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The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

An American novel which takes brothers and their partners into a small rural area on the death of the boy’s mother. They have come to set the old house in order prior to selling it. When the body of a girl is found in the woods behind the house old secrets resurface, old neighbours remember … You spend most of the book looking for the murderer, finding the secret and are still surprised by the outcome. It is a good first novel.

If you like Mary Vensel White you might also like to read books by Anne Tyler, Anita Shreve and Joan Brady.

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Synopsis

The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White

'A haunting and provocative debut.' - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN The house brought them together, but secrets will tear them apart. When Betty Gardiner dies, leaving behind an unkempt country home, her grandson and his young wife take a break from city life to prepare the house for sale. Nowell Gardiner leaves first to begin work on his second mystery novel. By the time his wife Vivian joins him, a real mystery has begun: a local girl has been found dead in the woods behind the house. Even after the death is ruled an accident, Vivian can't forget the girl, can't ignore the strange behaviour of her neighbours, or her husband. As Vivian attempts to put the house in order, all around her things begin to fall apart. The Qualities of Wood is a novel about secrets. Family secrets. Community secrets. And secrets between lovers, past and present. And all of these secrets have their price.

Reviews

'How well can we know the people we love? To what extent do our pasts colour our perception of the present? In this haunting debut, Mary Vensel White asks these and other provocative questions. The quest for answers will keep you turning pages until the satisfying end.' - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN

'Haunting, delicate and utterly controlled. 'The Qualities of Wood'
is, quite simply, truly beautiful.' - Caroline Smailes, author of THE DROWNING OF ARTHUR BRAXTON

'First novels aren't particularly known for their powerful writing; but from the first sentence, Mary Vensel White's THE QUALITIES OF WOOD captivates and holds the reader.' - Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Mary Vensel White was born in Los Angeles and raised in Lancaster, California. She graduated from the University of Denver and lived for five years in Chicago, where she completed an MA in English at DePaul University. Her short fiction has appeared in The Wisconsin Review and Foothills Literary Journal. The Qualities of Wood is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2013

Author

Mary Vensel White

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Publisher

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
320 pages

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Crime & mystery

ISBN

9780007523580

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