As a child, Beverly Rabinowitz fled Europe with her mother during World War II. Almost half a century later, while vacationing in Florida with her boyfriend and his son, a chance encounter leads to a strangely lucid moment in which she senses that her father, long believed to have been killed during the war, is close by. It’s the first of many seemingly random events that in fact are guiding Beverly, and the people in her life, towards a startling discovery.
Over the course of Frederick Reiken’s provocative, intricate novel, Beverly will learn that her story is part of something larger, and brilliantly surprising. Because her story is not hers alone, but also that of a comatose teenage boy in Utah, an elusive, Sixties-era fugitive, an FBI agent pursuing a twenty-year obsession, a Massachusetts veterinarian who falls in love on a kibbutz in Israel, and a host of other characters. Day for Night illuminates how disparate, far-flung people can be connected, and how the truth of those bonds can upend entire lives. Each chapter is a small universe of its own, and together they form a dazzling whole.
“Contemporary fiction at its best—accessible, breathtaking and heartbreaking.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
From Day for Night:
We walked out farther, to the water’s edge, where less than fifteen feet of river lay between us and the portion of the carousel that was visible. One of the manatees began moving, awkwardly sidling along the submerged roof until it reached water deep enough to swim. The creature’s movements suddenly turned graceful. The water rippled in its wake, seemed to fluoresce. And then it vanished, leaving its momentary, perfectly smooth footprint on the surface. I stood there feeling the small weight of the wonder stone. I thought of Jordan and it struck me that this part of his life was going to seem wondrous, and that my Herculean task, if David died, would be to keep this sense of wonder from imploding, turning inward, and reshaping itself as longing and despair. Or perhaps such a task was futile. Perhaps it wasn’t my task at all. What would my task be then and what was wonder anyway?
All the world’s a stage—and nowhere more than at an all-girls high school, particularly one where a scandal has just erupted. When news spreads of a high school teacher’s relationship with his underage student, participants and observers alike soon take part in an elaborate show of concern and dismay. But beneath the surface of the teenage girls’ display, there simmers a new awareness of their own power. They obsessively examine the details of the affair with the curiosity, jealousy and approbation native to any adolescent girl, under the watchful eye of their stern and enigmatic saxophone teacher, whose focus may not be as strictly on their upcoming recital as she implies.
Shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award, The Rehearsal is an exhilarating, darkly funny, provocative novel about the complications of human desire, a tender portrait of teenage yearning and adult regret. It marks the arrival of a boldly inventive new voice in contemporary fiction.
“Astonishing…smart, playful, and self-possessed, it has the glitter and mystery of the true literary original.” —The Guardian
From The Rehearsal:
“I can’t do it,” is what she says. “I simply can’t admit students without prior musical training. My teaching methods, Mrs. Henderson, are rather more specific than I think you understand.”
A jazzy pulse begins, just drums and double bass. She swirls her spoon and taps it once.
“The clarinet is tadpole to the sax, can you see that? The clarinet is a black and silver sperm, and if you love this sperm very much it will one day grow into a saxophone.” She leans forward across the desk. “Mrs. Henderson. At present your daughter is simply too young. Let me put it this way: a film of soured breast milk clutches at your daughter like a shroud.”
At the outset of World War II, Jack Rosenblum, his wife Sadie, and their baby daughter escape Berlin, bound for London. They are greeted with a pamphlet instructing immigrants how to act like “the English.” Jack acquires Saville Row suits and a Jaguar. He buys his marmalade from Fortnum & Mason and learns to list the entire British monarchy back to 913 A.D. He never speaks German, apart from the occasional curse. But the one key item that would make him feel fully British—membership in a golf club—remains elusive. In post-war England, no golf club will admit a Rosenblum. Jack hatches a wild idea: he’ll build his own.
It’s an obsession Sadie does not share, particularly when Jack relocates them to a thatched roof cottage in Dorset to embark on his project. She doesn't want to forget who they are or where they come from. She wants to bake the cakes she used to serve to friends in the old country and reminisce. Now she’s stuck in an inhospitable landscape filled with unwelcoming people, watching their bank account shrink as Jack pursues his quixotic dream.
“A touching, surprising, and satisfying read.” —Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast and Small Wars
From Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English:
Jack Rosenblum switched off the wireless and nestled back into his leather armchair. A beatific smile spread across his face and he closed his eyes. “So there is to be more rain,” he remarked to the empty room, stretching out his short legs and giving a yawn. He was unconcerned by the dismal prognosis; it was the act of listening to the bulletin that he savoured. Each evening during the weather forecast he could imagine he was an Englishman. When the forecast was stopped through the war he grieved on behalf of the British, aware what loss this absence would inflict, and when it started again he listened in religiously, happily considering all the Englishmen and women hearing “light drizzle on high ground” at the same instant as he. Through the daily weather reports he felt himself to be part of a nation; the prediction may be sleet in Scotland and sunshine in the West Midlands but the ritual of the weather forecast united them all. The national preoccupation had been rightfully restored and in his soul Jack rejoiced.
Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess’s lavish wedding, and like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is full of tears and joy. But Birdie, who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she’s cancelled her engagement.
It’s only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. When far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair, Birdie enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations—a place without distractions, where they can escape their troubles. But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves are revealed. It’s a summertime story only Elin Hilderbrand can tell, filled with the heartache, laughter, and surprises that have made her page-turning, bestselling novels as much a part of summer as a long afternoon on a sunny beach.
“Hilderbrand captivates.” —People
From The Island:
Plans for the vacation changed, and then changed again. Back in March, when arrangements for Chess’s wedding were falling into place as neatly as bricks in a garden path, an idea came to Birdie: a week for just the two of them in the house on Tuckernuck Island. As recently as three years earlier, such an idea would have been unthinkable; since Chess was a little girl, she and Birdie had clashed. They didn’t “get along.” (Which meant that Chess didn’t get along with Birdie, right? Birdie had tried everything in her power to gain her daughter’s good graces, and yet she was perpetually held in contempt. She said the wrong thing, she did the wrong thing.) But lately, things between mother and daughter had improved—enough for Birdie to suggest a week of bonding in the family cottage before Chess embarked on the rest of her life with Michael Morgan.
Idyllic but remote, the Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched and untroubled by the modern world. So when the battered body of a young woman is discovered at the foot of a cliff, the local police are quick to dismiss her death as an accident. Then a stranger arrives, uninvited, from Athens, announcing his intention to investigate further. Hermes Diaktoros’s methods of investigation are unorthodox, and before long, he's uncovering a tale of passion, corruption and murder. But Hermes brings his own mystery into the web of dark secrets and lies. Who has sent him to Thiminos, and on whose authority is he acting? And how does he know of dramas played out decades ago?
Rich in images of Greece’s beautiful islands and evoking a life unknown to most outsiders, this wonderful novel leads the reader into a world where the myths of the past are not forgotten and forbidden passion still has dangerous consequences.
“Powerfully atmospheric…Zouroudi embraces Mediterranean passion, mythic meddling, and patriarchal persecution.”—The Independent
From The Messenger of Athens:
It was the spring of the year; the air was light and bright, the alpines were in bloom. It was a fine day to be out.”
She had been out there for two days.
They had found her, at last, but they were not treating her with reverence, or due respect. How could they? Beneath the rising helicopter, she dangled between a soldier’s khaki-trousered legs, arms flung wide like a welcome, her own legs spread, open to them all. The deafening beat of the rotors, amplified and echoing off the canyon walls, killed all talk; but the men of the search party had already fallen into silence, now they were bringing her up. Along the unfenced roadside, in small, somber groups they waited—soldiers, policemen, civilians—looking across the scree of landslips, down towards the dry, rock-strewn riverbed where she had lain.
Jacob Higgins's teenage rage rarely simmers below the surface for long. He despises his negligent mother and her alcoholic boyfriend, Refrigerator Man, and he's indifferent to school and his friends—though a little less casual about girls and marijuana. His antics have landed him in a North Virginia detention center, where nihilism, freedom, and redemption all take on unexpected guises.
In a voice filled with confusion, yearning, and sardonic humor, Jacob narrates his improbably sweet romance with Andrea, an inmate with whom he shares rare glances, melodramatic conversation, and waxy cookies at rigidly chaperoned "socials." But when David, a mysterious, conniving adolescent, handpicks him to assist in a plot to bring about the center's demise, Jacob has to weigh the frail new optimism of his relationship with Andrea against the allure of destruction, rebellion, and escape. In her pitch-perfect debut, Emma Rathbone adroitly captures the drama, both comic and deadly serious, of growing up.
“Unafraid, unsentimental, and destructively smart, The Patterns of Paper Monsters masterfully turns sadness into ecstatic, shocking laughter.” —Patrick Somerville, author of The Cradle
From The Patterns of Paper Monsters:
My name is Jacob Higgins. I’m seventeen years old. It was about three months ago that I woke up from a fibrousy Klonopin Haze to find myself standing on the steps of this building, at the beginning of a punishment that, I’m sure you would agree, far outweighs the crime.
I stood there looking at the Barbecue Tavern on the corner of the street. The sky was gray. Officer O’Connell was shifting his weight from one leg to the other. A plastic bag rolled by like a tumbleweed. I was trying harder than I’ve ever tried to do anything to force myself back into my haze, but I couldn’t because it was like a blanket that was getting smaller and smaller and eventually went away and then I was more wide awake and confused than a spider in the middle of a flickering television screen.