Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: she takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It's a secret she manages to keep for over two decades -- from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends. When Lucy's now-grown daughter Mia discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her. She reaches out to her birth mother for a tearful reunion, and Lucy is forced to flee to China to avoid prosecution. What follows is a ripple effect that alters the lives of many and challenges our understanding of the very meaning of motherhood.
Prate Marshbanks proposed to his future wife on a muggy July night at Pete's Drive-in back in '52. "She said yes to me between bites of a slaw burger all-the-way." A college graduate and daughter of a prominent lawyer, Irene was an unlikely match for Prate, a high school dropout. He lived his married life aware of the question on people's minds: How in the world did a tall, thin, fair-skinned beauty and one of the most respected high school English teachers in all of Greenville County, in all of South Carolina for that matter, wind up married to a short, dark, fat-faced, jug-eared house painter? That their marriage not only survived for fifty years, but flourished, is a source of constant wonder to Prate. Now he faces a new challenge with Irene. From the author of In The Family Way, a novel the Atlanta Constitution called "an instant classic" and the Charlotte Observer praised as "a lovely, moving book," comes a powerful story of hard-earned hope. The Pleasure Was Mine takes place during a critical summer in the life of Prate Marshbanks, when he retires to care for his wife, who is gradually slipping away. To complicate things, Prate's son, Newell, a recently widowed single father, asks Prate to keep nine-year-old Jackson for the summer. Though Prate is irritated by the presence of his moody grandson, during the summer Jackson helps tend his grandmother, and grandfather and grandson form a bond. As Irene's memory fades, Prate, a hardworking man who has kept to himself most of his life, has little choice but to get to know his family. With elegance and skillful economy of language, Tommy Hays renders an unforgettable character in Prate Marshbanks. The Pleasure Was Mine is at once a quietly wrenching portrayal of grief, a magical and romantic story about the power of love, and an unexpectedly moving take on the resilience of family.
A collection of short fiction, twelve works in all, including two never-before-published novellas. Here are disconnected marriages and uneasy reunions, nostalgic reminiscences and sudden epiphanies--a remarkable and moving collage of contemporary lives.
A hilarious, high-stakes quest to redeem a family name! Bonus: there may be gold. Chris Dearing comes from a long line of losers and a history of bad luck that's plagued the Dearing family for generations. His only hope runs through the wild rivers of the forbidding North. What is up there other than moose snot and mosquitos the size of bats, you ask? Gold. More specifically, a gold claim won and then lost by Chris's grandfather, Wally Dearing. Reclaiming the old family gold stake looks to Chris like his only chance to a) get his family back on the straight and narrow, b) get Social Services off his back and c) turn the Dearing family luck around once and for all. Will he strike out, like the rest of his family, or strike gold and finally get a chance to rewrite Dearing history? Well it all depends on whether that giant, slobbering moose lets him down from that huge pine tree. The stakes are high and the hi-jinx even higher in this laugh-out-loud novel from acclaimed author Natalie Hyde!
In the summer of 1980, Annie, fresh out of graduate school, escapes a doomed engagement by fleeing to the Costa del Sol in Spain. The young traveler is seduced by the striking landscape and the shimmering sea, but not as profoundly as she was by Francisco, a local musician with a complicated past and a troubled soul. Her adventures propel her into adulthood and a life teased with what might have been. Twenty-six years later, Annie’s teenage daughter Marielle, curious about her mother’s stories, searches for Francisco while on a backpacking trip through Spain. When Marielle’s search is successful, Annie’s thoughts return to her romantic past amidst the magnificent backdrop of the steamy Mediterranean coast. Francisco’s unexpected reappearance ignites powerful feelings she didn’t know were still simmering. Annie obsessively questions every decision she made that summer and wonders about a life that could have been hers had she stayed. She is torn between her love and devotion to her husband and the intercontinental pull to the life she has fantasized about for decades. Will she sacrifice the life she’s built with her husband for one that nearly was hers so many years ago?
In the game of love… Georgiana Lucas despises the arrogant and cruel Marquess of Westmorland even before learning that he’s won the deed to her friend Kitty’s home in a card game. Still, Georgiana assures Kitty the marquess wouldn’t possibly come all the way to Derbyshire to throw them out—until he shows up, bloody and unconscious. Fearing that Kitty would rather see him die, Georgiana blurts out that he’s her fiancé. She’ll nurse the hateful man back to health and make him vow to leave and never return. The man who wakes up, though, is nothing like the heartless rogue Georgiana thought she knew… You have to risk it all He wakes up with no memory of being assaulted—or of who he is. The bewitching beauty tending him so devotedly calls him Rob and claims she’s his fiancée even as she avoids his touch. Though he can’t remember how he won her hand, he’s now determined to win her heart. But as his memory returns and the truth is revealed, Rob must decide if the game is up—or if he’ll take a chance on a love that defies all odds.
Summer was mine once. I’d kill for a second chance. I was never allowed to love Summer Sullivan. I loved her anyway. I wasn’t allowed to kiss her. I kissed her anyway. And then I took her heart in my hands and crushed it. Leaving her behind to go to war was unforgivable. I survived—barely. After what I did to her, I deserve to be a broken man with a broken body. I never expected to see her at the veteran’s support office. I never expected for her to run right back into my arms. Now Summer is mine again, but loving me is dangerous. I fell in with a bad crowd when I got back home. Worse than she can imagine. They’re still out to get me. My secrets are deadly, and being with me has put her right in the crossfire.
"Simply told but deeply affecting, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore--and gets away with it for twenty-one years"--
In a moving collage of contemporary lives, a series of narrators' reflections lead to deeper understanding and introspection
Freya is torn between her two mothers. Liv, her adoptive mother who nurtured and raised her, is earthy, no-nonsense. The total opposite to Melody: with her vibrant, explosive personality and extensive, brightly coloured wardrobe, Freya's birth mother is still apt to find herself thrown out of Top Shop for bad behaviour. Hard as it has been for Freya to try to reconcile her two families, it has been harder for her mothers. Proud of her mature and sensible adoptive daughter, Liv fears Melody's restless influence. Meanwhile, forced to give up her baby when she was just a teenager herself, Melody now craves Freya's love and acceptance - but only really knows how to have fun. Then tragedy strikes, and the bonds of love that tie these three women together will be tested to the max. Can they finally let go of the past, and pull together in order to withstand the toughest challenge life could throw them?
From internationally bestselling author Amy Stuart comes a “dark and deliciously disturbing” (Publishers Weekly) novel about one woman’s search for answers when another woman goes missing from a desperate, drug-addled mountain town where everyone is implicated in her disappearance. What happens when you vanish from your life and leave no story behind? Someone makes one up for you. Clare is on the run. From her past, from her husband, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking questions about Shayna Fowles, a young woman who has gone missing, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she’s hiding. Because everyone in this place has secrets—Jared, Shayna’s mysterious ex-husband; Charlie, the charming drug pusher; Derek, Shayna’s overly involved family doctor; and Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents. As Clare unravels the mysteries surrounding Shayna’s disappearance, Clare must confront her own demons, as she moves deeper and deeper into her elaborate web of lies. But what is she really running from? Haunting and electrifying, Still Mine is a thriller that is “impossible to put down” (Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author of My Sister’s Grave).