Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton
WHEN ESTHER THOREL, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping ‘madam’ is too good to refuse.
INSIDE THE THORELS’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’s blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause. IT IS SILK that has Esther so distracted.
For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household and set the scene for a devastating day of reckoning between her and Sara. THE PRICE OF a piece of silk may prove more than either is able to pay.
One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
Meet Silver. Forty-four, divorced and living alone.
His once celebrated music career is now a faded memory and his ex-wife is about to marry another man. The only good thing in Silver’s life is his Princeton-bound teenage daughter, Casey – and she would probably say the exact opposite about him. So in Silver’s opinion, things could be going better … a lot better. Then Casey drops a bombshell: she’s pregnant. Yes, it was her first time, and, no, she hasn’t told her mom.
Silver knows things have got to change, and when he discovers he has a fatal heart condition that means he could drop dead at any minute, he decides it’s time to make a list:1. Be a better father 2. Be a better man 3. Fall in love 4. Die. But the question is, can Silver rebuild his life, regain the respect of his family, and be there for Casey when she needs him most, or has he left it all too late?
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
`I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974.’ So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and her truly unique family secret, born on the slopes of Mount Olympus and passed on through three generations. Growing up in 70s Michigan, Calliope’s special inheritance will turn her into Cal, the narrator of this intersex, inter-generational epic of immigrant life in 20th century America. Middlesex won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.