It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.
"Great pacing, as always, but ..."
Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, the Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind the magic of quality service.
"Great look inside the magic of Disney"
Wendy Anderson is 35, the mother of two children, and happily married - until she discovers her husband Zack has cheated on her. Confused, angry, and lost, she rents a house on Nantucket for two summer months. When she and her children arrive at Isle Stay, she discovers that Trevor Black, 30, recently widowed, and his son Dylan, 5, have also rented the house. Neither one is willing to give up their much-needed vacations, so Wendy and Trevor devise a plan to share the house for the summer.
"Divorced mother moves on"
Be My Guest is the inspiring saga of the man behind one of America's great success stories.
When she is thirteen years old, Evalina Toussaint, the orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is admitted as a mental patient to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. The year is 1936, and the hospital, under the direction of celebrity psychiatrist Robert S. Carroll, is famous for its up-to-the-minute shock therapies and for Dr. Carroll's revolutionary theory of the benefits of non-introspection. Evalina finds herself in the midst of a kaleidoscope of characters, including the estranged wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences - yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her. But hers is not the only family mystery to solve....
"Wonderful fun, for kids of any age!"
Ruth is widowed, her sons are grown, and she lives in an isolated beach house outside of town. Her routines are few and small. One day, a stranger arrives at her door, looking as if she has been blown in from the sea. This woman - Frida - claims to be a care worker sent by the government. Ruth lets her in. Now that Frida is in her house, is Ruth right to fear the tiger she hears on the prowl at night, far from its jungle habitat? How far can she trust this mysterious woman, Frida, who seems to carry with her own troubled past?
"Brilliant story, beautifully read"
Cantankerous and vinegar-tongued Grandmama, from Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, is the leading character in this Christmas novel, which unfolds in the chilly, windswept Romney Marshes off the English Channel. Grandmama arrives on a holiday visit to the home of Charlotte's parents, where a fellow guest--an outcast from her own family--is subsequently murdered. Like the heroes before her in Anne Perry's Christmas novels, Grandmama is called upon to play the role of amateur detective.
"Christmas Murder in England"
In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to have dinner at the executive mansion with the First Family. The next morning, news that the president had dined with a black man-and former slave-sent shock waves through the nation. Although African Americans had helped build the White House and had worked for most of the presidents, not a single one had ever been invited to dine there. Fueled by inflammatory newspaper articles, political cartoons, and even vulgar songs, the scandal escalated.
Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms - as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.
"To be a fly on the wall in 1922"
On an evening in late summer, the great financier Harry Wainwright, nearing the end of his life, arrives at a rustic fishing camp in a remote area of Maine. He comes bearing two things: his wish for a day of fishing in a place that has brought him solace for 30 years, and an astonishing bequest that will forever change the lives of those around him. From the battlefields of Italy to the turbulence of the Vietnam era, to the private battles of love and family, The Summer Guest reveals the full history of this final pilgrimage.
One late spring evening in 1912, in the kitchens at Sterne, preparations begin for an elegant supper party in honor of Emerald Torrington's twentieth birthday. But only a few miles away, a dreadful accident propels a crowd of mysterious and not altogether savory survivors to seek shelter at the ramshackle manor - and the household is thrown into confusion and mischief. The cook toils over mock turtle soup and a chocolate cake covered with green sugar roses, which the hungry band of visitors is not invited to taste. But nothing, it seems, will go according to plan.
"And You Think You’re Haunted By Your Past!"
When a corpse turns up at his favorite tavern, Crispin Guest-disgraced knight turned detective - begins an inquiry, but the dead man turns out to be a Templar knight, an order thought to be extinct for 75 years, charged with protecting a certain religious relic which is now missing. Before he can begin to investigate, Crispin is abducted by shadowy men who are said to be minions of the French anti-pope.
"Enjoyable beginning for the Crispin Guest series"
Rita Gabis comes from a family of Eastern European Jews and Lithuanian Catholics. She was close to her Catholic grandfather as a child and knew one version of his past: Prior to immigration, he had fought the Russians, whose brutal occupation of Lithuania destroyed thousands of lives before Hitler's army swept in.
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"A Home Run!"
Life is a constant struggle for the 18-year-old Nowak twins as they raise their three younger siblings in rural Poland under the shadow of the Nazi occupation. The constant threat of arrest has made everyone in their village a spy, and turned neighbor against neighbor. Though rugged, independent Helena and pretty, gentle Ruth couldn't be more different, they are staunch allies in protecting their family from the threats the war brings closer to their doorstep with each passing day.
"Great setting but..."
Preview of this Instaread: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters is a historical romance novel and crime story. It is set just outside postwar London in the year 1922. Frances Wray is a 26-year-old single woman who lives with her widowed mother Emily. After losing her two brothers in the war, Frances is left to take care of her mother and the household. Her father mismanaged the family's financial affairs before his death, leaving his wife and daughter struggling to get by with few resources.
Once a Knight of the Realm, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title and his lands and now must earn his living with his wits. In various corners of late fourteenth-century London, Guest has become known as the Tracker, a man who can solve any puzzle or find any missing object - for a price. Because of that reputation, Guest is sought out by Nicholas Flamel, a famed alchemist. Both Flamel's wife and his apprentice are missing, and he wants Guest to find them and bring them home.
Unhappiness, says best-selling author Harriet Lerner, is fueled by three key emotions: anxiety, fear, and shame. They are the uninvited guests in our lives. When tragedy or hardship hit, they may become our constant companions.
"Very informative and helpful"
Fred Stoller has played the annoying schnook in just about every sitcom you’ve seen on TV - Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, Hannah Montana, My Name Is Earl - and was even a staff writer for Seinfeld, but he’s never found a solid gig. When it comes to Hollywood, it’s a case of always the bridesmaid and never the bride, except in his case he’s always the snarky waiter, the mopey cousin, or Man Number Two.
"Who in the world is Fred Stoller?"