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Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, is the author of The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and Next To Love. She lives in New York City with her husband.
Betrayal comes in many forms ...At the height of the Cold War, words are weapons and secrecy reigns. These are challenging times to be a writer and a wife, as Nell Benjamin knows only too well. One bright November day in 1963, the dazzling young president arrives in Texas and Nell receives a phonecall that overturns the world as she knows it. In the shocking aftermath, whilst America mourns, Nell must come to terms with both a tragedy and a betrayal that shatters every illusion of the man she thought she knew better than anyone else. Resonant, illuminating and utterly absorbing, The Unwitting is about the lies we tell, the secrets we keep and the power of both truth and love.
A relationship tale with a difference; original, clever and set during the Cold War. The story spans a fascinating period in USA history, when the country was rocked by racial hatred, the Army-McCarthy hearings, the assassinations of JFK and Dr Martin Luthur King Jr… This is also a relationship tale of secrets, lies and moral ambiguity, where life sticks its oar in and packs a mighty wallop. The main characters, writers and civic/political commentators are fascinating and feel so very real. The heady joy of love and political idealism is offset by tones of cynicism, of guilt ridden remorse and remonstration. When your world is turned on its head, when the world you've known becomes a stranger, how do you respond, endure, carry on? ~ Liz Robinson
Babe, Grace and Millie have been best friends since their first day at kindergarten. Now they are newly married, and the men have gone to war. They thrive on letters from their absent sweethearts, and on the closeness they've always shared. And then, on a single morning in 1944, no fewer than sixteen telegrams arrive, bringing news of the worst kind from the War Department. For Babe, Grace and Millie, life will never be the same again. Each must face the challenges of the years ahead, the changes taking place in America and far closer to home, which are enough to test even the deepest of friendships and most hopeful of hearts ...
Babe, Grace and Millie have been best friends since their first day at their small town's only kindergarten. Despite their differences, they've played together, grown up together, shared each other's secrets. And when World War Two becomes a reality for America too, the girls begin a new phase of their lives together each quickly marries her first true love. With the men away, life is difficult for these newly married women, but when no fewer than sixteen telegrams arrive on a single morning in 1944, bearing news of the worst kind from the War Department, the girls know that nothing will ever be the same again ...As each woman struggles to rebuild a life, they face not only the challenges closest to home the brutal effects of war, the question of remarriage, of how to tell a child about their absent father but also the wider issues of a country in flux sexism, racism, anti-Semitism. Next to Love is the story of three women at the heart of the century a celebration of their friendship across decades of the most unthinkable adversity.
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2009 Alabama 1931 and nine black youths fight with white ‘trash’ boys all riding illegally on a freight train. Two white girls cry rape. The ensuing court case found the black boys guilty although one of the girls later retracted her statement. That is fact. This very fine novel recreates the episode through the eyes of the girl who changed her story and an ambitious female reporter incensed by the miscarriage of justice. It is an extraordinary book of race, class, prejudice, anti-Semitism and injustice, powerfully told and really capturing the north/south division of the time, but most importantly the racial hatred, very much in the vein of a fictional In Cold Blood.Comparison: Jim Harrison, Pat Conroy. Click here to read Ellen Feldman's post about racial prejudice in America.
The war is over, but the past is never past ... Paris, 1944. Charlotte Foret is working in a tiny bookstore in Nazi-occupied Paris struggling to stay alive and keep her baby Vivi safe as the world around them is being torn apart. Every day they live through is a miracle until Vivi becomes gravely ill. In desperation, Charlotte accepts help from an unlikely saviour - and her life is changed forever. Charlotte is no victim - she is a survivor. But the truth of what happened in Paris is something she can never share with anyone, including her daughter. But can she ever really leave Paris behind - and survive the next chapter of her life? Seamlessly interweaving Charlotte's past in wartime Paris and her present in the 1950s world of New York publishing, A Bookshop in Paris is a heartbreakingly moving and unforgettable story of resilience, love - and impossible choices. 'Completely compelling. I tore through it. This novel pivots on how we manage to survive surviving ... Charlotte's visceral story will stay with me.' Naomi Wood, author of Mrs Hemingway 'Masterful, magnificent. A passionate story of survival. This story will stay with me for a long time' Heather Morris, bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Published in the US and Australia as Paris Never Leaves You
With an introduction by Jayne Anne Phillips Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, a novel inspired by the shocking true story of the Scottsboro boys. Even after all these years, the injustice still stuns. Innocent boys sentenced to die, not for a crime they did not commit, but for a crime that never occurred. Lives splintered as casually as wood being hacked for kindling. Alabama, 1931. A freight train is stopped in Scottsboro, nine black youths are brutally arrested and, within minutes, the cry of rape goes up from two white girls. In the shocking aftermath, one sticks to her story whilst the other keeps changing her mind, and an impassioned young journalist must try to save nine boys from the electric chair, one girl from a lie and herself from the clutches of the past . . . Stirring racism, sexism and the politics of a divided America into an explosive brew, Scottsboro gives voice to the victims - black and white - of this infamous case. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2009, Ellen Feldman's classic charts a fight for justice during the burgeoning civil-rights movement.
Plastics explains what plastics are, how they are made, how they are used, and the problems and opportunities they bring.
For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, The Postmistress, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a story of love, war, loss, and the scars they leave set during the years of World War II and its aftermath. Set in a small town in Massachusetts, Next to Love follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon them move them in directions they never dreamed possiblewhile their husbands and boyfriends are enduring their own transformations. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does Americafrom a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which feminism, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilitiesand uncertainties. And yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war. Beautifully crafted and unforgettable, Next to Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history.From the Hardcover edition.
On February 16,1944, Anne Frank recorded in her diary that Peter, whom she at first disliked but eventually came to love, had confided to her that if he got out alive, he would reinvent himself entirely. This is the story of what might have happened if the boy in hiding survived to become a man. Peter arrives in America, the land of self-creation; he flourishes in business, marries, and raises a family. He thrives in the present, plans for the future, and has no past. But when The Diary of a Young Girl is published to worldwide acclaim and gives rise to bitter infighting, he realises the cost of forgetting. Based on extensive research of Peter van Pels and the strange and disturbing life Anne Frank's diary took on after her death, this is a novel about the memory of death, the death of memory, and the inescapability of the past. 'This is a brave novel in the strongest sense of the word, carefully treading mined terrain to thought-provoking and memorable effect' Observer 'In this thoughtful novel, Feldman imagines how Peter's life might have turned out had he survived the war. It's an account of his struggle to deal with the past in the face of public obsession with the girl he loved. Fascinating and moving' New Woman 'An inventive postscript to the famous story' Financial Times On February 16,1944, Anne Frank recorded in her diary that Peter, whom she at first disliked but eventually came to love, had confided in her that if he got out alive, he would reinvent himself entirely. This is the story of what might have happened if the boy in hiding survived to become a man. Peter arrives in America, the land of self-creation; he flourishes in business, marries, and raises a family. He thrives in the present, plans for the future, and has no past. But when The Diary of a Young Girl is published to worldwide acclaim and gives rise to bitter infighting, he realises the cost of forgetting. Based on extensive research of Peter van Pels and the strange and disturbing life Anne Frank's diary took on after her death, this is a novel about the memory of death, the death of memory, and the inescapability of the past.
On the eve of World War I, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt, fiercely ambitious and still untouched by polio, falls in love with his wife's social secretary, Lucy Mercer. Eleanor stumbles on their letters and divorce is discussed, but honor and ambition win out. Franklin promises he will never see Lucy again. But Franklin and Lucy do meet again, and again they fall in love. As he prepares to run for an unprecedented third term and lead America into war, Franklin turns to Lucy for the warmth and unconditional approval Eleanor is unable to give. Ellen Feldman brings a novelist's insight to bear on the connection of these three compelling characters. Franklin and Lucy did finally meet, across the divide of his illness and political ascendancy, her marriage and widowhood. They fell in love again. As he prepared to run for an unprecedented third term and lead America into war, Franklin turned to Lucy for the warmth and unconditional approval Eleanor was unable to give. Drawing on recently discovered materials to re-create the voice of a woman who played a crucial but silent role in the Roosevelt presidency, Lucy is a remarkably sensitive exploration of the private lives behind a public marriage. Reading group guide included.
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