Archive for the ‘Book Beginnings’ Category
Friday, May 24th, 2013
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena Synopsis
A resilient doctor risks everything to save the life of a hunted child, in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together.
In his brilliant, haunting novel, Stegner Fellow and Whiting Award winner Anthony Marra transports us to a snow-covered village in Chechnya, where eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night, accusing him of aiding Chechen rebels. Across the road their lifelong neighbor and family friend Akhmed has also been watching, fearing the worst when the soldiers set fire to Havaa’s house. But when he finds her hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.
For the talented, tough-minded Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. And she has a deeply personal reason for caution: harboring these refugees could easily jeopardize the return of her missing sister. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weave together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance. (Amazon)
The Book Beginning is:
On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones. While the girl dressed, Akmed, who hadn’t slept at all, paced outside the bedroom door, watching the sky brighten on the other side of the window glass; the rising sun had never before made him feel late.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
And The Soft Wind Blows Synopsis
Timmy Enosh is a peculiar, small man: fivethree, onehundred andfifteen pounds, and is a pharmacist in Ashton City, Tennessee. He finds himself at fortythreeyearsold as his life starts to fall apart: his threehundred pound wife disappears, his romantic interest has lost interest and has gained hatred toward him, his coworkers harass him, customers verbally assault him, and he has the strange urge to adopt his foulmouthed, eighteenyearold coworker, Alex. When things start to pile up, Timmy must find a way to deal: he turns to Alex to supply him with marijuana, starts sewing an elaborate Mr. Mistoffelees costume, finds solace in the wild, etc., etc., etc. And the soft, constant wind of change blows him on, on, and on. (Amazon)
The Book Beginning is:
“How was your day?” Timmy asked.
“Shut up,” said Mandy, her words dropping like boulders on Timmy’s head, shattering to pieces on the floor.
Friday, April 26th, 2013
The Rook Synopsis
“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Checquy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain.
She also discovers that she possesses a rare and deadly supernatural ability of her own. Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, The Rook is a richly inventive, suspenseful fantasy. (Audible)
Friday, April 5th, 2013
From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus — and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey — where Hugo conducted the séances — hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different — Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.
The Book Beginning is:
Every story begins with a tremble of anticipation. At the starting point we may have an idea of our point of arrival, but what lies before us and makes us shudder is the journey, for that is all discovery. This strange and curious story begins for me at the sea. Its sounds and scent are my punctuation. Its movements are my verbs.
Seduction actually starts with a letter written by Victor Hugo to a character named Fantine.
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Another Sun Synopsis
The long-awaited return of Timothy Williams, CWA award-winning grand master of crime fiction, whom The Observer named one of the “10 Best Modern European Crime Writers”.
The sun-drenched Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is technically part of France, subject to French law and loyal to the French Republic. But in 1980, the scars of colonialism are still fresh, and ethnic tensions and political unrest seethe just below the surface of everyday life.
French-Algerian judge Anne Marie Laveaud relocated to this beautiful Caribbean island confident that she could make it her new home. But her day-to-day life is rife with frustration. Now she is assigned a murder case in which she is sure the chief suspect, an elderly ex-con named Hégésippe Bray, is a political scapegoat. Her superiors are dismissive of her efforts to prove Bray innocent, and to add insult to injury, Bray himself won’t even speak to her because she’s a woman. But she won’t give up, and Anne Marie’s investigations lead her into a complex tangle of injustice, domestic terrorists, broken hearts, and maybe even voodoo. (Soho Press)
Friday, March 1st, 2013
The Trajectory of Dreams Synopsis
For Lela White, a Houston sleep lab technician, sleep doesn’t come easy-there’s a price to be paid for a poor night’s sleep, and she’s the judge, jury, and executioner. Everyone around Lela considers her a private woman with a passion for her lab work. But night time reveals her for what she is: a woman on a critical secret mission. Lela lives in the grip of a mental disorder that compels her to break into astronauts’ homes to ensure they can sleep well and believes that by doing so, she keeps the revitalized U.S. space program safe from fatal accidents. What began at the age of ten when her mother confessed to blowing up the space shuttle has evolved into Lela’s life’s work. She dreads the day when an astronaut doesn’t pass her testing, but she’s prepared to kill for the greater good.
When Zory Korchagin, a Russian cosmonaut on loan to the U.S. shuttle program, finds himself drawn to Lela, he puts her carefully-constructed world at risk of an explosion as surely as he does his own upcoming launch. As Lela’s universe unravels, no one is safe. (Amazon)
Friday, January 25th, 2013
In the middle of a freezing German winter, the chair of mathematics at a venerable university is murdered in an apparently motiveless crime. Inspector Falco Baumgarten of the Leipzig Polizeidirektion finds himself embroiled in a mystery that refuses to be unravelled, until a chance meeting with pattern recognition expert Professor Antje Bach reveals a series of connections that will lead to an extraordinary discovery.
Blending science and philosophy, fact and fiction – ‘Significance’ is both a fascinating tour of scientific history and a cunning who-dunnit, all set in one of Europe’s great cities as it comes to terms with life after the fall of the Berlin wall. (Amazon)