From the bestselling and highly acclaimed author of the “page-turning tale” (Library Journal, starred review) Mrs. Poe comes a fictionalized imagining of the personal life of America’s most iconic writer: Mark Twain.
In March of 1909, Mark Twain cheerfully blessed the wedding of his private secretary, Isabel V. Lyon, and his business manager, Ralph Ashcroft. One month later, he fired both. He proceeded to write a ferocious 429-page rant about the pair, calling Isabel “a liar, a forger, a thief, a hypocrite, a drunkard, a sneak, a humbug, a traitor, a conspirator, a filthy-minded and salacious slut pining for seduction.” Twain and his daughter, Clara Clemens, then slandered Isabel in the newspapers, erasing her nearly seven years of devoted service to their family. How did Lyon go from being the beloved secretary who ran Twain’s life to a woman he was determined to destroy?
In Twain’s End, Lynn Cullen reimagines the tangled relationships between Twain, Lyon, and Ashcroft, as well as the little-known love triangle between Helen Keller, her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy, and Anne’s husband, John Macy, which comes to light during their visit to Twain’s Connecticut home in 1909. Add to the party a furious Clara Clemens, smarting from her own failed love affair, and carefully kept veneers shatter.
Based on Isabel Lyon’s extant diary, Twain’s writings and letters, and events in Twain’s boyhood that may have altered his ability to love, Twain’s Endexplores this real-life tale of doomed love.
This one by Kelly Romo is available November 17th. Set in Depression-era San Diego. Don't you love the cover? I love her bathing suit!
Set against the backdrop of the 1935 world’s fair, Whistling Women explores the complex relationships between sisters, the sacrifices required to protect family, and the devastating consequences of a single impulsive act.
Kelly Romo’s assured and compelling debut novel, Whistling Women (Lake Union; November 17, 2015), takes readers back in time nearly a century to an America where economic pressures and shifting societal norms were shaping a new world. Centered on two indomitable female characters—a long absent aunt and the niece she never knew she had—this wholly original historical novel brings to life San Diego, circa 1935, as its dazzling world’s fair provides the backdrop for a story of family, fidelity, and the choices women have been forced to make to protect themselves and those they love.
After a life of downturns and narrow escapes, Addie Bates has found refuge in an unusual place. The Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony, north of San Francisco, is the brainchild of Heinrich, a German naturist with forward thinking ideas. To promote the benefits of his lifestyle—and the money that would come with an increase in visitors—Heinrich transports the colonists south to San Diego, where they will be an “exhibit” at the California Pacific International Exposition. Addie is reluctant to go, not out of any sense of modesty, but because she has a secret past connection with the city. She moved there as a teenage orphan to live with her then newly married sister, Wavey. Wavey—who for years returned Addie’s letters unopened until the younger sister finally gave up writing—still lives there. With trepidation, Addie hopes for a reconciliation.
What Addie does not know is that Wavey has not one daughter, as she remembers, but two. Rumor, the younger girl, is spirited and inquisitive, and when she encounters the stranger at the door who bears a striking family resemblance, she is intent on figuring out who this stranger is. But, Wavey refuses to tell her daughters anything or even admit that she has a sister. Determined to discover the truth, fifteen-year-old Rumor resorts to petty subterfuge in an effort to piece together the puzzle of the past. What she does not know, and no one is ready to tell her, is that Addie’s transgressions extend to the greatest sin of all: murder.
Steeped in meticulous research that brings Depression-era San Diego and the wonders and oddities of its famed world’s fair to life, and told with great poignancy and candor, Whistling Women underscores the limited choices that women had, not so long ago, in charting their own destinies.
Also looking forward to digging into an old book I purchased on paperbackswap.com. The Citadel by A.J. Cronin. A Scottish writer, set in Wales. This book is what the BBC TV series Doctor Findlay is based on.
When Andrew Manson starts work as a doctor he discovers some unpleasant facts about the medical profession. There are doctors who know very little and for many, earning money is much more important than curing or preventing illness. Andrew's aim is to become a good doctor but the system is extremely powerful - can he avoid becoming part of it himself?
We are also looking forward to our trip to TN. next week to look at houses. I've sent a list of 21 houses to our realtor. She will weed out the ones that are in an area that won't have internet available of course as thats a deal breaker. Some of these homes are out in the country which is lovely but.... I would miss you all! And some might be sold or under contract by the time we get there so I'm sure we won't have that many to look at. I'm excited about a few of them and have my fingers crossed! We should have internet at the campground so I'll try to keep you updated with whats up. I'm hoping we have time to go visit Davy Crockett's birthplace. It's on a state park right there where we will be looking.
Here's a couple houses we are looking. Two of my favorites.
Hopeville Ave. Greenville, TN.
Roy Phillips, Jonesborough TN. This one isn't that attractive from outside but the inside is gorgeous! The staircase is to die for. There's a wee tree house for the grandson and horses in a pasture at the back of the property for the granddaughter.
Unaka Way St. Erwin, TN This one is a foreclosurer so I'm not sure how that works but it was built in 1925 and is gorgeous! Isa has already picked out the purple bedroom.
What are you looking forward?