August 2013 Debut of the Month.
Fluctuating time zones and complicated relationships, revolving round an artist and his relationship with two very different sisters, makes for an absorbing debut of sibling jealousies and deceit.
1963. Two teenage sisters Alice and Natelie fall under the spell of a young artist, Thomas, while on the family holiday. 2007. Thomas, now a famous painter, has to face up to the consequences of that fateful Summer.
A haunting and melancholic debut with characters that will stay with you long after you finish the book.
A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher...
'I completely fell in love with this haunting debut when it first came in on submission, and I stayed up most of the night in order to finish it. And ever since then, I haven’t stopped talking about it, and encouraging people to read it, no doubt making a nuisance of myself. There’s just something about a really, really good book which makes you want to press it into the hands of others...
The Gravity of Birds is an unforgettable novel about illicit love, family, long-buried secrets. It’s also about entangled sisters, and dreadful love triangles, and the mistakes we make and the things we leave unsaid. Can you find someone who wants to be lost, can you save someone who won’t help themselves? The author, Tracy Guzeman, doesn’t give me any easy answers. But her novel has resonated in my mind long after I finished the final page. I so hope you might enjoy this book, too.' - Thalia Suzuma, HarperFiction Editor
How do you find someone who wants to be lost? Sisters Alice and Natalie were once close, but adolescence has wrenched them apart. Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds; Natalie is headstrong, manipulative - and beautiful. On their lakeside family holiday, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber. Natalie, however, seems strangely unmoved, tolerating sittings for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered. Decades later, Thomas, now a world-renowned artist, reveals the existence of a portrait of himself with Alice and Natalie from that fateful summer. The sisters themselves have disappeared without a trace. And Thomas is torn between taking the secrets of the girls to the grave, or using the painting to resurrect the past before it closes up on them all for good...
'A beautifully written, compelling story. I absolutely loved it.' Lucy Clarke, author of The Sea Sisters
'One of those rare, exquisitely written novels that haunt you long after you've finished the last page. It is a novel not to be missed.' Alyson Richman, author of The Lost Wife
'Part mystery, part psychological drama and intriguing love story. This is a stunning debut.'
Ellen Sussman, author of French Lessons
Publication date: 15/08/2013
Publisher: Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||15th August 2013|
|Publisher:||Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Tracy Guzeman lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her fiction has been published in Gulf Coast, Vestal Review and Glimmer Train Stories, and performed as part of the New Short Fiction Series Emerging Voices Group Show. The Gravity of Birds is her first novel.More About Tracy Guzeman