In this tale revolving around not just parents and children, but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.
"A touch disappointed"
1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children, and listening to her mother's grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change. Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end, which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.
"The rest of the world has gone."
'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.' Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death.
"This book should be on the school curriculum"
Six-year-old Helen and Ellie are identical twins, but Helen is smarter, more popular, and their mother's favorite. Ellie, on the other hand, requires special instruction at school, is friendless, and is punished at every turn. Until they decide to swap places - just for fun, and just for one day - and Ellie refuses to switch back. Everything of Helen's, from her toys to her friends to her identity, now belongs to her sister.
Audie Award Winner, Audiobook of the Year, 2013. Audie Award Nominee, Best Solo Narration, 2013. Graham Greene's evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.
There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed...On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift.
"I'm still waiting for something to happen....."
"But the thing is," said Horley, "they didn't know each other at all. Never heard of each other. It wasn't about the makers. Only about the works." On a dark winter's night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection....
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air, and the sidewalks radiate heat. Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.
"Uncomfortable and compelling"
It's 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something.
"Random gears makes it unpredictable, free."
Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected secondhand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two - only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece.
"I Loved Every Minute of It. Great Characters."
Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides each in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter, she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years after her disappearance, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window.
Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland where the horrors of the Second World War seem distant. He adores his mother, but she treats him with bitter severity, disapproving especially of his intense friendship with Anton, the Jewish boy at school. A gifted pianist, Anton is tortured by stage fright; only in secret games with Gustav does his imagination thrive. But Gustav is taught that he must develop a hard shell, 'like a coconut', to protect the softness inside - just like the hard shell perfected by his country to protect its neutrality.
"'Love among the Ruins'"
Penny and Victoria are about as different as two siblings can be, one with a smart London lifestyle, the other struggling to make ends meet. But they are joined by more than blood, and their shared tragic past is affecting the present more than they realise. When events begin to tug at the fabric beneath which dark secrets are hidden, the resulting chaos threatens to tear the two families apart. Could there be aspects of the past that youngest child Penny doesn't remember? Could the truth of Marge be more complex than the beloved mother the girls choose to perceive?
"Nick does it again!"
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2016. It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong.
"A person’s strength was always his weakness"
Somewhere on the French Riviera, tucked between glitzy Monte Carlo and Cannes' red carpets, lies the sleepy town of Bellevue-Sur-Mer. Sheltered from the glittering melee, it is home to many an expat - although it hasn't proved as peaceful as expected. Now an enterprising band of retirees has resolved to show it's never too late to start afresh and open a restaurant.
"Just marvellous and so much fun."
Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband Edward Sheffield. One day, comfortable in her home and her second marriage, she receives--entirely out of the blue - a parcel containing the manuscript of her ex-husband's first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says. As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a maths professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read along with her, so are we....
Magdalena has an unsettling gift. She sees writing on the body of everyone she meets - names, dates, details both banal and profound - and her only relief from the onslaught of information is to take off her glasses and let the world recede. Mercifully, her own skin is blank. When she meets Neil, she is intrigued to see her name on his cheek. He's in Paris for the summer, studying a medieval pilgrimage to the rocky coast of Spain, where the body of Saint Jacques was said to have washed ashore, covered in scallop shells.
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
"Lovely easy read"
Theresa is desperate for a change. Forced into early retirement, fed up with babysitting her bossy daughter's obnoxious children, she sells her Highgate house and moves to the picture-perfect town of Bellevue-sur-Mer, just outside Nice. With its beautiful villas, bustling cafes and shimmering cerulean sea, the village sparkles like a diamond on the French Mediterranean coast.
"fun and unexpected turns"
Winner of the Whitbread Prize for best first fiction. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-out novel from Winterson, the acclaimed author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. The narrator, Jeanette, cuts her teeth on the knowledge that she is one of God's elect, but as this budding evangelical comes of age and comes to terms with her preference for her own sex, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household crumbles.
"I love everything Jeanette writes."
Anastasia Monrow, also known as Tasia or Tasty by some, is a 23-year-old vixen who loves the finer things in life and other women's men to give them to her. In a world filled with expensive clothes, wads of cash, secret sex dates, and ambitious, vindictive sideline bitches, Tasia reigns supreme. She is the queen bitch in Memphis who usually gets exactly what she wants without asking.
By his own admission, Philip is living a humdrum life in the Essex coastal town of Maldon. His new boss at the town library is a pain in the neck, making even the job he loves difficult, and he longs for something to kick start him out of what he admits is a bit of a rut. Soon after a new and unexpected friendship begins he determines to make some changes. Then one day his routine walk to work has him finding a dead body, involved with the police and feeling he must help his new friend by investigating a mystery from years past.
Kate's retirement plans are put on hold when her old nemesis, Ruby, reappears and both their lives are turned upside down. Two stubborn, independent women discover that the lines between love and hate, and between past and future, are muddled and transitory.
Set in two iconic locales - Hollywood's legendary Chateau Marmont and Fresno's amazing Forestiere's Underground Garden - Waiting for Lipchitz at Chateau Marmont is a bold and colorful critique of the California Dream through the perspective of a screenwriter who has gone from riches to rags. A kind of Hollywood version of Waiting for Godot, Janigian's Lipchitz is a stunningly original take on the absent protagonist and what is illuminated in the void.
College freshman Erik Fiskare loves the theater, but he's more intrigued by the wizardry behind the red curtain than the spectacle center stage. That is until Daisy Bianco steps into the spotlight. The moment Erik lays eyes on this ballerina, his atoms rearrange, and the young stagehand will never be the same.
A very short piece of fantasy world-building, following a few men and their curious line of work revolving around a quiet, dusty shop in a quirky, distant city.
This story is a gem representing the delightful stories from the Indian subcontinent which capture the simple essence of everyday life in rural/urban India. The simple pleasures of life indicate a time gone by, before the advent of cellphones and Facebook, a time which almost stood still, a time where children could revel in the rain, make paper boats and race them down a drain, play marbles, and generally pass time. The once idyllic life almost seems too slow and bear, and hence is fascinating to watch unfurl as we hear the story.
The powerful Derrick Mason finds himself in jail after being released from the hospital, leaving one of his sons to take over the family business in his absence. He is then forced to hear about all the drama and chaos that is unfolding while he sits in his cell. Will the Mason family be able to make it while their leader is behind bars or will one of his sons step up to the plate and take the business to the next level?
Told from the perspective of a seasoned blackjack dealer, The Investment Club tells the stories of a self-destructive, dwarf entrepreneur, a drug-addicted musical performer-turned-stripper, a retired, widowed New Jersey policeman, a bereaved, divorced female sportscaster, and a card-counting, former Catholic priest before and after their fateful meeting at the El Cortez Casino in downtown Vegas.
Written in a fragmented, first-person narrative, and described by some as an urban poem, West End follows the life of a young woman from childhood to early adulthood in a declining area. Enclosed by a darkness that permeates her inner and outer landscape, the narrator experiences recurrent losses. Unable to handle the melancholia that overtakes her, she feels her only choice escape the madness.
Memories are by nature unreal, untrue, inaccurate. They are only mental constructs that we use to organize our experiences. Some are cherished, some frightening, some lost. But they are the only reality we know. Andrew takes a non-linear approach to assembling memory bits into a collection of experiences, real and imagined. Using a variety of forms, including short stories, poems, and a play, we get a portrait of a man lost in time.
It was the night before his wedding, 15 years ago, when the nightmare began for Jay Crawford - locked up for a crime he never committed. Now he's escaped prison and wants nothing more than to clear his name and protect his family. To get justice,he'll need the help of the three best friends who have always had his back - Wil, Kyle, and Allan. But a man on the run requires absolute trust...and Jay may just be setting himself up for the ultimate betrayal.
Storm chaser Max Grady can already feel it: there's a tornado coming to his hometown of Chance, Nebraska. Max is going after it, and the only person he wants by his side is police officer Bree McDermott, fellow adrenaline junkie, his best friend, and the woman Max has secretly been in love with for years. But when a close call with a tornado leaves them lip-locked, Max knows that the danger is only beginning.
Brittany and Ladarius had been together their whole lives and got married shortly after their high school graduation. She was willing to go to the ends of the earth for her man but he wasn't willing to do the same. Ladarius left Brittany for another woman and her world came tumbling down. They say when trouble comes, it comes in threes and they couldn't have been more right. One devastating event after another sends Brittany spiraling out of control. Will she straighten up and fly right or self-destruct?
And then a different bandwidth, not quite a security breach came around the corner of it all as I was writing my prayers on the wall of my indisposition, and recognizing me somehow, called out my secret name. Disappearing down a hole I'd dug for just such an occurrence I left everything I'd built over the years behind me and wondered how they'd found me or if I'd been betrayed. Well maybe I'd find out and maybe I wouldn't but I wasn't sticking around to ask questions.
At once disarmingly humorous and deeply thought-provoking, Perfect Little World is a novel about how the best families are the ones we make for ourselves. Isabelle Pool, recently graduated from high school and pregnant with her art teacher's baby, is just about out of options. Her mother is dead, her father's a drunk and the art teacher is too much of a head case to help raise the child. Izzy knows she can be a good mother, but without any money or prospects, she's left searching.
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed.
"I had doubts, I never should have. Brilliant"
England,1976. Mrs Creasy is missing, and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, 10-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined.
"1976 - long, hot and a wonderful experience"
Mary has been nursing a secret. Forty years ago, she made a choice that would change her world for ever, and alter the path of someone she holds dear. Beth is searching for answers. She has never known the truth about her parentage, but finding out could be the lifeline her sick child so desperately needs. When Beth finds a faded newspaper cutting amongst her mother's things, she realises the key to her son's future lies in her own past. She must go back to where it all began to unlock...the Secret.
"Very good book. Recommended."
Meet Don. Don is a genetics professor who just might be somewhere on the autistic spectrum. He looks a little like Gregory Peck and is getting married. He just doesn't know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. And it's definitely not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not .Rosie, meanwhile, isn't looking for love; she's looking for her biological father. Sometimes, though, you don't find love: love finds you...
It starts with a lie. The kind we've all told - to a former acquaintance we can't quite place but still, for some reason, feel the need to impress. The story of our life, embellished for the benefit of the happily married lawyer with the kids and the lovely home. And the next thing you know, you're having dinner at their house and accepting an invitation to join them on holiday - swept up in their perfect life, the kind you always dreamed of.... Which turns out to be less than perfect.
'Are you happy in your life?' Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he wakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before the man he's never met smiles down at him and says, 'Welcome back, my friend.' In this world he's woken up to, Jason's life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
"WOW - This was a weird one"
Graham Norton's masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss. The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn't always been this overweight; mother of two Brid Riordan hasn't always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn't always felt that her life was a total waste.
"A classic tale of love and loss"
When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...
To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine, was just their hometown: familiar, well ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw - and felt - what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one's deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing....
"Masterful - a horror classic"
The Number One Kindle best seller guaranteed to break your heart. Every so often a love story comes along to remind us that sometimes, in our darkest hour, hope shines a candle to light our way. Discover the Number One best seller that has captured thousands of hearts worldwide.... Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home.
Yvonne Carmichael has a high-flying career, a beautiful home and a good marriage. But when she meets a stranger she is drawn into a passionate affair.Keeping the two halves of her life separate seems easy at first. But she can't control what happens next.
"Multi-layered and absorbing"
Born in Dickens, Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father's memoir will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed, he discovers there never was a memoir. Fuelled by despair, he sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
"A clever, enjoyable satire on racism in todays USA"
This Was a Man opens with a shot being fired, but who pulled the trigger, and who lives, and who dies? In Whitehall, Giles Barrington discovers the truth about his wife, Karin, from the Cabinet Secretary. Is she a spy or a pawn in a larger game? Harry Clifton sets out to write his magnum opus while his wife, Emma, completes her 10 years as Chairman of the Bristol Royal Infirmary and receives an unexpected call from Margaret Thatcher offering her a job.
"Highly entertaining rollicking melodrama"
The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next 72 hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
"Erudite, Intriguing and absolutely Superb..."
Lou Clark knows a lot of things. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop, and she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live, and now everything feels small and joyless. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
"An unusal love story"
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of After You by the Jojo Moyes, the stunning sequel to the worldwide phenomenon Me Before You. Jojo Moyes says: "I hadn't planned to write a sequel to Me Before You. But working on the movie script and reading the sheer volume of tweets and emails every day asking what Lou did with her life meant that the characters never left me."
A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Presented as a collection of documents, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers, which offer conflicting impressions, throwing Macrae's motive and his sanity into question.
"Loved this book, well read don't be put off by the first reader you hear, I nearly was"
A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld. In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail.
"An incredible piece of art (written & narrated)"