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Monica Wood is an award-winning, bestselling novelist and memoirist. Born in Maine, New England, to an Irish Catholic family, she worked as a guidance counsellor and in a nursing home before becoming a full-time writer. She is also a singer, and travelled the New England circuit singing jazz, country, pop and gospel for many years. She lives in Maine with her husband.
Author photo copyright Dan Abbot
Absolutely enchanting, and not in a sugary syrupy sweet way, oh no, instead this is earthy and vibrant and real. Miss Ona Vitkus is 104 years old, she lives on her own, relatively undisturbed, and then the 11 year old boy turns up on her doorstep. The two become unlikely friends, with world records, birds and life histories becoming main topics of conversation. Monica Wood writes with beautiful empathy, she doesn't judge, or even provoke, she sets this gorgeous story in motion and allows you, as the reader along on the journey. I particularly loved the transcripts of the tape recordings, it just consists of “shards” of thoughts, and the replies of Miss Vitkus to questions, however the boy is there, his presence is undeniable and the pages simply overflow with his energy. ‘The One-In-A-Million Boy’ is about a meeting of minds and hearts, of friendship and living life, it’s a particularly lovely and charming read, and you might just raise your eyebrow at a world record or two along the way.
One of our Books of the Year 2016. April 2016 Book of the Month. Absolutely enchanting, and not in a sugary syrupy sweet way, oh no, instead this is earthy and vibrant and real. Miss Ona Vitkus is 104 years old, she lives on her own, relatively undisturbed, and then the 11 year old boy turns up on her doorstep. The two become unlikely friends, with world records, birds and life histories becoming main topics of conversation. Monica Wood writes with beautiful empathy, she doesn't judge, or even provoke, she sets this gorgeous story in motion and allows you, as the reader along on the journey. I particularly loved the transcripts of the tape recordings, it just consists of “shards” of thoughts, and the replies of Miss Vitkus to questions, however the boy is there, his presence is undeniable and the pages simply overflow with his energy. ‘The One-In-A-Million Boy’ is about a meeting of minds and hearts, of friendship and living life, it’s a particularly lovely and charming read, and you might just raise your eyebrow at a world record or two along the way.
ANY BITTER THING is a novel about how much we can and should forgive, by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY. The perfect read for fans of Gail Honeyman's ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and Joanna Cannon's THREE THINGS ABOUT ELSIE. 'If you liked THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, try ANY BITTER THING' GlamourAfter surviving a near-fatal accident, thirty-year-old Lizzy Mitchell faces a long road to recovery. She remembers little about the days she spent in and out of consciousness, save for one thing: she saw her beloved deceased uncle, Father Mike, the man who raised her until she was nine, when she was abruptly sent away.Though her troubled marriage and broken body need tending, Lizzy knows she must uncover the details of her accident - and delve into the events of twenty years ago, when whispers and accusations forced a good man to give up the only family he had.What readers are saying about ANY BITTER THING:'Another great story with wonderful characters''This writer, with her exquisite prose, weaves a gripping and grace-filled story of redemption. I will go back to this amazing book again and again. It shines''A beautiful story. The characters take on a life of their own. Pure human emotion, well written, very touching'
A heart-wrenching story collection from the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY, Monica Wood. ERNIE'S ARK tells interconnected stories of a small town's people, determined to survive... Perfect for those who love reading Anne Tyler, Joanna Cannon and Emma Healey. 'Loving character portraits... help us understand the human condition' Boston GlobeAbbott Falls, Maine, a town once drenched with ordinary hopes and dreams, is now praying for a small drop of good fortune. Ernie Whitten - out of a job and tending to his ill wife - needs it more than most. Struck with sudden inspiration, Ernie builds a giant ark in his backyard. It is a work of art, a vessel to carry them both away, and a plea to God to spare Marie, come hell or high water.As the ark takes shape, the rest of the town carries on. There's Dan Little, sent to fine Ernie for building the ark, who makes a significant discovery about himself. Francine Love is a precocious thirteen-year-old who longs to be part of a family. And CEO Henry John McCoy, an impatient man determined to be a good father to his twenty-six-year-old daughter. The people of Abbott Falls will try their best to hold their community together, against the fiercest of odds...What readers are saying about ERNIE'S ARK:'An astounding book. Built one piece at a time, one story on top of the next until the reader is left with a magnificent monument to its characters''A gorgeous collection about the meaning of life, the beauty of the mundane, the quiet, day-to-day events that make up our lives and define who we are. The perfect book' 'Monica Wood writes this series of interrelated short stories with heart and intelligence. Honest and heart-warming'
MY ONLY STORY is a moving, funny and bittersweet novel by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY, sure to appeal to fans of Sarah Winman, Anne Tyler and Maggie O'Farrell. 'Wood's command of voice holds a reader all the way through to the last page' San Francisco Chronicle Rita Rosario has a gift, a way with people. She listens to them and really sees them for who they are - warts and all. Women, even men, come to Rita's beauty shop for perms, town gossip, and makeovers of their very lives.John Reed first appears to Rita in one of her dreams. When they meet at a town gathering a few days later, she immediately offers him a haircut, and a heart. As they share stories, Rita helps John fill a void by reconnecting him to his only family - a young niece he nearly lost in a heart-breaking tragedy.While inspiring John out of loneliness and into reconciliation, Rita begins to come to terms with events in her past... and discovers things about herself she never realised, including her own intimate role in John's unfolding story.What readers are saying about MY ONLY STORY:'Monica Wood is a beautiful writer and can convey complex emotions in the most beautiful and simple ways. The book stays with you long after you finish it, as do the characters''An enchanting book. Wood's mastery of the language creates beautiful, sometimes poetic prose. Her ability to express both human pain and human hope is very refreshing. This book is a treasure''One of the best kept secrets of the literary world'
SECRET LANGUAGE by Monica Wood is a moving and compelling tale of two sisters as they reconnect, not to be missed by readers of Anne Tyler, Joanna Cannon and Sue Monk Kidd. 'Fiercely lyrical... [Wood] writes with sensitivity and intuitive insight about relationships coming apart and the walls people erect to keep others out' Publishers Weekly As children, dragged around the country by semi-famous actor parents who could barely take care of themselves, sisters Faith and Constance had to rely on one another.As adults, though, they have drifted apart: Faith has children and a grounded domestic life - but hasn't necessarily found unconditional love; whereas Constance, a flight attendant, is always searching for her true place in life.Then Isadora, the half-sister they never knew existed, makes her dramatic entrance into their lives. This crisis forces Faith and Constance into their long-forgotten childhood habits, and they begin to make their way back to one another and find a new way to be a family.What readers are saying about SECRET LANGUAGE:'So glad I discovered Monica Wood. Her language is gorgeous, her characters compelling, and she delicately describes the pain and joy of human relationships in a way we can all identify with''Extremely well written and thought-provoking with outstanding character development' 'A rare and affecting book that can create such heartfelt turmoil. Highly recommend for readers who love realistic stories about family life'
Eine zauberhafte Freundschaft und das Versprechen: Mit jedem Tag beginnt eine neue Zukunft.Warum ausgerechnet Ona? Als Quinn die 104-jahrige Frau kennenlernt, fragt er sich, was sein zarter, verschlossener Sohn so an ihr mochte. Denn Ona ist kantig, eigensinnig, voller verstecktem Humor - und scheint so gar nichts mit der Welt eines 11-Jahrigen zu tun zu haben. Doch jetzt ist der Junge tot, und Quinn voll Wut und Trauer. Nur Ona kann ihm zeigen, wie sein Sohn wirklich war. Quinn begibt sich auf eine ungewohnliche Entdeckungsreise - zu Onas wilden Geschichten aus dem Leben, zuruck zu dem letzten Wunsch seines Kindes und bis zu dem Punkt, an dem aus seiner tiefen Verzweiflung neue Hoffnung wachst.
WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a brilliant, award-winning memoir about the death of a father and the healing of a family, by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY. Perfect for those who loved Cathy Rentzenbrink's THE LAST ACT OF LOVE or Helen Macdonald's H IS FOR HAWK. 'It's a pleasure to linger with her elegant prose, keen eye and grace of thought' Reader's Digest 'Intimate but expansive ... A tender memoir of a very different time' O, the Oprah Magazine 1963. The Wood family is much like their neighbours, all dependent on the fathers' wages from the local mill. But when Dad suddenly dies on his way to work one April morning, Mum and the four deeply connected Wood daughters are set adrift.And then, come November - the family still overwhelmed by grief, the country shocked by the assassination of President Kennedy - Mum announces an unprecedented family road trip. Inspired by the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy, herself a new widow with young children, Mum and her girls head to Washington, DC, to do some rescuing of their own. WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a funny, moving and imaginative memoir about how one family and one country, each shocked by the unimaginable, find the strength to move on.What readers are saying about WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS: 'A beautifully written, thought-provoking book''Filled with great love - of family, friends and the ability to bounce back even with many setbacks. Wood's words are so beautiful they literally lift off the pages''Compelling, profound, beautiful'
A one-in-a-million story for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and think about how extraordinary ordinary life can be. Not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL. Miss Ona Vitkus has - aside from three months in the summer of 1914 - lived unobtrusively, her secrets fiercely protected. The boy, with his passion for world records, changes all that. He is eleven. She is one hundred and four years, one hundred and thirty three days old (they are counting). And he makes her feel like she might be really special after all. Better late than never... Only it's been two weeks now since he last visited, and she's starting to think he's not so different from all the rest. Then the boy's father comes, for some reason determined to finish his son's good deed. And Ona must show this new stranger that not only are there odd jobs to be done, but a life's ambition to complete . . .
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