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Week of January 21, 2019

New in Paperback

Week of January 21, 2019

Paperback releases for the week of January 21st include THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE, Melanie Benjamin's fascinating novel of the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female legends --- screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford; AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN by Susan Meissner, which takes place in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 and tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love; and Nancy Goldstone's DAUGHTERS OF THE WINTER QUEEN, the thrilling saga of four spirited sisters and their glamorous mother, Elizabeth Stuart, granddaughter of the martyred Mary, Queen of Scots.

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner - Historical Fiction

January 22, 2019

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start. Into this bustling town came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters a chance at a better life. But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than 12,000 victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope.

Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots by Nancy Goldstone - Biography/History

January 22, 2019

Young Elizabeth Stuart was thrust into a life of wealth and splendor when her godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, died and her father, James I, ascended to the illustrious throne of England. At 16 she was married to a dashing German count far below her rank, with the understanding that James would help her husband achieve the crown of Bohemia. Her father's terrible betrayal of this promise would ruin "the Winter Queen," as Elizabeth would be forever known, imperil the lives of those she loved, and launch a war that would last for 30 years. Forced into exile, the Winter Queen and her growing family found refuge in Holland, where the glorious art and culture of the Dutch Golden Age formed the backdrop to her daughters' education.

Freedom Road by William Lashner - Thriller

January 22, 2019

Oliver Cross is fresh out of jail. When he finds out that his granddaughter, a wild child who reminds him of his late wife, has vanished, Oliver jumps parole. With a sketchy teen and an abandoned dog, he hits the blacktop to find her. On the road and on the run from a vengeful Russian drug dealer, Oliver finds himself on a trip across America and into his own past, fueled by fumes from a Ford F-250 and a reason to live. But from an exclusive club in Chicago to a seedy commune in the Rockies, a series of disastrous choices sends Oliver spiraling further from his goal and deeper into danger. It’s a journey that could all end in redemption or a hail of bullets. And either is okay by him.

The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin - Historical Fiction

January 22, 2019

It is 1914, and 25-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers,” the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, and they hit it off instantly --- their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, move audiences to a frenzy and start a revolution. But their ambitions are challenged by both the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender --- and their astronomical success could come at a price.

Happiness by Aminatta Forna - Fiction

January 22, 2019

Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, has arrived in London with two tasks: to deliver a keynote speech on trauma, and to contact the daughter of friends, his “niece” who hasn’t called home in a while. Ama has been swept up in an immigration crackdown, and now her young son Tano is missing. When, by chance, Attila runs into Jean again, she mobilizes the network of rubbish men she uses as volunteer fox spotters. Security guards, hotel doormen, traffic wardens --- mainly West African immigrants who work the myriad streets of London --- come together to help. Meanwhile, a consulting case causes Attila to question the impact of his own ideas on trauma, the values of the society in which he finds himself, and a grief of his own.

Heads of the Colored People: Stories by Nafissa Thompson-Spires - Fiction/Short Stories

January 22, 2019

In HEADS OF THE COLORED PEOPLE, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class. Some stories in this collection are darkly humorous --- from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide. Others are devastatingly poignant --- a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.

Learning to See: A Novel of Dorothea Lange, the Woman Who Revealed the Real America by Elise Hooper - Historical Fiction

January 22, 2019

In 1918, a fearless 22-year-old arrives in bohemian San Francisco. Renaming herself Dorothea Lange, she is soon the celebrated owner of the city’s most prestigious and stylish portrait studio. By the early 1930s, as America’s economy collapses, her marriage founders and Dorothea must find ways to support her two young sons single-handedly. Determined to expose the horrific conditions of the nation’s poor, she takes to the road with her camera. And when the United States enters World War II, Dorothea chooses to confront another injustice --- the incarceration of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans. At a time when women were supposed to keep the home fires burning, Dorothea Lange dares to be different. But her choices came at a steep price.

The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith - Historical Fiction

January 22, 2019

A reckless wager between a tennis pro with a fading career and a drunken party guest --- the stakes are an antique motorcycle and an heiress’s diamond necklace --- launches a narrative odyssey that braids together three centuries of aspiration and adversity. A witty and urbane bachelor of the Gilded Age embarks on a high-risk scheme to marry into a fortune; a young writer soon to make his mark turns himself to his craft with harrowing social consequences; an aristocratic British officer during the American Revolution carries on a courtship that leads to murder; and, in Newport’s earliest days, a tragically orphaned Quaker girl imagines a way forward for herself and the slave girl she has inherited.

Our Lady of the Prairie by Thisbe Nissen - Fiction

January 22, 2019

For Phillipa Maakestad --- theater professor and mother to a troubled, volatile daughter --- life is finally, miraculously calm. What better moment, then, to fall headlong into a passionate affair, fly off to France with her new lover, and effectively take a match to her life on the Iowa prairie? As she steps back to survey the damage and determine her way forward, Phillipa must contend with a wedding-day tornado, a menace of a mother-in-law who may or may not have been a Nazi collaborator, and the tragicomic revenge fantasies of her otherwise docile husband. Which is to say: the damage is not easily contained, and the path ahead is not clear.

Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak - Fiction

January 22, 2019

Peri, a married, wealthy, beautiful Turkish woman, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground --- an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Over the course of the dinner, and amidst an opulence that is surely ill-begotten, terrorist attacks occur across the city. Competing in Peri's mind, however, are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University.