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When Emma’s father goes to the hospital for surgery, she is sent to stay with Aunt Bea the “terror” and kindly Uncle Crispin. Emma wonders how she will survive two weeks with the always hostile Aunt Bea.
Luckily, Emma makes a friend, Bertie, and the two girls begin a project on the beach. Together they build tiny houses out of stones, shells, and all sorts of sea treasures. Here at the beach with Bertie, Emma finds comfort and friendship and takes pride in her carefully planned village.
Then one day Emma and Bertie’s village is destroyed…
Shortly after her father’s death, Victoria and her mother move to a small village outside of Boston where she meets a wealthy teenage boy who teaches her a valuable but painful lesson about life.
Jessie Bollier often played his fife to earn a few pennies down by the New Orleans docks. One afternoon a sailor asked him to pipe a tune, and that evening Jessie was kidnapped and dumped aboard The Moonlight, a slave ship, where a hateful duty awaited him. He was to play music so the slaves could “dance” to keep their muscles strong, their bodies profitable. Jessie was sickened by the thought of taking part in the business of trading rum and tobacco for blacks and then selling the ones who survived the frightful sea voyage from Africa. But to the men of the ship a “slave dancer” was necessary to ensure their share of the profit. They did not heed the horrors that every day grew more vivid, more inescapable to Jessie. Yet , even after four months of fear, calculated torture, and hazardous sailing with a degraded crew, Jessie was to face a final horror that would stay with him for the rest of his life.
One of America’s most brilliant fiction writers offers her first book in a decade—a heartbreaking memoir of girlhood.
Born in the 1920s to nomadic and bohemian parents, Paula Fox is left at birth in a Manhattan orphanage, then cared for by a poor yet cultivated minister in upstate New York. But her parents, as always, soon resurface. Her handsome father is a hard-drinking screenwriter who is, for young Paula, “part ally, part betrayer.” Her mother is given to icy bursts of temper that punctuate a deep indifference. How, Fox wonders, is this woman “enough of an organic being to have carried me in her belly?”
Never sharing more than a few moments with their daughter, Fox’s parents shuttle her from New York City, where she lives with her passive Spanish grandmother, to Cuba, where she roams freely on a relative’s sugarcane plantation, and to California, where she finds herself cast upon Hollywood’s grubby margins. The thread binding these wanderings is the “borrowed finery” of the title—a few pieces of clothing, almost always lent by kindhearted strangers, which offer Fox a rare glimpse of permanency.
Vivid and poetic, Borrowed Finery is an unforgettable book that will swell the company of Fox’s devoted admirers.
Twelve-year-old Elizabeth is angry about spending the summer with her grandmother in Maine. She’s sure her parents want to be alone with her new baby brother. Elizabeth loves Gran, but she feels stuck on Pring Island in a primative cottage with no hope of friends. Why is she really here?
Each day while Gran paints, Elizabeth explores and is slowly drawn to Aaron, the strange son of the only neighbors on the island. Then, almost without realizing it, Elizabeth feels closer to Gran and hears her words in a way she won’t forget.
But nothing could prepare her for what was to come…after that summer on Pring Island.
Ned fired the forbidden rifle just once, at a flickering shadow in the autumn moonlight. But someone—a face, fleetingly seen staring at him from an attic window—was watching.
And when a one-eyed cat turns up at an elderly neighbor’s woodshed, Ned is caught in a web of guilt, fear, and shame that he cannot escape—until another moonlit night, come spring, brings redemption and surprising revelations.