Together


Author: Julie Cohen
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 9781409171768
Category: Fiction
Page: 352
View: 4475

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RICHARD AND JUDY SUMMER BOOK CLUB PICK 2018 'This big, clever, tender and twisty love story reminded me of One Day & The Time Traveler's Wife' Erin Kelly, author of He Said, She Said **** Robbie and Emily have been together for years, but their love is still fresh and fierce. They have shared a bed, a home, a bond so deep it can't be broken. But there are things they don't share, things best left unsaid. On a morning like any other, Robbie wakes, dresses, writes Emily a letter - and leaves their home for good. There is a secret they've been keeping since the day they met. The sacrifices and choices that have sealed their fates could be exposed, and this is the only way to keep it all hidden... Is this a great love story or a story about great love? Whatever you decide, theirs is a story that will never leave you. **** Readers can't stop talking about TOGETHER: 'A bold, breathtaking and truly compelling love story, one that will stay with me for a long time' Lisa Jewell, author of Then She Was Gone 'Julie Cohen's writing is powerful, moving and truly beautiful' Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep 'It takes a lot to tempt me from crime, but this is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking stories I've read' Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths 'Complex, compelling and beautiful, Together is the kind of novel that will stay with you forever' Rowan Coleman, author of The Summer of Impossible Things 'Cleverly-plotted and stunningly written, Julie Cohen's Together is a page-turner with real emotional punch' Catherine Isaac, author of You, Me, Everything Perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan, Gail Honeyman and Sarah Winman and anyone looking for a thought-provoking page-turner.

This Is How It Always Is

A Novel
Author: Laurie Frankel
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250088550
Category: Fiction
Page: 336
View: 8853

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This is how a family keeps a secret...and how that secret ends up keeping them. This is how a family lives happily ever after...until happily ever after becomes complicated. This is how children change...and then change the world. When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it’s another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren’t panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes. Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again; parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts; children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.

The Light We Lost


Author: Jill Santopolo
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735212759
Category: Fiction
Page: 336
View: 2700

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"Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated--perhaps they'll find life's meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other's hearts."--

The Summer of Impossible Things

An uplifting, emotional story as seen on ITV in the Zoe Ball Book Club
Author: Rowan Coleman
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473528887
Category: Fiction
Page: 432
View: 1162

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If you could change the past, would you? *As seen on ITV in The Zoe Ball Book Club* 'Beautiful, well-written...I got goosebumps' Alex Jones 'Portrayed 1977 so brilliantly...it would make an amazing movie' Zoe Ball ----------------------------------------------- How far would you go to save the person you love? Luna is about to do everything she can to save her mother's life. Even if it means sacrificing her own. A beautiful novel about family, courage, sacrifice and love in all its guises from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book ----------------------------------------------- With over 150 5* reviews, this is what readers are saying about this irresistible page-turner: 'Best book of the year for me' 'It's a poignant but ultimately life-affirming journey' 'A wonderful novel, full of love and friendship and vitality' 'This story was magical and I loved it' 'Truly outstanding storytelling' 'A book that really stayed with me'

The Woolgrower's Companion


Author: Joy Rhoades
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 0143782142
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 9800

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As the war draws to a close, one woman faces her greatest battle . . . Australia 1945. Until now Kate Dowd has led a sheltered life on Amiens, her family's sprawling sheep station in northern New South Wales. The horrors of war have for the most part left her untouched. But with her father succumbing to wounds he's borne since the Great War, the management of the farm is increasingly falling on Kate's shoulders. With only the sheep-rearing book The Woolgrower's Companion to guide her, Kate rises to the challenge. However the arrival of two Italian POW labourers unsettles not only the other workers, but Kate too - especially when she finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Luca Canali. Then she receives devastating news. The farm is near bankrupt and the bank is set to repossess. Given just eight weeks to pay the debt, Kate is now in a race to save everything she holds dear. 'A heart-breaking tale beautifully told . . . This compelling story of war and love, of family and prejudice is magical' Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help

Together

a Richard and Judy Book Club summer read 2018
Author: Julie Cohen
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 1409171779
Category: Fiction
Page: 320
View: 676

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RICHARD AND JUDY SUMMER BOOK CLUB PICK 2018 'This big, clever, tender and twisty love story reminded me of One Day & The Time Traveler's Wife' Erin Kelly, author of He Said, She Said **** Robbie and Emily have been together for years, but their love is still fresh and fierce. They have shared a bed, a home, a bond so deep it can't be broken. But there are things they don't share, things best left unsaid. On a morning like any other, Robbie wakes, dresses, writes Emily a letter - and leaves their home for good. There is a secret they've been keeping since the day they met. The sacrifices and choices that have sealed their fates could be exposed, and this is the only way to keep it all hidden... Is this a great love story or a story about great love? Whatever you decide, theirs is a story that will never leave you. **** Readers can't stop talking about TOGETHER: 'A bold, breathtaking and truly compelling love story, one that will stay with me for a long time' Lisa Jewell, author of Then She Was Gone 'Julie Cohen's writing is powerful, moving and truly beautiful' Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep 'It takes a lot to tempt me from crime, but this is one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking stories I've read' Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths 'Complex, compelling and beautiful, Together is the kind of novel that will stay with you forever' Rowan Coleman, author of The Summer of Impossible Things 'Cleverly-plotted and stunningly written, Julie Cohen's Together is a page-turner with real emotional punch' Catherine Isaac, author of You, Me, Everything Perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan, Gail Honeyman and Sarah Winman and anyone looking for a thought-provoking page-turner.

Not a Sound

A Page-Turning Thriller
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1460396650
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 9540

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A shocking discovery and chilling secrets converge in this latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters—her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again. As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice? New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf has been described as "masterful" and "intelligent" and compared to Lisa Scottoline and Jodi Picoult. Introducing her most compelling heroine yet, she delivers a taut and emotional thriller that proves she's at the top of her class.

Barbed Wire and Babushkas

A River Odyssey Across Siberia
Author: Paul Grogan
Publisher: Virgin Books Limited
ISBN: 9780753522783
Category: Amur River (China and Russia)
Page: 270
View: 8598

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Victor was clearly concerned about our plans to travel along the border, promising that the guards would shoot us on sight: 'They will be made heroes, with medals from Moscow,' he thundered, slapping his chest, ' but you will be dead!' And with that, he moulded his hands around an imaginary machine gun and sprayed our chests with an impressive salvo of spittle. For years they'd dreamed of packing in their day-jobs and travelling one of the world's greatest rivers, so long as it was somewhere warm. Siberia seemed like the obvious choice... Starting from high in the mountains of northern Mongolia, Paul Grogan and travelling companion Richard Boddington set out to make the first source-to-sea descent of Siberia's 4,400km Amur River, known in China as The Black Dragon. After wading up-stream for five days to reach the source, they begin their epic, four-month journey knowing virtually nothing about the region they'll be travelling through, or even where they'll be able to find food along the way. One of the few things they do know about the river is that for almost 2,000km if forms the long-disputed border between Russia and China. the scene of armed conflict up until the late 1980's, it's still considered off-limits, even to Russians. Never sure if they'll be able to continue around the next bend, the pair face guns, gunboats and arrest at every turn, and are forbidden to even set foot in Chinese territory. But beyond this fascade of military might they find a generous, warm-hearted people with a wicked sense of humour and an unhealthy predilection fir poetry, pig fat and home-made vodka. With sun, sauna's and dancing girls also high on the agenda, they are soon swept along by life on the river and the occasional 4 a.m. flood.

The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde


Author: Eve Chase
Publisher: Michael Joseph
ISBN: 9781405919340
Category:
Page: 400
View: 8236

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In the heatwave of 1959, four sisters arrive at Applecote Manor to relive their memories of hazy Cotswolds summers. They find their uncle and aunt still reeling from the disappearance of their only daughter, five years before. An undercurrent of dread runs through the house. Why did Audrey vanish? Who is keeping her fate secret? As the sisters are lured into the mystery of their missing cousin, the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. One which will leave blood on their hands, and put another girl in danger decades later . . .

Dear Thing


Author: Julie Cohen
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250081505
Category: Fiction
Page: 432
View: 7495

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After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily has offered to give them the one thing that they want most. Romily expects it will be easy to be a surrogate. She's already a single mother, and she has no desire for any more children. But Romily isn't prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire-and even destroy their marriage. Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make... Thought-provoking, heart-rending but ultimately uplifting, Julie Cohen's Dear Thing is a book you won't be able to put down, until you pass it on to your best friends.

The Other Hoffmann Sister


Author: Ben Fergusson
Publisher: Abacus
ISBN: 9780349142562
Category: Fiction
Page: 434
View: 8587

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Shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2015, Ben Fergusson's critically acclaimed debut, The Spring of Kasper Meier, was the winner of the Betty Trask Prize 2015 and the HWA 2015 Debut Crown Award. The Other Hoffmann Sister is a gripping, evocative read about two sisters set in pre-WW1 Germany which will appeal to fans of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. For Ingrid Hoffmann the story of her sister's disappearance began in their first weeks in Southwest Africa... Ingrid Hoffmann has always felt responsible for her sister Margarete and when their family moves to German Southwest Africa in 1902, her anxieties only increase. The casual racism that pervades the German community, the strange relationship between her parents and Baron von Ketz, from whom they bought their land, and the tension with the local tribes all culminate in tragedy when Baron von Ketz is savagely murdered. Baroness von Ketz and their son, Emil, flee with the Hoffmanns as the Baron's attackers burn down the family's farm. Both families return to Berlin and Ingrid's concerns about Margarete are assuaged when she and Emil von Ketz become engaged on the eve of the First World War. But Margarete disappears on her wedding night at the von Ketz's country house. The mystery of what happened to her sister haunts Ingrid, but as Europe descends into chaos, her hope of discovering the truth becomes ever more distant. After the war, in the midst of the revolution that brings down the Kaiser and wipes out the aristocracy that her family married into, Ingrid returns to the von Ketzes' crumbling estate determined to find out what really happened to her sister.

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

A Novel
Author: Joanna Cannon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 150112191X
Category: Fiction
Page: 368
View: 4244

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“I loved this book. It's one of those books that you just want to give to everybody.” —Nancy Pearl on NPR’s Morning Edition “An astute, engaging debut” (Publishers Weekly), The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is a quirky and utterly charming tale of a community in need of reconciliation and two girls learning what it means to belong. England, 1976. Mrs. Creasy is missing and the Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbors blame her sudden disappearance on the heat wave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren’t convinced, and decide to take matters into their own hands. Spunky, spirited Grace and quiet, thoughtful Tilly go door to door in search of clues. The cul-de-sac starts to give up its secrets, and the amateur detectives uncover more than they ever imagined. A complicated history of deception begins to emerge—everyone on the Avenue has something to hide. During that sweltering summer, the lives of all the neighbors begin to unravel. The girls come to realize that the lies told to conceal what happened one fateful day about a decade ago are the same ones Mrs. Creasy was starting to peel back just before she disappeared... “A thoughtful tale of loyalty and friendship, family dynamics and human nature” (Kirkus Reviews), this glorious debut is part coming-of-age story, part mystery. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep radiates an unmistakable warmth and intelligence and is “rife with tiny extraordinaries” (The New York Times Book Review). “Joanna Cannon is an author to watch” (Booklist, starred review).

Little Deaths

A Novel
Author: Emma Flint
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 0316272493
Category: Fiction
Page: 320
View: 6644

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LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2017 "Riveting."---People magazine It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone--a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress--wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth. As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman--and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives. Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance--or is there something more sinister at play? Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.

Larchfield


Author: Polly Clark
Publisher: riverrun
ISBN: 9781786481955
Category: Fiction
Page: 320
View: 1473

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'Mysterious, wondrous, captivating' Louis de Bernieres 'We need the courage to choose ourselves' W. H. Auden It's early summer when a young poet, Dora Fielding, moves to Helensburgh on the west coast of Scotland and her hopes are first challenged. Newly married, pregnant, she's excited by the prospect of a life that combines family and creativity. She thinks she knows what being a person, a wife, a mother, means. She is soon shown that she is wrong. As the battle begins for her very sense of self, Dora comes to find the realities of small town life suffocating, and, eventually, terrifying; until she finds a way to escape reality altogether. Another poet, she discovers, lived in Helensburgh once. Wystan H. Auden, brilliant and awkward at 24, with his first book of poetry published, should be embarking on success and society in London. Instead, in 1930, fleeing a broken engagement, he takes a teaching post at Larchfield School for boys where he is mocked for his Englishness and suspected - rightly - of homosexuality. Yet in this repressed limbo Wystan will fall in love for the first time, even as he fights his deepest fears. The need for human connection compels these two vulnerable outsiders to find each other and make a reality of their own that will save them both. Echoing the depths of Possession, the elegance of The Stranger's Child and the ingenuity of Longbourn, Larchfield is a beautiful and haunting novel about heroism - the unusual bravery that allows unusual people to go on living; to transcend banality and suffering with the power of their imagination.

Go Ask Ali

Half-Baked Advice (and Free Lemonade)
Author: Ali Wentworth
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062466038
Category: Humor
Page: 224
View: 3693

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New York Times bestselling author Ali Wentworth offers her hilarious and unique advice on surviving the absurdity of modern life in her third collection of laugh-out-loud comic vignettes. Ali Wentworth’s first two books, Ali in Wonderland and Happily Ali After, were lauded by readers, critics, and fellow comedians alike. Entertainment Weekly included Happily Ali After on its "Must List" and hailed it as "hilarious. . . . Her glass isn’t half full—it’s "empty and cracked," while Cosmopolitan praised it as "razor-sharp." Chelsea Handler called Ali in Wonderland "truly hilarious," and Kathy Griffin christened it, "Chicken Soup for the Vagina." Alec Baldwin has described Ali as "funny and warm and crazy all at once. Like Barbara Eden. But on something. Like crystal meth," and Jerry Seinfeld has raved, "Everything that comes out of Ali Wentworth’s mouth is funny!" At once endearing and hilarious, thoughtful and far-fetched, this third collection offers Ali at her wisest and wittiest as she delivers tips, pointers, and quips on a host of life’s conundrums and sticky situations, including the funny, sometimes embarrassing yet unforgettable situations that have shaped her inimitable world view as a wife, mother, actress, comedian, and all around bon vivant. Thoroughly entertaining, Go Ask Ali is packed with thoughts and musings from "the girlfriend you want to have a glass of wine with, the one who makes you laugh because she sees the funny and the absurd in everything" (Huffington Post).

The Wildflowers

the Richard and Judy Book Club summer read 2018
Author: Harriet Evans
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 1472262085
Category: Fiction
Page: 480
View: 5739

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'I adored The Wildflowers. A sweeping, epic, moving read' Marian Keyes The new novel by Sunday Times bestseller Harriet Evans will transport you to a Dorset beach house, where you can feel the sand between your toes. Enter the home of Tony and Althea Wilde - the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of their generation and with a marriage every bit as stormy. This glorious tale of tangled family secrets and lies will leave you warm and glowing. 'A wonderful, engrossing novel, full of the most vivid characters and a truly memorable setting. A triumph' Sophie Kinsella 'She reels you in and then you're hooked, right to the last page' Patricia Scanlan 'Atmospheric and altogether wonderful' Lesley Pearse 'I love it on so many levels, the immense feeling of place, the slow, irresistible sense of being drawn deep into the family and its story, and the strange hovering of menace somewhere in the idyll. Wonderful' Penny Vincenzi 'Her characters are finely drawn and as the story hops back and forth from the Second World War to the present day, the reader becomes deeply immersed in this charismatic family's fortunes. The result is that rare and lovely thing, an all-engaging and all-consuming drama' Daily Mail Tony and Althea Wilde. Glamorous, argumentative ... adulterous to the core. They were my parents, actors known by everyone. They gave our lives love and colour in a house by the sea - the house that sheltered my orphaned father when he was a boy. But the summer Mads arrived changed everything. She too had been abandoned and my father understood why. We Wildflowers took her in. My father was my hero, he gave us a golden childhood, but the past was always going to catch up with him ... it comes for us all, sooner or later. This is my story. I am Cordelia Wilde. A singer without a voice. A daughter without a father. Let me take you inside. Harriet Evans is 'perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Maeve Binchy' Best

Then She Was Gone

A Novel
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501154664
Category: Fiction
Page: 368
View: 4739

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “An acutely observed family drama with bone-chilling suspense.” —People “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. Her multilayered characters are sheer perfection, and even the most astute thriller reader won’t see where everything is going until the final threads are unknotted.” —Booklist, starred review “Sharply written with twists and turns, Jewell’s latest will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or Luckiest Girl Alive." —Library Journal Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away. Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

Tin Man

A Novel
Author: Sarah Winman
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735218757
Category: Fiction
Page: 224
View: 8843

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"This is an astoundingly beautiful book. It drips with tenderness. It breaks your heart and warms it all at once."--Matt Haig, author of How to Stop Time From internationally bestselling author Sarah Winman comes an unforgettable and heartbreaking novel celebrating love in all its forms, and the little moments that make up the life of one man. This is almost a love story. But it's not as simple as that. Ellis and Michael are twelve-year-old boys when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more. But then we fast-forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question: What happened in the years between? With beautiful prose and characters that are so real they jump off the page, Tin Man is a love letter to human kindness and friendship, and to loss and living.

Breakthrough!

The Bible for Young Catholics
Author: St. Mary's Press
Publisher: St Marys Press
ISBN: 9781599823423
Category: Bibles
Page: 1896
View: 7774

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Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics hardcover edition, highlights what happens throughout salvation history between God and humanity. God breaks through and connects with human history, thereby establishing a relationship with humanity. Using the Good News translation, Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics was created for young people leaving childhood and entering adolescence. Its 10 special features were created to help make the Bible easier for young people to read and understand. They will learn about the great people of the Bible, and will see how God has been breaking through in human history and connecting with humanity for thousands of years. Most important, they will discover, in the Bible, how God's messages to key people of faith have meaning for life today. This New Edition Features: New inserts that focus on Catholic Prayers and Catholic Teachings Updated Pray It! Study It! Live It! articles that help young people apply the lessons of the Bible to their lives New streamlined navigation that enables young people to find passages quickly and easily

The Rome Affair


Author: Karen Swan
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 1509838031
Category: Fiction
Page: N.A
View: 1903

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The glamorous capital city of Italy is brought to startling life in The Rome Affair, a compelling summer novel by Karen Swan. 1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can't change it. 2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza – famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier. Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena's life.