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Major Ernest Pettigrew is perfectly content to lead a quiet life in the sleepy village of Edgecombe St Mary, away from the meddling of the locals and his overbearing son. But when his brother dies, the Major finds himself seeking companionship with the village shopkeeper, Mrs Ali. Drawn together by a love of books and the loss of their partners, they are soon forced to contend with irate relatives and gossiping villagers. The perfect gentleman, but the most unlikely hero, the Major must ask himself what matters most: family obligation, tradition or love? Funny, comforting and heart-warming, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand proves that sometimes, against all odds, life does give you a second chance.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A novel to cure your Downton Abbey withdrawal . . . a delightful story about nontraditional romantic relationships, class snobbery and the everybody-knows-everybody complications of living in a small community.”—The Washington Post The bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand returns with a breathtaking novel of love on the eve of World War I that reaches far beyond the small English town in which it is set. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master. When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing. But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war. Praise for The Summer Before the War “What begins as a study of a small-town society becomes a compelling account of war and its aftermath.”—Woman’s Day “This witty character study of how a small English town reacts to the 1914 arrival of its first female teacher offers gentle humor wrapped in a hauntingly detailed story.”—Good Housekeeping “Perfect for readers in a post–Downton Abbey slump . . . The gently teasing banter between two kindred spirits edging slowly into love is as delicately crafted as a bone-china teacup. . . . More than a high-toned romantic reverie for Anglophiles—though it serves the latter purpose, too.”—The Seattle Times “[Helen Simonson’s] characters are so vivid, it’s as if a PBS series has come to life. There’s scandal, star-crossed love and fear, but at its heart, The Summer Before the War is about loyalty, love and family.”—AARP: The Magazine “This luminous story of a family, a town, and a world in their final moments of innocence is as lingering and lovely as a long summer sunset.”—Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us and co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society “Simonson is like a Jane Austen for our day and age—she is that good—and The Summer Before the War is nothing short of a treasure.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
BONUS: This edition contains a Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet discussion guide and an excerpt from Jamie Ford's Songs of Willow Frost. "Sentimental, heartfelt….the exploration of Henry’s changing relationship with his family and with Keiko will keep most readers turning pages...A timely debut that not only reminds readers of a shameful episode in American history, but cautions us to examine the present and take heed we don’t repeat those injustices."-- Kirkus Reviews “A tender and satisfying novel set in a time and a place lost forever, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet gives us a glimpse of the damage that is caused by war--not the sweeping damage of the battlefield, but the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. Especially relevant in today's world, this is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more importantly, it will make you feel." -- Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain “Jamie Ford's first novel explores the age-old conflicts between father and son, the beauty and sadness of what happened to Japanese Americans in the Seattle area during World War II, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut.” -- Lisa See, bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol. This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept. Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago. Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.
"First published in Great Britain in 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton"--Title page verso.
Eight-year-old Edgar Allan Fini is haunted – by his father's absence, his mother's secrets, and the ghosts of his grandmother's past. But he recalls nothing of the accident about which people still whisper. When Edgar meets a man with his own tragic story, he is drawn deep into a damaged, grief-stricken world. Lucy must confront the demons that plague her, to save her son and herself. Tinged with wonder and a dark fairytale heart, Edgar and Lucy is a gripping coming-of-age story about the painful and loving ties that bind us. Praise for Edgar and Lucy: 'Gorgeous. There is poetry on every page ... with delicate, precise observations and unexpected imagery' Sunday Times. 'On every page Lodato's prose sings with a robust, openhearted wit, making Edgar & Lucy a delight to read ... A riveting and exuberant ride' New York Times Book Review. 'I love this book. Profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific ... An unusual and intimate epic that manages to capture the wonder and terror of both child and parenthood with an uncanny clarity' Lena Dunham, bestselling author of Not That Kind of Girl. 'Wonder-filled and magisterial ... The book pushes the boundaries of beauty' Chicago Tribune. 'A quirky coming-of-age novel that deepens into something dark and strange without losing its heart or its sense of wonder' Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers. 'I tore through the luminous pages of Edgar & Lucy as if possessed ... What this book has to say about love and truth will stay with me for a very, very long time' Sophie McManus, bestselling author of The Unfortunates. 'This tale exerts a fiendish grip on the reader' Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. 'Brings to mind J.D. Salinger, Lorrie Moore, Karen Russell, even James Joyce. Edgar & Lucy will make you feel things you haven't felt in ages' Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West. 'This otherworldly tale will haunt you' People.
During a difficult year, acclaimed writer Susan Gubar celebrates her lasting partnership and the reciprocity of lovers in later life. On Susan Gubar’s seventieth birthday, she receives a beautiful ring from her husband. As she contemplates their sustaining relationship, she begins to consider how older lovers differ from their youthful counterparts—and from ageist stereotypes. While her husband confronts age-related disabilities that effectively ground them, Susan dawdles over the logistics of moving from their cherished country house to a more manageable place in town and starts seeking out literature on the changing seasons of desire. Throughout the complications of devoted caregiving, her own ongoing cancer treatments, apartment hunting, the dismantling of a household, and perplexity over the breakdown of a treasured friendship, Susan finds consolation in books and movies. Works by writers from Ovid and Shakespeare to Gabriel García Márquez and Marilynne Robinson lead Susan to appraise the obstacles many senior couples overcome: the unique sexuality of bodies beyond their prime as well as the trials of retirement, adult children, physical infirmities, the multiplications or subtractions of memory, and the aftereffects of trauma. On the page and in life, Susan realizes that age cannot wither love. A memoir proving that the heart’s passions have no expiration date, Late-Life Love rejoices in second chances.
In a seemingly idyllic German village during World War II, the daughter of one of Hitler's cabinet members, who has been helping to smuggle Jewish refugees over the nearby Swiss border, hides two refugee children in her home, only to learn that the Führer is coming to visit.

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