A sparkling debut set in Mark Twain's boyhood town, Flood is a story of what it means to be lost . . . and found.
Laura Brooks fled her hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, ten years ago after a historic flood and personal heartbreak. Now she's returned unannounced, and her family and friends don't know what to make of it. She says she's just home for a brief visit and her high-school reunion, but she's carrying too much luggage for that: literal and metaphorical. Soon Laura is embroiled in small-town affairs--the contentious divorce of her rowdy best friend Rose; the campaign of her twelve-year-old godson, Bobby, to become the town's official Tom Sawyer; and the renewed interest of the man Laura once thought she'd marry, Sammy McGuire.
Leaving town when she was eighteen had been Laura's only option. She feared a stifling existence in a town ruled by its past, its mythological devotion to Mark Twain, and the economic and racial divide that runs as deep as the Mississippi River. She can't forget that fateful Fourth of July when the levees broke or the decisions that still haunt her. Now as the Mississippi rises again, a deep wound threatens to reopen, and Laura must decide if running away once more might be the best way to save herself.
A literary journey into the lives of three women, the struggles they face, and the victories they claim.
This multi-generational novel presents three women whose paths cross at the Lindell Retirement Home. Constance Maynard, fierce, intependent and proud, reflects on her long life promoting women's rights through her career as a professor of history. Eunice Fitch, the perfect caregiver, is often unlucky in love, yet even in middle age refuses to give up searching for the perfect man. Sam Clark is a young aide with a passion for poetry and , small beautiful things, but at war with her own large, ungainly physique. All together they weave a tapestry as rich and complex as the female experience itself.
Red-Handed Jill's lovers discover--a kiss is as good as a curse.
Hook and Jill indulge in shore leave on the welcoming sands of the Neverland. But when Jill is caught between husband and paramour, her idyllic days turn into nightmare. Even in this generous land, Captain Hook is a dangerous man.
The lonesome Captain Cecco rescues Raven, an Indian widow who diverts him from his obsession for Jill. But Hook, too, finds Raven tempting. As his need for her heightens, so does the rivalry of Jill's tempestuous men.
Jill's own charms turn against her when a clever hunter from the Indian tribe stalks her heart. As tribal taboo is violated, the balance of the Neverland shifts like an overturned hourglass. Left on her own in an amorous trap, Jill must conjure her most potent magic.
The enchanted isle can be open-handed with hospitality, and with treachery, too. In order to thrive--or survive--Hook and Jill, like their allies and adversaries, may be forced to give as liberally as their Island. Jill's kiss may bring bliss or a curse, yet one thing is certain. Whatever else might be lost, Captain Hook never loses command.
Other Islands, Book Three of the award-winning Hook & Jill Saga, is a worthy sequel to the series' preceding masterworks. Lush with literary elegance, this story explores forms of generosity--usual, and unusual. Andrea Jones re-imagines J.M. Barrie's timeless island, "always changing, yet ever the same."
Outing the Mermaid takes you on a journey into the 1960s and 70s world of civil rights, feminism, Vietnam, gurus, Mafiosi, the Pill, the Beatles, class distinctions, astrology, and the eternal mystery of what’s going on between men and women.
Subtitled A novel of love, fear & misogyny, Ann Medlock’s roman å clef is a journey into the life of Lee Palmer, a smart woman making some bad choices as she tries to find her place in that Mad Men world. Divorced, a mom, and working “outside the home” in a time when that was odd, Lee pioneers a path she finds repeatedly blocked by misogyny—and by her own unrealized programming for submissiveness.
Early readers, in these “lean-in” times, have reported shouting No, don’t do that! when Lee makes a wrong move. They’ve also fist-pumped in triumph when she gets something right. It’s a deeply engaging story, to say the least.
You feel watched. It's nothing new, but the feeling is amplified when the streets are busy. That hum in your head is now a buzz.
Laika desperately wishes for a new life. At fourteen, she's hardened and independent, living on the streets of Southern California. She's finally free of her volatile home but yearns for true stability.
As Graham, a waiter at a local Russian restaurant, watches Laika steal and struggle to survive, he sees there is something else going on. Something dangerous. An insidious disease that gnaws at her mind and drags her deeper into a world of chaos and delusion.
Laika brings to light the often-shrouded world of paranoid schizophrenia. It also examines the socially stigmatized issues of homelessness, addiction, and PTSD, in the hopes of fostering greater awareness and compassion.
A middle-aged man, an ancient dog, and a new Mustang. A search for sustenance in a battered America. Carson McCullough has given his career to a singular pursuit—putting out a small daily newspaper that keeps his employees engaged and his hometown informed. But as time and technology conspire against him, Carson’s Argus-Dispatch is shuttered by an owner with a different view of its future. Stung by the abrupt end of his career and burdened by regret and grudges, Carson and his one true companion, a yellow Lab named Hector, set out on a road trip. As the miles pile up and Carson erratically drives into the residue of past decisions and the consequences of current actions, he confronts questions of love, faith, self-worth, and, perhaps most pressing, whether he can redefine himself after his identity is stripped away. In his seventh novel, Craig Lancaster (600 Hours of Edward, The Fallow Season of Hugo Hunter) returns to the broad themes of his award-winning work and goes deeper yet, straight into the heart and mind of a good man who has lost his way and is struggling against himself to set things right.
DANIEL ARROYO has suffered a lifetime of guilt over the sudden death of his infant sister, who died when he was eight years old. He now lives his middle years between that guilt and worsening episodes of PTSD from a Vietnam he left thirty years ago. When a violent encounter on a dusty highway forces Daniel to face what haunts him, he finds himself pulled back to the neighborhood of his youth, where old houses hold tired secrets. What really happened on that steamy August afternoon? The answer comes spilling from the old neighborhood, and Daniel begins to find his way home. Corran Harrington takes the reader along the Rio Grande, from its headwaters to the sea.
A Captivating Exploration of Mourning and West Texas
Hunter’s friend Ty survived war in the Middle East only to succumb to cancer at home. On a quest with his college buddies and Ty’s father, Hunter journeys from South Texas into the mountains and desert of West Texas to bury his close friend. During this trek, they’ll drink, hunt, party, and encounter unexpected people and enthralling landscapes as Hunter deals with his grief, compounded by his struggle with depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder.
The West Texas Pilgrimage is a love letter to West Texas and the wild culture that defines it. Author M. M. Wolthoff vividly depicts the regional landscape, exploring intriguing stops along the way and the authentic context of music, food, and language integral to this generation of Texans, while frankly and thoughtfully addressing relationships, mourning, and mental illness, with characters as unforgettable as the region itself.
Bobby thought the summer he turned thirteen was just going to be a typical summer – moving into another old rent house and keeping away from his alcoholic, abusive dad's wrath. He never dreamed how wrong he would be. His life would be changed forever and not everyone in his circle of family and friends would survive. Will his place in the shadows provide him enough comfort and safety to come out on the other end of that fateful summer?
This contemporary, character-driven novel is about people who are stigmatized. However, once they discover their true identities, each is empowered to begin the journey of life’s purpose.
Police Officer Tom Jennings, obese as a mutant Idaho potato in a jiggling gelatin suit; James Odessa-Smith, with his schizoaffective disorder; young Suanna Morningcloud, a person with albinism, half Nez Perce Indian and half Caucasian; are main characters in this literary fiction.
Meeting during a botched bank robbery in Prairie Grove, Kansas, they experience tragedy and trauma. Forever changed and connected, they are forced to ask, “Who am I and where do I belong?”
Taking Back the Bullet explores the themes of stigma, identity, and self-discovery. The multi-layered stories are an escape into reality.
Time's Betrayal is an epic multigenerational family saga covering the years from the battle of Antietam to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Touching on elements in John le Carré's A Perfect Spy and John Knowles's A Separate Peace, the novel chronicles a son s search for a larger-than-life father, a CIA agent who disappeared in the early fifties, leaving behind a distraught wife and lovers, not to mention a Pandora's box of devastating secrets and unanswered questions that baffled all who investigated his fate--a fate as beguiling as it is mysterious. This is also a story about the crumbling edifice of the eastern Establishment after World War II and in Vietnam-era America. A poignant coming-of-age tale, it is related though the eyes of Peter Alden, whose school days are shattered when he overhears a conversation about his father from two CIA colleagues: how John Alden, a world-famous archaeologist turned OSS and CIA officer, who vanished through Checkpoint Charlie, may have been a traitor.
Melanie Kohl is like a hamster on a treadmill, running in place and getting nowhere, starting with her mind-numbing commute to work, her job as employee relations manager/Ms. Fix-It at a comically out-of-control medical center in New York City, and ending each day when she crawls into her basement apartment, bemoaning her sexless, uneventful private life, rocked by disturbing dreams of mayhem and murder. As she heads inexorably towards a breakdown, hastened by the murder of her much hated boss and the appointment of an even more sinister and stupid replacement, she finally flies off the wheel and catapults into the arms of a handsome stranger. Will love conquer all? Well . . .
Two conjoined babies are born at the intersection of two social worldviews. The girls are named Faith and Hope. After spending their childhood in a foster home and obtaining a basic education, they come to realise that they are different from other people in many respects. The problems of their upbringing are only made worse by the constant humiliations they suffer at the hands of society.
Eventually, fortune smiles on them, by seemingly opening up the door to happiness: a separation surgery that can theoretically be performed in the capital. Thus begins a journey fraught with difficulties and obstacles for the sisters. Will they be able to get past the wall of public cynicism, together with the internal conflicts they have among themselves? Will they find a justification for their existence and learn to accept it? The search for the answers to these and many other questions constitutes the essence of this novel.
One-Two is a psychological drama, the main events of which unfold in the 1980s and 1990s in Russia. The novel reflects on how difficult it is to be a human and how important it is to stay human until the end. It is a message full of empathy and kindness addressed to all people.
David and Elizabeth Fredericks are spending a month away from their home in Eastern Scotland. Traveling through Greece and Italy, they plan to indulge David’s love of classical architecture, celebrate his retirement, and heal the wounds his recent affair caused to their marriage. When their daughter Kate, an engineering professor and the apple of David’s eye, turns up in Athens unannounced to tell them that she is in love with Charlotte Macfie, a talented patisserie chef, things quickly go awry. Unable to cope with Kate’s revelation, David withdraws, and Elizabeth is forced to take on the uncharted role of mediator, between the formerly inseparable father and daughter. When tragedy strikes, the Fredericks' must find a way to put their differences aside and build a newly structured family.
Qasim, an Arab Muslim U.N. official fleeing family obligations in 1980s war-torn Lebanon meets Dianna, escaping her rural Southern roots to become a researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Will their love be enough in this war-torn, conflict-weary world? Ramsperger's debut novel gives an entirely new perspective on the controversial conflicts in our hearts and in our history.
Five teenagers from diverse backgrounds are brought together by a war. A Japanese, a Jew, a Native American, an African American, and a white kid from middle-class America form an interdependent relationship in the jungles of Vietnam. They become the most highly decorated squad in a war they don't understand, but their relationships transcend the social structures of racism formed through historical injustices, and they remain best friends for decades. Their iconic leader, Billy Stone, one day finds himself entangled with a Medicare scam dreamed up by his sister's husband. For his sister's sake, he must find a solution. The livelihoods of the others form within the law enforcement communities in their individual and collective quest for justice as they grow from boys to men of great character. Even the strongest of character has its flaws, but these men are the best of the best, and there is only one adversity they cannot overcome. From the Selma-to-Montgomery march, the internment camps of WWII, the poverty and desolation of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation; to the estrangement of a father and son and a suicide of great consequence, this team of five becomes one. At the same time, there are "takers" like Billy's brother-in-law who infect the American system. They need to be brought to justice, but the price will be high. On the smallest of scales, this is an epic tale of how the dream of a world community can become a reality.
A young boy's murder unleashes chaos in the life of a schoolteacher and a small New England town.
Bradley, Massachusetts is in many ways a typical small New England town, but a river divides it in half—on one side, the East End: crowded triple-deckers, the Most Precious Blood parish, and a Brazilian immigrant community; and on the other, the West End: renovated Victorians, Brandywine Academy, and families with last names as venerable as the Mayflower.
Deirdre Murphy and her partner Sara Jane (SJ) Edmonds have just moved to their first house—and for the first time are open in their relationship—in the West End, where Deirdre teaches at Brandywine Academy. A dedicated teacher from a working-class background, she is well loved by her students. But the murder of ten-year-old Leo Rivera from the East End changes everything—for Deirdre and SJ, for the girls at Brandywine, and for all of Bradley. And when Deirdre is falsely accused of sexually molesting one of her students, the entire town erupts.
Robin is a lonely, whip-smart twenty-five-year-old muddling her way through a rough summer. Her father’s losing his mind to dementia. He also might be falling in love, which is nice, but it has Robin wondering: is it adultery if you can’t remember you have a wife? Then there’s Corey, her mysterious neighbor who works on his house all day, every day. When Robin finally meets him, she sees an attractive lifeline into a new phase in her life. But how well does she know Corey really? Why doesn’t he ever leave his house? As summer bleeds into fall, Robin answers these questions while juggling familial fissures, money problems, and a fruitless quest to capture her father’s rapidly deteriorating memories. Set in Providence, Rhode Island during the worst recession in generations, One American Robin is a funny and heartbreaking examination of love, dementia, and the life-changing power of home improvement.
Gregory C. Randall weaves a tale of secrets in northern Michigan during that hot and stormy summer. With the constant fear of nuclear war, an exploding Middle East, and memories of World War II still fresh with flowers on soldier’s graves; a fourteen year old boy realizes that he is growing up. In Howie Smith’s world of primal forests, orderly orchards, and Lake Michigan; he learns about life and begins to understand death. A crazy aunt, a dying uncle, and the unyielding pressure to bring in the demanding crop of cherries, Howie is forced to realize there is more to life than baseball. Randall unveils, during this brief summer, a family’s fears and triumphs. He explores a region of America left apart from the chaos of the world. It is a place of needed yet unwanted migrant pickers, backwoods people who must live off the land, and the grand lake that encloses them all. But Howie discovers it is also a realm of wonders.
Caught up in the turmoil of her own problems, Fez is oblivious to the struggles of her family members, who each face serious challenges—and things are only getting more complicated.
Fez, now fifty-two, never knew she had a sister—until one day, sixty-four-year-old Penny, a woman with special needs, has nowhere else to go and must move in with Fez and Fez’s teenage daughter, Hazel. But Penny hasn’t had to deal with change for a long time, and neither sister is sure how this new life will affect her. With her estranged husband living elsewhere, Fez is too distracted to notice the changes in Hazel, who has been falling into dangerous patterns of substance abuse.
The reunited sisters delve into family history to gain closure on a dark past, but before they find a satisfying answer, tragedy strikes—and their priorities finally start coming into focus.
Seeking Father Khaliq is a modern allegory about one man's search for spiritual fulfillment. Set in the Middle East, Philosophy Professor Kareem al-Busiri teaches at a prestigious Egyptian university.
The professor is persuaded to undertake important pilgrimages. He falls in love with a colleague, while attempting to manage mortal conflicts of values and ideology between his two sons.
Carefully researched and constructed, this dynamic story reflects the current religious, political, and social turmoil of the region.
Seeking Father Khaliq is unique in its Middle East setting, and its focus on Islam, as well as elements of Christianity and Judaism. The use of the jihadist conflict in Egypt as a surrogate for larger regional conflicts, the religious pilgrimages, and the resolution of inter-faith marriage issues are also highlighted.
This omnibus collects Monte Schulz’s Jazz Age Trilogy of historical fiction novels, which follows various family members on the eve of the Great Depression to the circus, through bank robberies, underneath front porches and big city skyscrapers, and much more.
Crossing Eden is the story of an American family in the summer of 1929, when a failed businessman divides himself from his wife and children, and a troubled farm boy runs away from home in the company of a gangster. It’s also the tale of a nation in the last months of the Roaring Twenties, a glittering decade of exuberance and doubt, optimism and fear. Set equally among the states along the Middle Border, in a small East Texas town, and in a great gleaming metropolis, Crossing Eden chronicles the Pendergast family of Farrington, Illinois, cast apart by circumstance into the early 20th century landscape of big business, tent shows, speakeasies, séances, bank robberies, lynchings, murder, romance, circuses, and skyscrapers. It’s a grand tapestry of the American experience in an age of transition from rural to urban, with our nation perched on the precipice of the Great Depression.
"One son walked out the door never to return as another son walked in." So begins the second volume in this trilogy as we pick up this outlandish family saga in the 1970s, recounted through a series of interwoven chapters featuring the many colorful characters. The story opens with a family tragedy as we see how far the Pendergasts have fallen from their days of fame and fortune. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn what became of Henry, Albert, Eve, Ned, Lucy, and the servants. We observe them facing an endless parade of obstacles, mostly overcome through humor and perseverance. Much of the novel focuses on the Asperger’s brother, Albert. Albert is intellectually brilliant but emotionally stunted, which presents unique parenting challenges for his mother. With her death, Albert is cast off into the world on his own, until he reaches the point where his siblings must try and rescue him.
"As a past sufferer of panic attacks, depression and anxiety, Charlie Elliott captures the real and emotional complexities behind panic disorder along with the tragedies of both mental and physical illness--all wrapped up in one page-turning novel. Tears and chuckles along the way."
As Wade Hampton's phobias almost render him housebound after a swift break-up, he decides to move from Arizona back to his hometown in California. Once there, Wade meets Sophia Syros. He is immediately attracted to her, but a severe panic attack on their first date almost does Wade in. A relationship forms between the two from opposite upbringings and Sophia agrees to help with his affliction from panic attacks, depression and impending agoraphobia. Their unlikely bond transforms abruptly to a future in doubt when Sophia is faced with a life-threatening crisis. With little support from her divided family, Wade has no choice but to tend to her. The struggle of coping with Sophia s condition unintentionally helps Wade handle the psychological battles plaguing him. Life Unbothered is a dramatic story of personal redemption.
It’s the 1930s in Texas when Charlie Bader comes of age with urges he has struggled with since childhood and does not understand. After his new bride finds him wearing her own sexy lingerie and leaves him in disgust, he tries to move on. His efforts lead him to Chicago, where he stumbles on a community of cross-dressers and begins to attend their secret soirees. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, he volunteers for the army, serving as a dentist and trying once again to leave his obsession with soft clothes behind. Instead, his wartime experiences combined with the army's faulty record-keeping lead to his reappearance in the small town of Heaven, Indiana, as Charlene. There, Charlene opens a beauty shop where Heaven’s women safely share their stories and secrets as she shampoos, clips, curls, and combs their hair. Charlene deftly manages to keep her own story hidden and her sexual desires quiet until she falls in love with a female customer and her life begins to change.
The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…
Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.
Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.
Although I was in total darkness, I closed my eyes so I could listen more intently. Maybe something had followed me from the courtyard or picked up my scent along the way. I only heard my rapid pulse banging in my ears with each aching, forceful contraction of my heart. A bell rang faintly in the distance, each ring louder as the sound pursued me in the darkness. The ringing became familiar. It was a school bell, and my initial concern of being late for class was realized. Where is my classroom? Lost and losing consciousness, I had one more lucid thought and question. Maybe the darkness is my classroom; where is my teacher? The bell rang again, and I heard the moaning cry of an animal. An old telephone—one of those ancient black ones with a real bell—jangled insistently in my ear. I was the groaning animal and heard myself say, “Damn, what now?” as I groped for the phone. . .
If you had an unwanted pregnancy, what would you decide? When Liv, 21 and about to graduate into a career of nonprofit work, returns from India and discovers she’s pregnant, she needs to make choices that will define her life. What should she tell her live-in boyfriend Devin who is not the father? Does she want to have an abortion as her best friend Elyse urges? If not, will she give up the baby as her mother Katherine did? Set in Seattle, with flashbacks to her time in Mumbai and affair with Rama, watch Liv’s new-found feminism shape her decisions. And hear a legacy from the women in her family that gives her the courage to stand for her own values. This coming-of-age story begins the Nonprofit Girl Trilogy that evolves into a family saga spanning 15 years and populated by strong women of all ages.
It took most of her life, but Elizabeth Donovan has finally had enough. Years of a difficult marriage, she has finally fought back. She had no choice but to leave the life behind and face the secret from her youth. The old life doesn’t want to let go, as she stumbles into the mystery that involves her deeper than she ever could imagine. Old Baggage is the overdue coming of age for a woman learning to stand on her own.
How far could you go? After a plane crash in a remote Canadian wilderness, elite endurance runner Dan Collins laces up his trail shoes and faces the race of his life-to save his wife, his daughter, and himself. The James Bay Region of far northern Quebec is one of the most isolated locations on Earth. Dan, his wife Deb, and their young daughter survive the crash, but Deb's leg is broken, and no one is looking for them-or even knows they're missing. Dan may be better trained athletically than anyone alive to cover hundreds of miles of broken ground on foot. His training as a health professional, though, gives him unique insight to the agonizing deterioration of his body and mind as his journey unfolds, and his analytical mind finds constant metaphor in his continuing metabolic breakdown.
One of the world's most prominent heiresses is about to celebrate her 3rd birthday. A well-mannered and very precocious child, she is a delight to her parents and their entire household.
Every year a party of historic proportions is thrown, this year the largest celebration yet. The party, now as before, is being held in the statistically safest country in the world. As many gather from around the globe, however, a series of curious crimes slowly begin to disrupt the regular tranquility.
These crimes have been designed to - among other things - rob this girl of her inheritance, placing enough power to rattle the world into eager and willing hands.
Yet, as a consequence of these crimes, someone else begins stalking the girl...someone with an even darker purpose.
If Will Fletcher’s severe bipolar disorder isn’t proof he shouldn’t be a parent, his infant daughter’s grave is. Once a happily married, successful veterinarian, he now lives with his sister and thrives as the small-town crazy of Half Moon Hollow. But when a fifteen-year-old orphan claims she’s his daughter, Will is forced back into the role he fears most: fatherhood.
Her biological dad isn’t the hero Regan Whitmer hoped for, but he’s better than her abusive stepfather back in Chicago. Still haunted by her mother’s suicide and the rebellious past she fears led to it, Regan is desperate for a stable home and a normal family—things Will can’t offer. Can she ride the highs and lows of his illness to find a new definition of family?
The Rules of Half explores what it is to be an atypical family in a small town and to be mentally ill in the wake of a tragedy—and who has the right to determine both.
A doctor's religious doubt is shaken by a transplant patient's eerie knowledge of his organ donor's most intimate secret.
Doctors tend to the needs of their patients, but patients give meaning to the lives of their doctors. So it is for Cullen Brodie, a twice-divorced California nephrologist, and Ennis Willoughby, a troubled cross-dresser whose life is saved by a rare heart-and-kidney transplant.
Cullen's bitter disbelief in the afterlife is tested when Ennis begins to exhibit tastes and characteristics uncannily similar to those of his female organ donor--whose first name Ennis inexplicably knows. When Ennis becomes convinced that the donor's soul has inhabited him, Cullen sides with Ennis's psychiatrist, who tells Ennis he has subconsciously confused his emerging transgender personality with the imagined characteristics of his female donor.
In the fall of 1953, during the surface calm and prosperity of post-World War II America, the privileged West Texas Randolph family suffers a terrible blow. As a result, a disparate group of strangers become inextricably linked to the family, and to each other, for the four decades to follow. In the aftermath of their life-altering event, the deep-rooted Randolph clan is left vulnerable not only to threats from the outside, but to more sinister ones from within its own ranks. Counting on the aid of those she trusts, the youngest member of the clan, Cady Frances Randolph, from the tender age of six, must rise to a level of maturity far beyond her years, a maturity that she maintains, at all costs, into womanhood. Shining a light on some of the best and worst of human behavior, F.C. Pearce crafts timeless and universal themes deftly and beautifully into a mosaic of rich characterization and backdrop, sparking the imagination and the emotions.
Becca Meister Fitzpatrick—wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community—is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel—with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship—will react.
During her first week at coed Quaker prep Foxhall School, sassy Susannah Greenwood, one of two girls who've entered as sophomores, gets pulled into the cool girls' clique. While the school is instructing her in the moral and ethical tenets of the Quaker faith, the cool girls allow her to enter their world beyond the rule book. But in trying to find a balance between idealistic faith and the reality of a competitive system, Susannah runs afoul of the school's most authoritarian dean and befriends the only other new sophomore, a brainy, socially inept outcast. Then her new friend runs away after being shamed by the dean, and Susannah finds herself caught between the two forces of loyalty and authority: Should she cooperate with the unforgiving, and now vulnerable dean, who, with her job on the line, is pleading for information from Susannah about her runaway friend? Or should she keep the secret she's sworn to protect?
John and Erica Mason-Grey are hard-working artists and loving parents but when John dies, their teenage daughter Mona’s casual drug use spirals into heroin addiction. She and her mother soon begin an anguished game of hide-and-seek leading to countless arguments, arrests, thefts, rehabs, and relapse, a recurring nightmare that seems to have no end. Ultimately, it’s only when each of them finds a way to accept their new reality, Mona by taking charge of her own recovery, and Erica by focusing on her own vitality, that each experiences the unexpected joy and renewal that await those who decide to stop living in the bad dream of addiction. Unflinching about the ways the disease of addiction can torpedo a family yet leavened with dollops of humor, The Bad Dream Notebook will resonate with anyone who has lived through the agony of a loved one’s drug dependency.