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"John Benditt's debut novel is wholly original. Beautifully written in language as straightforward as that of a parable, The Boatmaker is a complex modern fable about innocence, discovery, loss, and redemption. Its protagonist, an Everyman who is discontent yet uncorrupted, takes us on a journey through cynicism, despair, violence, wonder, and prejudice only to lead us back to a place where we know who we are and why we have reason to dream."
—Rachel Urquhart, author of The Visionist
A fierce and complicated man wakes from a fever dream compelled to build a boat and sail away from the isolated island where he was born. Encountering the wider world for the first time, the reluctant hero falls into a destructive love affair, is swept up into a fanatical religious movement, and finds himself a witness to racial hatred unlike anything he’s ever known. The boatmaker is tempted, beaten, and betrayed: his journey marked by chilling episodes of violence and horror while he struggles to summon the strength to make his own way. The Boatmaker is a fable for our times, a passionate love story, and an odyssey of self-discovery.
"I finished this book and turned right back to the first page to start it again. Like the wilderness into which Claire Fuller's characters disappear, Our Endless Numbered Days is rigged with barbs and poisons, tricks and tragedies. It's weird and wild and sometimes terrifying, but it's also beautiful and heartbreaking and breathlessly alive."
—Amy Stewart, author of New York Times Bestseller The Drunken Botanist
Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed. Deep in the wilderness, Peggy and James make a life for themselves. They repair the hut, bathe in water from the river, hunt and gather food in the summers and almost starve in the harsh winters. They mark their days only by the sun and the seasons.
When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and begins a search for their owner, she unwittingly begins to unravel the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, discovers the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she thought she’d lost.
After Peggy's return to civilization, her mother begins to learn the truth of her escape, of what happened to James on the last night out in the woods, and of the secret that Peggy has carried with her ever since.
"Ann-Marie MacDonald captures the dark hilarity of parenthood like nobody else. I gulped down Adult Onset in a single day."
—Emma Donoghue, author of Room and Frog Music
Mary Rose MacKinnon is a successful author of YA fiction doing a tour of duty as stay-at-home mom while her partner, Hilary, takes a turn focusing on her career. She tries valiantly to balance the (mostly) solo parenting of two young children with the relentless needs of her aging parents. But amid the hilarities of full-on domesticity arises a sense of dread. Do other people notice the dents in the expensive refrigerator? How long will it take Mary Rose to realize that the car alarm that has been going off all morning is hers, and how on earth did the sharpest pair of scissors in the house wind up in her toddler’s hands? As frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms of a childhood illness that compel her to rethink her own upbringing, her own family history. Over the course of one outwardly ordinary week, Mary Rose’s world threatens to unravel, and the specter of violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her and her children. With humor and unerring emotional accuracy, Adult Onset explores the pleasures and pressures of family bonds, powerful and yet so easily twisted and broken. Ann-Marie MacDonald has crafted a searing, terrifying, yet ultimately uplifting story.
"In Trompe l'Oeil Nancy Reisman has created something amazing and mysterious: a portrait of a family that is also a portrait of how that family lives in the aftermath of grief. With wonderful skill and intelligence she shows us the Murphys over more than two decades as both parents and children finally step into their own lives. Their journey, the portraits of their journey, are deepened by Reisman's vivid sense of place and framed by her exquisite descriptions of paintings. This is a beautiful and deeply satisfying novel."
—Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
During a vacation in Rome, the Murphy family experiences a life-altering tragedy. In the immediate aftermath, James, Nora, and their children find solace in their Massachusetts coast home, but as the years pass the weight of the loss disintegrates the increasingly fragile marriage and leaves its mark on each family member. Trompe l’Oeil seamlessly alternates among several characters’ points of view, capturing the details of their daily lives as well as their longing for connection and fear of abandonment. Through the turbulence of marriage, the challenges of parenthood, job upheavals, and calamities large and small, Trompe l’Oeil examines family legacies, the ways those legacies persist, and the ways they might be transcended. Nancy Reisman is a master of psychological acuity, creating characters who are wholly unique and yet express our own longings and anxieties. Trompe l’Oeil haunts not only with its story but also with the beauty of its insight into hopes, desires, and fears.