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The story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year, from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun. Don’t miss Frances Mayes in PBS’s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special! She watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can’t help but question: will they find what they came for? Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, is working on a biography of her close friend, a complex woman who continues to cast a shadow on Kit’s own life. Her work is waylaid by the arrival of three women—Julia, Camille, and Susan—all of whom have launched a recent and spontaneous friendship that will uproot them completely and redirect their lives. Susan, the most adventurous of the three, has enticed them to subvert expectations of staid retirement by taking a lease on a big, beautiful house in Tuscany. Though novices in a foreign culture, their renewed sense of adventure imbues each of them with a bright sense of bravery, a gusto for life, and a fierce determination to thrive. But how? With Kit’s friendship and guidance, the three friends launch themselves into Italian life, pursuing passions long-forgotten—and with drastic and unforeseeable results.
In the summer of 1946, New York City pulses with energy. Harry Copeland, a World War II veteran, has returned home to run the family business. Yet his life is upended by a single encounter with the young singer and heiress Catherine Thomas Hale, as each falls for the other in an instant. They pursue one another in a romance played out in Broadway theaters, Long Island mansions, the offices of financiers, and the haunts of gangsters. Catherine’s choice of Harry over her longtime fiancé endangers Harry’s livelihood and threatens his life. In the end, Harry must summon the strength of his wartime experience to fight for Catherine, and risk everything. “In its storytelling heft, its moral rectitude, the solemn magnificence of its writing and the splendor of its hymns to New York City, [In Sunlight and in Shadow] is a spiritual pendant to Winter’s Tale and every bit as extraordinary . . . Even the most stubbornly resistant readers will soon be disarmed by the nobility of the novel’s sentiments and seduced by the pure music of its prose.” — Wall Street Journal
“This beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy, loving a house and, always, the pleasures of food, would make a perfect gift for a loved one. But it’s so delicious, read it first yourself.”—USA Today The 20th anniversary edition of the classic, updated with a new afterword. Don’t miss Frances Mayes in PBS’s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special! Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion. Now with an excerpt from Frances Mayes's latest southern memoir, Under Magnolia
The bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun discovers the hidden pleasures of Italy in a sumptuous travel narrative that crisscrosses the country, with inventive new recipes celebrating Italian cuisine. Don’t miss Frances Mayes in PBS’s Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special! “Reading this book is a vacation in itself.”—The New York Times Book Review (Best Travel Books of the Summer) The Roman Forum, the Leaning Tower, the Piazza San Marco: these are the sights synonymous with Italy. But such landmarks only scratch the surface of this magical country's offerings. In See You in the Piazza, Frances Mayes introduces us to the Italy only the locals know, as she and her husband, Ed, eat and drink their way through thirteen regions—from Friuli to Sicily. Along the way, she seeks out the cultural and historic gems not found in traditional guidebooks. Frances conjures the enchantment of the backstreets, the hubbub of the markets, the dreamlike wonder of that space between lunch and dinner when a city cracks open to those who would wander or when a mind is drawn into the pages of a delicious book—and discloses to us the secrets that only someone who is on intimate terms with a place could find.
Text and photographs celebrate Tuscany's feasts, festivals, food, wine, people, and culture.
A truly unprecedented literary achievement by author and editor Lawrence Block, a newly-commissioned anthology of seventeen superbly-crafted stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, including Jeffery Deaver, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Lee Child, and Robert Olen Butler, among many others. "Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within." So says Lawrence Block, who has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories: In Sunlight or In Shadow. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy. Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kris Nelscott, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. Even Gail Levin, Hopper’s biographer and compiler of his catalogue raisonée, appears with her own first work of fiction, providing a true account of art theft on a grand scale and told in the voice of the country preacher who perpetrated the crime. In a beautifully produced anthology as befits such a collection of acclaimed authors, each story is illustrated with a quality full-color reproduction of the painting that inspired it.
A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life. The author of three beloved books about her life in Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun and Every Day in Tuscany, Frances Mayes revisits the turning points that defined her early years in Fitzgerald, Georgia. With her signature style and grace, Mayes explores the power of landscape, the idea of home, and the lasting force of a chaotic and loving family. From her years as a spirited, secretive child, through her university studies—a period of exquisite freedom that imbued her with a profound appreciation of friendship and a love of travel—to her escape to a new life in California, Mayes exuberantly recreates the intense relationships of her past, recounting the bitter and sweet stories of her complicated family: her beautiful yet fragile mother, Frankye; her unpredictable father, Garbert; Daddy Jack, whose life Garbert saved; grandmother Mother Mayes; and the family maid, Frances’s confidant Willie Bell. Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return home.
A CLASSIC FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF UNDER MAGNOLIA The author who unforgettably captured the experience of starting a new life in Tuscany in bestselling travel memoirs expands her horizons to immerse herself—and her readers—in the sights, aromas, and treasures of twelve new special places. A Year in the World is vintage Frances Mayes—a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest. An ideal travel companion, Frances Mayes brings to the page the curiosity of an intrepid explorer, remarkable insights into the wonder of the everyday, and a compelling narrative style that entertains as it informs. With her beloved Tuscany as a home base, Mayes travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, and to the Mediterranean world of Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa. In Andalucía, she relishes the intersection of cultures. She cooks in Portugal, gathers ideas in the gardens of England and Scotland, takes a literary pilgrimage to Burgundy, discovers an ideal place to live in Mantova, and explores the essential Moroccan city of Fez. She rents houses among ordinary residents, shops at neighborhood markets, wanders the back streets, and everywhere contemplates the concept of home. While in Greece, she follows the classic Homeric voyage across the Aegean, lives in a bougainvillea-draped stone house in Crete, and then drives deep into the Mani. In Turkey with friends, she sails the ancient coast, hiking to archaeological sites and snorkeling over sunken Byzantine towns. Weaving together personal perceptions and informed commentary on art, architecture, history, landscape, and social and culinary traditions of each area, Mayes brings the immediacy of life in her temporary homes to the reader. An illuminating and passionate book that will be savored by all who loved Under the Tuscan Sun, A Year in the World is travel writing at its peak. Now with an excerpt from Frances Mayes's latest southern memoir, Under Magnolia
William Hesketh Lever - soap-boiler, social reformer, MP, tribal chieftain, multi-millionaire and Lord of the Western Isles - was one of the most extraordinary men ever to leave his mark on Britain. Beliefs far ahead of their times - the welfare state, votes for women, workers' rights - jostled in his mind with ideas that were fantastically bonkers - the world's problems could be solved by moving populations from country to country, ballroom dancing could save the soul and the only healthy way to sleep was outdoors in the wind and the rain. Adam Macqueen traces Lever's footsteps from his humble Bolton boyhood to a business empire that straddled the world, visiting the homes and model towns from the Mersey to the Congo that still bear the mark - and often the name - of William Lever. It is a hilarious and touching journey that shines a spotlight on a world and a set of beliefs long gone, and asks several vital questions: where does philanthropy stop and social engineering begin? Is it right for an employer to dictate how his workers spend their weekends and hire private detectives to make sure they are doing it properly? Are the length of a lawn and the curve of a bannister of vital importance to the great scheme of things? And why would a multi-millionaire with half a dozen homes and property on four continents chose to sleep on the roof?
200 make-at-home masterpiece dishes from the virtuoso of new world cuisine, Norman Van Aken.
Anne Cognito was ranked the highest British woman at the 1991 and 1992 world windsurfing championships in 14th place: unremarkable but for the fact that she was assigned male at birth. She kept her transgender history secret, fearing the consequences of competition as a trans woman in less enlightened times. Since being sacked from the British intelligence services in 1985 for transitioning from male to female, she has lived a hidden life ever since. She describes how her trans history informs every aspect of the daily routine whilst leading an outwardly ordinary, but sometimes extraordinary, life.
A physician advises women on the laws of health and on the proper social rules and duties expected of 19th century women.
Part Quest, Part MysteryAn inspirational 60's fairy tale A young girl's belief in a 60's prophecy leads her on a quest to find her destiny. Instead she finds reality and must piece together her broken life becoming Princess Morning Star in an unforgiving world. Morning's life is shaped by a brief and star-crossed relationship with a never-to-be-forgotten man who is taken from her far too soon. Flashes of Sunlight is an inspirational story of how one man's brief life can truly change the world. A story of triumph against all odds and a love that survives even death inspires the reader to look inside themselves at what is truly important on the path of this life.
Four Women in Need could best be described as a “literary novel”. The novel is set predominately in the North of England in the middle of the twentieth century. The women, previously unknown to each other, are from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, but are brought together when their lives spiral out of control. They become voluntary residents at The Haven a sanctuary for women, who for one reason or another are no longer able to function in their regular roles in society. The early chapters of the book explore the lives of Avril, Katie, Susan and Justine prior to their breakdowns. Avril and her husband Terry, originally from working class families, have enjoyed a meteoric rise to wealth which dissipates just as suddenly when Terry is arrested on charges of fraud. Terry is subsequently found guilty and sentenced to ten years imprisonment in Walton prison. Gone is the lavish life-style to which Avril had become accustomed; of greater loss however is the fact that their son Adrian has to leave his prestigious boys boarding school in the South of England. Katie is a young happily married veterinary assistant. Apart from her somewhat interfering mother-in law Katie’s life is idyllic. One weekend whilst Katie’s husband Steve, an airline pilot with British Airways, is supposedly flying Katie discovers simultaneously that she is pregnant and that Steve has been cheating on her. Katie loses the baby and makes an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Susan is well on her way to becoming an eminent university academic. Whilst presenting a history paper at a university conference the content of her talk is challenged by someone in the audience. Susan is accused and subsequently found guilty of plagiarism. Her expulsion from the academic circle of the university is both brutal and swift. She retreats from all of her colleagues, even from Philip with whom she was becoming romatically involved. Justine the final main player in the novel is a high achieving young doctor who has recently been given a position on the anaesthetic trainee programme. During an operation a male patient arrests and is unable to be revived. Justine, who seemingly had everything in abundance; brains and beauty cannot function. The surgeons and the anaesthetic staff are completed exonerated from any blame but that does not seem to be enough for Justine. Her previous ambitious obsession with her career now appears to be of no concern. Reluctantly and with a great many misgivings the four women make their way to The Haven. Once in rehabilitation Avril, Katie, Susan and Justine slowly begin to realize that what has happened to them has happened to so many other women. Through support and empathy for each other and the other women at The Haven the four protagonists of Four Women in Need begin their struggle back to and a desire for a resumption of their lives, albeit in a somewhat different formula than previously. I believe the reader becomes involved with the characters in the novel partly because it is a story grounded in the tenable reality of the stresses of life which many women are faced with. The novel offers no “fast fix” or “fairy tale” endings for the four women but the book does strive to depict the way in which women can rise from adversity and resume a semblance of their former lives, sometimes even for the better. What becomes increasingly obvious in the novel is the way in which women are able to turn their lives around and even whilst in the process of doing this are able to offer the hand of friendship and sisterhood to other women in need.

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