Following the death of their mother from a botched backwoods abortion, the McAlister daughters have to cope with the ripple effect of this tragedy as they come of age in 1950s Mississippi and then grow up to face their own impossible choices—an unforgettable, beautiful novel that is threaded throughout with the stories of mothers and daughters in pre-Roe versus Wade America.
Life heads down back alleys, takes sharp left turns. Then, one fine day it jumps the track and crashes.”
In the fall of 1957, Olivia McAlister is living in Opelika, Mississippi, caring for her two girls, June and Grace, and her husband, Holly. She dreams of living a much larger life--seeing the world and returning to her wartime job at a landing boat factory in New Orleans. As she watches over the birds in her yard, Olivia feels like an “accidental”—a migratory bird blown off course.
When Olivia becomes pregnant again, she makes a fateful decision, compelling Grace, June, and Holly to cope in different ways. While their father digs up the backyard to build a bomb shelter, desperate to protect his family, Olivia’s spinster sister tries to take them all under her wing. But the impact of Olivia’s decision reverberates throughout Grace’s and June’s lives. Grace, caught up in an unconventional love affair, becomes one of the “girls who went away” to have a baby in secret. June, guilt-ridden for her part in exposing Grace’s pregnancy, eventually makes an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile Ed Mae Johnson, an African-American care worker in a New Orleans orphanage, is drastically impacted by Grace’s choices.
As the years go by, their lives intersect in ways that reflect the unpredictable nature of bird flight that lands in accidental locations—and the consolations of imperfect return.
Filled with tragedy, humor, joy, and the indomitable strength of women facing the constricted spaces of the 1950s and 60s, The Accidentals is a poignant, timely novel that reminds us of the hope and consolation that can be found in unexpected landings.
Told against the fourth-century backdrop of the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity, The Saint's Mistress breathes life into the previously untold story of Saint Augustine and his mistress.
Defying social norms and traditions, Roman aristocrat Aurelius Augustinus falls in love with Leona, a North African peasant. Leona comes into conflict with Aurelius's mother Monnica, his powerful patron Urbanus, and the Empire itself, in her fight to keep her family together and win legitimacy for her son. When Monnica and Urbanus succeed in separating Leona from her son and securing a more suitable fiancée for Aurelius, Leona commits herself to the Church.
When many years later Leona and Aurelius, now Bishop Augustine, meet again, old passions re-ignite, perennial feuds smolder, and the fate of the Roman Empire in North Africa hangs in the balance.
"Ask any author-sinners are more interesting than saints." -Michael Schmicker, investigative journalist and novelist
'One of the greatest novels of the Second World War' The Times. 'A remarkable find' Antony Beevor. 'A masterpiece' Mail on Sunday.
Stalingrad, November 1942. Lieutenant Breuer dreams of returning home for Christmas. But he and his fellow German soldiers will spend winter in a frozen hell – as snow, ice and relentless Soviet assaults reduce the once-mighty Sixth Army to a diseased and starving rabble. Breakout at Stalingrad is a stark and terrifying portrait of the horrors of war, and a profoundly humane depiction of comradeship in adversity.
The book itself has an extraordinary story behind it. Its author fought at Stalingrad and was imprisoned by the Soviets. In captivity, he wrote a novel based on his experiences, which the Soviets confiscated before releasing him. Gerlach resorted to hypnosis to remember his narrative, and in 1957 it was published as The Forsaken Army. Fifty-five years later Carsten Gansel, an academic, came across the original manuscript of Gerlach's novel in a Moscow archive. This first translation into English of Breakout at Stalingrad includes the story of Gansel's sensational discovery.
A SUNDAY TIMES HISTORICAL NOVEL OF THE YEAR.
Tenth-century Iceland. In the midwinter darkness, on the lifeless black soils of a newly settled land, two friends kill a man. Kjaran, an itinerant storyteller, and Gunnar, a once-feared warrior, must make a choice: conceal the deed or confess to it and pay the blood price to the dead man's brothers.
For the right reasons, they make the wrong choice.
Kjaran and Gunnar's fateful decision will leave them fighting for their lives, fighting to retain their humanity as Iceland's unyielding code of honour ignites a remorseless blood feud that will consume all it touches.
'Smile of the Wolf bares its fangs from the first page. Like a medieval tapestry, the storytelling is rich with imagery. Readers will be lured spellbound into this lyrical and evocative Icelandic saga. It deserves huge success' DAVID GILMAN.
Everyone remembers the day the girls went missing.
May Day 1912, a day that haunts Missensham. The day two girls disappeared. The day the girls were murdered.
Iris Caldwell and Nell Ryland were never meant to be friends. From two very different backgrounds, one the heir to the Caldwell estate, the other a humble vicar's daughter. Both have their secrets, both have their pasts, but they each find solace with one another and soon their futures become irrevocably intertwined.
Now, many years later, old footage has emerged which shows that Iris Caldwell may not have died on that spring morning. The village must work out what happened the day the girls went missing...
“An intensely readable novel of the complexity of family ties . . . Dot Jackson is a true Southern voice, a master storyteller and an Appalachian treasure” (Dori Sanders, author of Clover and Her Own Place). Early one morning in 1929, Mary Seneca Steele spontaneously packs a suitcase, gathers up her son and daughter, and steals away in her abusive and dissolute husband’s brand new Auburn Phaeton automobile leaving her privileged life in Charleston behind. It is the beginning of a journey of enlightenment that leads Mary “Sen” to the mountains and mysteries of Appalachia where she will learn unexpected family secrets, create a new life for herself and her children, and finally experience love and happiness before tragedy will once again test her. Written by an authentic Southern voice, Dot Jackson has spun a story that will captivate readers looking for an entertaining saga of self-discovery, family, love, loss and redemption. “Refuge is a wonderful story about the need to find one’s place in the world—and the price paid to remain there. With her narrative gift and keen ear for Appalachian speech, Dot Jackson gives her readers a beautifully rendered portrait of a lost time and place.” —Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove
In wartime it takes courage to follow your heart.
Everyone hated the heat and the deafening noise, but for Gracie the worst thing was the smell of chemicals that turned her stomach every morning when she arrived at the Rosenberg Raincoats factory.
Gracie is a girl on the factory floor. Jacob is the boss's charismatic nephew. When they fall in love, it seems as if the whole world is against them – especially Charlie Nuttall, who also works at the factory and has always wanted Gracie for himself.
But worse is to come when Jacob disappears and Gracie is devastated, vowing to find him. Can she solve the mystery of his whereabouts? Gracie will need all her strength and courage to find a happy ending.
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