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The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Book Summary : "Imogen Hermes Gowar is a soon-to-be literary star."—Sunday Times (UK) "Historical fiction at its finest, combining myth and legend with the brutal realities of the past. . . . Comparisons will be drawn to the works of contemporary authors Sarah Waters and Michael Faber . . . but The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock has more in common with the novels of Dickens and Austen."—Irish Times In 1780s London, a prosperous merchant finds his quiet life upended when he unexpectedly receives a most unusual creature—and meets a most extraordinary woman—in this much-lauded, atmospheric debut that examines our capacity for wonder, obsession, and desire with all the magnetism, originality, and literary magic of The Essex Serpent. One September evening in 1785, Jonah Hancock hears an urgent knocking on his front door near the docks of London. The captain of one of Jonah’s trading vessels is waiting eagerly on the front step, bearing shocking news. On a voyage to the Far East, he sold the Jonah’s ship for something rare and far more precious: a mermaid. Jonah is stunned—the object the captain presents him is brown and wizened, as small as an infant, with vicious teeth and claws, and a torso that ends in the tail of a fish. It is also dead. As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlors and brothels, all of London is curious to see this marvel in Jonah Hancock’s possession. Thrust from his ordinary existence, somber Jonah finds himself moving from the city’s seedy underbelly to the finest drawing rooms of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of the coquettish Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on—and a shrewd courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting sparks a perilous liaison that steers both their lives onto a dangerous new course as they come to realize that priceless things often come at the greatest cost. Imogen Hermes Gowar, Britain’s most-heralded new literary talent, makes her debut with this spellbinding novel of a merchant, a mermaid, and a madam—an unforgettable confection that explores obsession, wonder, and the deepest desires of the heart with bawdy wit, intrigue, and a touch of magic.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Book Summary : 'A cracking historical novel – with a twinge of the surreal – about passion and obsession' The Times SHORLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018 One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock finds one of his captains waiting eagerly on his doorstep. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid. As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society, where he meets Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on... and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course. What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the legendary destructive power a mermaid is said to possess?
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Book Summary : Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction • A Refinery 29 Favorite Book of the Year • A Booklist Top 10 First Novels of the Year • A People Best Book of the Fall “Wonderful… completely transporting.” —Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Circe and The Song of Achilles In 1780s London, a prosperous merchant finds his quiet life upended when he unexpectedly receives a most unusual creature—and meets a most extraordinary woman—in this much-lauded, atmospheric debut that examines our capacity for wonder, obsession, and desire with all the magnetism, originality, and literary magic of The Essex Serpent. One September evening in 1785, Jonah Hancock hears an urgent knocking on his front door near the docks of London. The captain of one of Jonah’s trading vessels is waiting eagerly on the front step, bearing shocking news. On a voyage to the Far East, he sold the Jonah’s ship for something rare and far more precious: a mermaid. Jonah is stunned—the object the captain presents him is brown and wizened, as small as an infant, with vicious teeth and claws, and a torso that ends in the tail of a fish. It is also dead. As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlors and brothels, all of London is curious to see this marvel in Jonah Hancock’s possession. Thrust from his ordinary existence, somber Jonah finds himself moving from the city’s seedy underbelly to the finest drawing rooms of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of the coquettish Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on—and a shrewd courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting sparks a perilous liaison that steers both their lives onto a dangerous new course as they come to realize that priceless things often come at the greatest cost. Imogen Hermes Gowar, Britain’s most-heralded new literary talent, makes her debut with this spellbinding novel of a merchant, a mermaid, and a madam—an unforgettable confection that explores obsession, wonder, and the deepest desires of the heart with bawdy wit, intrigue, and a touch of magic.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Book Summary : "IMOGEN HERMES GOWAR was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Scholarship in 2013 to study creative writing at the Uni- versity of East Anglia. The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, her first novel, is short-listed for the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction and the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award, and was a finalist in the Mslexia First Novel Competition. Her previous stud- ies in archaeology, anthropology, and art history, and her work in museums, inspire her fiction. She lives in London."--
Tomorrow Book Summary : 'What a novel! Ambitious and wonderfully achieved. A book to read again and again' Michael Morpurgo, bestselling author of War Horse A spellbinding and beautifully written story of courage and devotion, for fans of historical and magical fiction like The Night Circus, The Binding and The Girl in the Tower. __________ Valentyne has lived many lives - physician, philosopher, soldier - but his defining work has been his ability to stop the clock. He has lived for centuries, as has his dog, Tomorrow. Inseparable, they've voyaged across Europe, using their time wisely. They've attended royalty in a dozen courts, healed soldiers on a hundred battlefields, and met with the greatest minds of the Renaissance. Until one day, in watery Venice, Valentyne vanishes without trace. Broken-hearted, Tomorrow begins a search that will endure for centuries. But as the continent collapses into war, he must risk everything to find his master - or lose him forever. __________ 'Moving and tender. I was captivated by its charm from the beginning' Rachel Joyce, bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 'Tomorrow is an epic tale of love, of courage, of hope' London Evening Standard 'Golden age Amsterdam, Versailles, the court of Charles I. Travel with a unique companion & bask in the brilliance' Mail on Sunday 'A tale of love and unbreakable bonds' New York Post 'Definitely - HIGHLY - worth the read!' Seth Meyers 'Original, ambitious, moving' Stylist
Hong Kong Noir Book Summary : “Showcases the extremes of one of the world’s capitals. From ghost stories, to historical thrills, to underworld brutality . . . endlessly fascinating.”—CrimeReads Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. In Hong Kong Noir, fourteen of the city’s finest authors explore the dark heart of the Pearl of the Orient in haunting stories of depravity and despair. This anthology includes brand-new stories by Jason Y. Ng, Xu Xi, Marshall Moore, Brittani Sonnenberg, Tiffany Hawk, James Tam, Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, Christina Liang, Feng Chi-shun, Charles Philipp Martin, Shannon Young, Shen Jian, Carmen Suen, and Ysabelle Cheung. “The history of Hong Kong, once a fishing village, encompasses piracy, the opium trade, prostitution, corruption, espionage and revolutionary plots; grist for the 14 dark tales in Hong Kong Noir.”—BBC Culture “A delightfully dark collection of fiction from Hong Kong, a city where talk is cheap and cash is still king.”—Ritz-Carlton Magazine “Ng and Blumberg-Kason defy the fates by presenting a collection of 14 stores—by Chinese tradition, an ominous number—illustrating their city’s dark side . . . Readers can feel lucky to have such a collection.”—Kirkus Reviews "Hong Kong Noir digs below the financial center’s gleaming surface to unearth stories of the city’s ghosts and spirits.”—South China Morning Post
Talking to Strangers Book Summary : Talking to Strangers is a freshly curated collection of prose, spanning fifty years of work and including famous as well as never-before-published early writings, from 2018 Man Booker Prize–finalist Paul Auster. Beginning with a short philosophical meditation written when he was twenty and concluding with nine political pieces that take on such issues as homelessness, 9/11, and the link between soccer and war, the 44 pieces gathered in this volume offer a wide-ranging view of celebrated novelist Paul Auster’s thoughts on a multitude of classic and contemporary writers, the high-wire exploits of Philippe Petit, how to improve life in New York City (in collaboration with visual artist Sophie Calle), and the long road he has traveled with his beloved manual typewriter. While writing for the New York Review of Books and other publications in the mid-1970s, young poet Auster gained recognition as an astute literary critic with essays on Laura Riding, John Ashbery, Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka, Paul Celan, and others. By the late seventies and early eighties, as the poet was transforming himself into a novelist, he maintained an active double life by continuing his work as a translator and editing the groundbreaking anthology, The Random House Book of Twentieth-Century Poetry. His prefaces to some of these books are included in Talking to Strangers, among them a heart-wrenching account of Stéphane Mallarmé’s response to the death of his eight-year-old son, Anatole. In recent years, Auster has pushed on with explorations into the work of American artists spanning various periods and disciplines: the notebooks of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the films of Jim Jarmusch, the writings of painter-collagist-illustrator Joe Brainard, and the three-hit shutout thrown by journeyman right-hander Terry Leach of the Mets. Also included here are several rediscovered works that were originally delivered in public: a 1982 lecture on Edgar Allan Poe, a 1999 blast against New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and one of the funniest introductions a poetry reading ever heard in the state of New Jersey. A collection of soaring intelligence and deepest humanity, Talking to Strangers is an essential book by “the most distinguished American writer of [his] generation . . . indeed its only author . . . with any claim to greatness.” (The Spectator)
The Heavens Book Summary : New York, late summer, 2000. A party in a spacious Manhattan apartment, hosted by a wealthy young activist. Dozens of idealistic twenty-somethings have impassioned conversations over takeout dumplings and champagne. The evening shines with the heady optimism of a progressive new millennium. A young man, Ben, meets a young woman, Kate—and they begin to fall in love. Kate lives with her head in the clouds, so at first Ben isn’t that concerned when she tells him about the recurring dream she’s had since childhood. In the dream, she’s transported to the past, where she lives a second life as Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman in Elizabethan England. But for Kate, the dream becomes increasingly real, to the point where it threatens to overwhelm her life. And soon she’s waking from it to find the world changed—pictures on her wall she doesn’t recognize, new buildings in the neighborhood that have sprung up overnight. As Kate tries to make sense of what’s happening, Ben worries the woman he’s fallen in love with is losing her grip on reality. Both intoxicating and thought-provoking, The Heavens is a powerful reminder of the consequences of our actions, a poignant testament to how the people we love are destined to change, and a masterful exploration of the power of dreams.
Moon of the Crusted Snow Book Summary : A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision. Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.
The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt Book Summary : "An amazing novel, one which interrogates, with such controlled and beautiful writing, what it means to be Southern. Utilizing a unique form and a carefully crafted mystery, Bobotis is a writer capable of deep truths, and this novel announces her as a major voice." —Kevin Wilson, author The Family Fang, Perfect Little World, and Baby, You're Gonna Be Mine Judith inherited all the Kratt family had to offer — the pie safe, the copper clock, the murder that no one talked about. She's presided over the house quite well, thank you very much, admittedly with some help from her companion, Olva. But her wayward younger sister suddenly returns home after decades, sparking an inventory of all that belongs to them. Set in the hard-luck cotton town of Bound, South Carolina — which the Kratts used to rule but which now struggles to contain its worst instincts — the new household overflows with memories. Interweaving the present with chilling flashbacks from one fateful evening in 1929, Judith pieces together a list of what matters. Untangling the legacy of the family misfortunes will require help from every one of them, no matter how tight their bond, how long they've called Bound home, or what they own.
The Boneless Mercies Book Summary : *A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year* *A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year* Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life. When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies' one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere. Full of fierce girls, bloodlust, tenuous alliances, and unapologetic quests for glory, this elegantly spun tale challenges the power of storytelling—and who gets to be the storyteller. Perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, V.E. Schwab, and Heidi Heilig.
Things in Jars Book Summary : In this “miraculous and thrilling” (Diane Setterfield, #1 New York Times bestselling author) mystery for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation, Victorian London comes to life as an intrepid female sleuth wades through a murky world of collectors and criminals to recover a remarkable child. Bridie Devine—flame-haired, pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors in this age of discovery. Winding her way through the sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing secrets about her past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where nothing is quite what it seems. Blending darkness and light, Things in Jars is a stunning, “richly woven tapestry of fantasy, folklore, and history” (Booklist, starred review) that explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.
The Fair Fight Book Summary : NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE AND LIBRARY JOURNAL The Crimson Petal and the White meets Fight Club: A page-turning novel set in the world of female pugilists and their patrons in late eighteenth-century England. Moving from a filthy brothel to a fine manor house, from the world of street fighters to the world of champions, The Fair Fight is a vivid, propulsive historical novel announcing the arrival of a dynamic new talent. Born in a brothel, Ruth doesn’t expect much for herself beyond abuse. While her sister’s beauty affords a certain degree of comfort, Ruth’s harsh looks set her on a path of drudgery. That is until she meets pugilist patron George Dryer and discovers her true calling—fighting bare knuckles in the prize rings of Bristol. Manor-born Charlotte has a different cross to bear. Scarred by smallpox, stifled by her social and romantic options, and trapped in twisted power games with her wastrel brother, she is desperate for an escape. After a disastrous, life-changing fight sidelines Ruth, the two women meet, and it alters the perspectives of both of them. When Charlotte presents Ruth with an extraordinary proposition, Ruth pushes dainty Charlotte to enter the ring herself and learn the power of her own strength. A gripping, page-turning story about people struggling to transcend the circumstances into which they were born and fighting for their own places in society, The Fair Fight is a raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, reinvention, and fighting one’s way to the top. From the Hardcover edition.
The Fatal Tree Book Summary : London, the 1720s. Welcome to 'Romeville', the underworld of that great city. The financial crash caused by the South Sea Bubble sees the rise of Jonathan Wild, self-styled 'Thief-taker General' who purports to keep the peace while brutally controlling organised crime. Only two people truly defy him: Jack Sheppard, apprentice turned house-breaker, and his lover, the notorious whore and pickpocket Edgworth Bess. From the condemned cell at Newgate, Bess gives her account of how she and Jack formed the most famous criminal partnership of their age: a tale of lost innocence and harsh survival, passion and danger, bold exploits and spectacular gaol-breaks - and of the price they paid for rousing the mob of Romeville against its corrupt master.
The Doll Factory Book Summary : In this “sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art, and obsession” (Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train), a beautiful young woman aspires to be an artist, while a man’s dark obsession may destroy her world forever. The Doll Factory is a sweeping tale of curiosity, love, and possession set among all the sordidness and soaring ambition of 1850s London. The greatest spectacle London has ever seen is being erected in Hyde Park and, among the crowd watching, two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist of unique beauty, it is the encounter of a moment—forgotten seconds later—but for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by the strange and beautiful, the meeting marks a new beginning. When Iris is asked to model for Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint, and suddenly her world expands beyond anything she ever dreamed of. But she has no idea that evil stalks her. Silas, it seems, has thought of only one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day...