Mary Frances "Frankie" Lombard is fiercely in love with her family's sprawling apple orchard and the tangled web of family members who inhabit it. Content to spend her days planning capers with her brother, William, competing with her brainy cousin, Amanda, and expertly tending the orchard with her father, Frankie desires nothing more than for the rhythm of life to continue undisturbed. But she cannot help being haunted by the historical fact that some family members end up staying on the farm and others must leave.
"Just Delightful and the Narrator was Perfect for the Voice"
Growing up in a world of physical and emotional poverty, Ruth believes her shrewish mother's assessment of her - that she is dimwitted and worthless. When she marries an emotionally unstable ne'er-do-well, her troubles only multiply. Her job at the dry cleaners can't afford her little family the luxury of moving out of her mother's house. As the incessant bickering between her troubled husband and her abusive mother reaches a violent climax, Ruth must find a way to survive.
"It Enters Your Soul"
Jane Hamilton, award-winning author of The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World, is back in top form with a richly textured novel about a tragic accident and its effects on two generations of a family. When Aaron Maciver's beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers brain damage in a bike accident, she is left with the intellectual powers of a six-year-old.
Henry Shaw, a high school senior, is about as comfortable with his family as any 17-year-old can be. His father, Kevin, teaches history with a decidedly socialist tinge at the Chicago school Henry and his sister attend. His mother, Beth, who plays the piano in a group specializing in antique music, is a loving, attentive wife and parent. Henry even accepts the offbeat behavior of his 13-year-old sister, Elvira, who is obsessed with Civil War reenactments and insists on dressing in handmade Union uniforms at inopportune times. When he stumbles on his mother's email account, however, Henry realizes that all is not as it seems....
"Thanks, Robert Sean Leonard!"
Married for 12 years, Laura and Charlie Rider have come to share almost everything: their nursery business, their love for their animals, and, most especially, their zeal for storytelling. And though they no longer share a bed, they are happy enough continuing along in their pleasant, platonic routine. Then Charlie begins an email exchange in earnest with Jenna Faroli, the host of a popular radio show, and, according to Laura, "the single most famous person in the town."