"A novel of family and place and belonging." ––Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Prize finalist "Tender and suspenseful." ––Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author Some places never leave you... After a disastrous summer spent at her family’s home on Cape Cod when she is seventeen, Ann Gordon is very happy to never visit Wellfleet again. If only she’d stayed in Wisconsin, she might never have met Anthony Shaw, and she would have held onto the future she’d so carefully planned for herself. Instead, Ann ends up harboring a devastating secret that strains her relationship with her parents, sends her sister Poppy to every corner of the world chasing waves (and her next fling), and leaves her adopted brother Michael estranged from the family. Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, and Ann and Poppy are left to decide the fate of the beach house that’s been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is forever tainted with bad memories. And while Poppy loves the old saltbox on Drummer Cove, owning a house means settling, and she’s not sure she’s ready to stay in one place. Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to a third of the estate. He wants the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about what happened that long-ago summer that changed all of their lives forever. As the siblings reunite after years apart, their old secrets and lies, longings and losses, are pulled to the surface. Is the house the one thing that can still bring them together––or will it tear them apart, once and for all? Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you'll quickly fall in love with, and won't soon forget.
From the author of book club favorite The Salt House comes a deeply affecting novel about a teenage girl finding her voice and the military wife who moves in downstairs, united in their search for the true meaning of home. Sixteen-year-old Libby Winters lives in Paradise, a seaside town north of Boston that rarely lives up to its name. After the death of her mother, she lives with her father, Bent, in the middle apartment of their triple decker home—Bent’s two sisters, Lucy and Desiree, live on the top floor. A former soldier turned policeman, Bent often works nights, leaving Libby under her aunts’ care. Shuffling back and forth between apartments—and the wildly different natures of her family—has Libby wishing for nothing more than a home of her very own. Quinn Ellis is at a crossroads. When her husband John, who has served two tours in Iraq, goes missing back at home, suffering from PTSD he refuses to address, Quinn finds herself living in the first-floor apartment of the Winters house. Bent had served as her husband’s former platoon leader, a man John refers to as his brother, and despite Bent’s efforts to make her feel welcome, Quinn has yet to unpack a single box. For Libby, the new tenant downstairs is an unwelcome guest, another body filling up her already crowded house. But soon enough, an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, when Libby and Quinn stretch and redefine their definition of family and home. With gorgeous prose and a cast of characters that feel wholly real and lovably flawed, This Is Home is a nuanced and moving novel of finding where we belong.
“[Paula] Saunders skillfully illuminates how time heals certain wounds while deepening others. . . . A mediation of the violence of American ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE “A deeply involving portrait of the American postwar family” (Jennifer Egan) about sibling rivalry, dark secrets, and a young girl’s struggle with freedom and artistic desire In the years after World War II, the bleak yet beautiful plains of South Dakota still embody all the contradictions—the ruggedness and the promise—of the old frontier. This is a place where you can eat strawberries from wild vines, where lightning reveals a boundless horizon, where descendants of white settlers and native Indians continue to collide, and where, for most, there are limited options. René shares a home, a family, and a passion for dance with her older brother, Leon. Yet for all they have in common, their lives are on remarkably different paths. In contrast to René, a born spitfire, Leon is a gentle soul. The only boy in their ballet class, Leon silently endures often brutal teasing. Meanwhile, René excels at everything she touches, basking in the delighted gaze of their father, whom Leon seems to disappoint no matter how hard he tries. As the years pass, René and Leon’s parents fight with increasing frequency—and ferocity. Their father—a cattle broker—spends more time on the road, his sporadic homecomings both yearned for and dreaded by the children. And as René and Leon grow up, they grow apart. They grasp whatever they can to stay afloat—a word of praise, a grandmother’s outstretched hand, the seductive attention of a stranger—as René works to save herself, crossing the border into a larger, more hopeful world, while Leon embarks on a path of despair and self-destruction. Tender, searing, and unforgettable, The Distance Home is a profoundly American story spanning decades—a tale of haves and have-nots, of how our ideas of winning and losing, success and failure, lead us inevitably into various problems with empathy and caring for one another. It’s a portrait of beauty and brutality in which the author’s compassionate narration allows us to sympathize, in turn, with everyone involved. “A riveting family saga for the ages . . . one of the best books I’ve read in years.”—Mary Karr “Saunders’ debut is an exquisite, searing portrait of family and of people coping with whatever life throws at them while trying to keep close to one another.”—Booklist (starred review)
At the dawn of World War II, in rural Oklahoma, identical twins Lucien and Norman Parker are bound by the tragic death of their mother, their railroad jobs, and an abiding well of brotherly devotion. But when both fall for the prettiest girl in town, they learn the hard way that they can't share everything. It is brash Lucien who finally wins her hand, while gentle Norman continues to cherish her. At last, reunited, and reconciled, in the war-torn South Pacific, Lucien and Norman fight side by side. But one brother will be burdened with the heartbreaking loss of the other--and the weight of a shocking secret that will haunt him for decades to come... James Michael Pratt's Ticket Home takes readers on a journey back to the youthful days of innocence, to the loss of innocence, and to the power of love that can salvage dreams.
Nidali, the rebellious daughter of an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, narrates the story of her childhood in Kuwait, her teenage years in Egypt (to where she and her family fled the 1990 Iraqi invasion), and her family's last flight to Texas. Nidali mixes humor with a sharp, loving portrait of an eccentric middle-class family, and this perspective keeps her buoyant through the hardships she encounters: the humiliation of going through a checkpoint on a visit to her father's home in the West Bank; the fights with her father, who wants her to become a famous professor and stay away from boys; the end of her childhood as Iraq invades Kuwait on her thirteenth birthday; and the scare she gives her family when she runs away from home. Funny, charming, and heartbreaking, A Map of Home is the kind of book Tristram Shandy or Huck Finn would have narrated had they been born Egyptian-Palestinian and female in the 1970s. From the Hardcover edition.
Twelve-year-old Leah Baer has been shuffled to and from various households for years, but now she is back at her father's house with his new wife. As Leah begins to learn more about herself she also gradually finds out what it means to be home.
A stunning literary debut about coming back home again. Twenty-eight-year-old protagonist Tommy Lee Tyson steps off the Greyhound bus in his hometown of Swamp Creek, Arkansas—a place he left when he was eighteen, vowing never to return. Yet fate and a Ph.D. in black studies force him back to his rural origins as he seeks to understand himself and the black community that produced him. A cold, nonchalant father and an emotionally indifferent mother make his return, after a ten-year hiatus, practically unbearable, and the discovery of his baby sister's death and her burial in the backyard almost consumes him. His mother watches his agony when he discovers his sister's tombstone, but neither she nor other family members is willing to disclose the secret of her death. Only after being prodded incessantly does his older brother, Willie James, relent and provide Tommy Lee with enough knowledge to figure out exactly what happened and why. Meanwhile, Tommy's seventy-year-old teacher—lying on her deathbed—asks him to remain in Swamp Creek and assume her position as the headmaster of the one-room schoolhouse. He refuses vehemently and she dies having bequeathed him her five thousand–book collection in the hopes that he will change his mind. Over the course of a one-week visit, riddled with tension, heartache, and revelation, Tommy Lee Tyson discovers truths about his family, his community, and his undeniable connection to rural Southern black folk and their ways. "A thrilling literary debut...Daniel Black wields a powerful pen, a sharp eye, and muscular prose in giving us a memorable, even haunting story of the ties that bind." -- Michael Eric Dyson
A heartwarming story that celebrates how life-changing friendships can be found in all seasons of life. The sprawling lake home Lynn Lundberg built with her husband has been an epicenter of joyful family life, from summer holidays spent around the water, to cookies baked in the kitchen with grandchildren in the fall. But since her husband's sudden passing two years ago, Lynn has been lost in the grief and solitude she feels without him at home. She doesn't want to sell the big family place, but she can't exist there on her own much longer. After hearing of a new way of living--where single women share responsibilities as housemates--Lynn thinks she's found the answer to her prayers. Soon she meets two ladies with whom she could begin this journey. Angela Bishop, a successful real estate agent accustomed to the finer things in life, has just been jilted by her husband of twenty-five-years. Judith Rutherford, who has devoted her adulthood to caring for her ailing father, must leave the only home she's known now that he has passed. These three women seek a place to grieve, to laugh, and to be renewed. But coming from such differing circumstances, will the new challenges they face undo their plans? Or will they begin a friendship to see them through the years to come in this SOMEDAY HOME?