provide many unexpected twists before the poignant conclusion.”
“Eloquent, moving…an immensely affecting first novel...Coplin refuses to sentimentalize. Instead, she demonstrates that courage and compassion can transform unremarkable lives and redeem damaged souls.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Coplin’s mesmerizing debut stands out with its depictions of uniquely Western personalities and a stark, gorgeously realized landscape that will settle deeply into readers’ bones.”
“Beautifully written, so alive to the magnificence of the land and the intricate mysteries of human nature, that it inspires awe rather than depression.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Nearly everybody in the book compels your admiration, either for their courage or for the heavy work they do, all the time and without complaint, even when wicked men are hunting them. Transfixing. I love this book straight through.”
-Salvatore Scibona, author of THE END, National Book Award Finalist
“When you pick up THE ORCHARDIST, you will be lured at first by the lushness of the language. But soon enough the characters will take hold of you and you’ll read on hungrily, as if under a spell. It’s hard to believe that this is Amanda Coplin’s first novel.”
-Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED
“Patiently beautiful, THE ORCHARDIST builds its characters and its situations so carefully that the story becomes as real to us as this morning’s news. I am in awe of Amanda Coplin’s book, which does not feel like a first novel but a life’s work.”
-Charles Baxter, author THE FEAST OF LOVE, National Book Award Finalist
“A rare find—this debut novel that reads with masterful authority. Stately and passionate—a stunning powerhouse. THE ORCHARDIST, like Marilynne Robinson’s GILEAD, drills into history, portraying an apparently modest American way of life but finally presenting us with a great American elegy.”
-Patricia Hampl, author of A ROMANTIC EDUCATION
“This is a novel to burrow into, to be submerged in a world that is both lovely and hard. It’s a world that becomes so real that one only leaves by being forced out by the closing of the covers that enfold it.”
“Coplin’s grave, graceful prose gives dignity to lives that otherwise might be too sad to contemplate. Her story, which turns in unpredictable ways, is both troubling and touching.”
“A superb work from an abundantly gifted young writer”
-Dallas Morning News
“In the end, THE ORCHARDIST shares much in common with the fruits its protagonist nurtures: The succulent flesh of the novel will intoxicate readers early on, but delving deeper reveals a hard core that is vital, bittersweet and ultimately timeless.”
-BookPage, Top Fiction Pick
“This is an extraordinarily ambitious and authoritative debut.”
-Holloway McCandless, Shelf Awareness
“Coplin’s consistent and finely-tuned rendering of a very different sensibility may help readers to comprehend a time when expedience did not rule…This patience is revealed in a narrative that is at once lyrical and unsentimental. This is the most extraordinary fruit of a noteworthy debut novel.”
“The exquisitely described landscapes in this tale astonish, but so do the emotional lives of its characters…a wise and great American novel.”
-The Oprah Blog, Book of the Week September 17th
“[A] beautiful, powerful novel…THE ORCHARDIST has the sweep and scope of a big historical novel…yet Coplin is exquisitely attuned to small, interior revolutions as well. Its language as rooted and plain as the apple trees Talmadge nurtures, this is a gorgeous first book.”
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Forgiveness for a fee . . . is this where we’re headed? A beautiful advertising executive and a lonely former priest think so. Here is a charming satire of modern life, where convenience is king, anyone can become a brand, and everything has price. Guilt-free reading!
~Molly— From Forgiveness 4 You
Forgiveness 4 You is a startlingly contemporary novel about faith and religion in an America addicted to quick fixes and instant gratification. Gabriel McKenna is an ex-Catholic priest, and with his quiet job at a quiet bookstore, he is--slowly--rebuilding his life. But even at the bookstore, people from all walks of life find their way to him and feel compelled to share their stories and reveal to him their deepest, guiltiest secrets One of these people is Madeline Murray, a high-powered advertising executive, who, hours after her weepy confession, has a revelation: If she felt so comforted by this stranger, perhaps there's something remunerative to his consoling abilities. Madeline has a vision: a business that will offer a secu-lar form of confession and forgiveness--the comforts of religion, without the religion. Without knowing exactly how it happened (and whether any of it is morally sound) Gabriel is transformed by Madeline and her colleagues into the centerpiece of the forgiveness brand. And so a therapeutic revolution unleashes itself on America--or is about to, until a terrible secret threatens to torpedo the business and the man at the middle of it. Which would all be bad enough, were it not for temptation--in the form of Madeline herself InForgiveness 4 You, Ann Bauer combines her gift for characterization with a broad American canvas to dazzling effect. Written with verve and confidence, Forgiveness 4 You is an unusually ambitious novel that blends cutting-edge satire with a serious mediation on faith in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Ann Bauer is author of two novels, "The Forever Marriage "and "A Wild Ride up the Cupboards," and co-author of the culinary memoir, "Damn Good Food." Her essays have appeared in "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," "Elle," "Redbook," and "The Sun." From 2006 to 2010, she was a regular contributor to "Salon." She splits her time between Minneapolis and Boston.