The Portable Veblen

A Novel

Author: Elizabeth Mckenzie

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698411145

Category: Fiction

Page: 304

View: 9269

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Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction Finalist for the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction An exuberant, one-of-a-kind novel about love and family, war and nature, new money and old values by a brilliant New Yorker contributor The Portable Veblen is a dazzlingly original novel that’s as big-hearted as it is laugh-out-loud funny. Set in and around Palo Alto, amid the culture clash of new money and old (antiestablishment) values, and with the specter of our current wars looming across its pages, The Portable Veblen is an unforgettable look at the way we live now. A young couple on the brink of marriage—the charming Veblen and her fiancé Paul, a brilliant neurologist—find their engagement in danger of collapse. Along the way they weather everything from each other’s dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive pharmaceutical heiress, to an intimate tête-à-tête with a very charismatic squirrel. Veblen (named after the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen, who coined the term “conspicuous consumption”) is one of the most refreshing heroines in recent fiction. Not quite liberated from the burdens of her hypochondriac, narcissistic mother and her institutionalized father, Veblen is an amateur translator and “freelance self”; in other words, she’s adrift. Meanwhile, Paul—the product of good hippies who were bad parents—finds his ambition soaring. His medical research has led to the development of a device to help minimize battlefield brain trauma—an invention that gets him swept up in a high-stakes deal with the Department of Defense, a Bizarro World that McKenzie satirizes with granular specificity. As Paul is swept up by the promise of fame and fortune, Veblen heroically keeps the peace between all the damaged parties involved in their upcoming wedding, until she finds herself falling for someone—or something—else. Throughout, Elizabeth McKenzie asks: Where do our families end and we begin? How do we stay true to our ideals? And what is that squirrel really thinking? Replete with deadpan photos and sly appendices, The Portable Veblen is at once an honest inquiry into what we look for in love and an electrifying reading experience. From the Hardcover edition.

Ruby

Author: Cynthia Bond

Publisher: Hogarth Press

ISBN: 0804188246

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 970

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Loving the beautiful but damaged Ruby all of his life, Ephram is torn between his sister and a chance for a life with Ruby when the latter returns to their small hometown and confronts the forces that traumatized her early years.

The Improbability of Love

A novel

Author: Hannah Rothschild

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101874155

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 7285

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Wickedly funny, this totally engaging, richly observed first novel by Hannah Rothschild is a tour de force. Its sweeping narrative and cast of wildly colorful characters takes you behind the scenes of a London auction house, into the secret operations of a powerful art dealer, to a flamboyant eighteenth-century-style dinner party, and into a modest living room in Berlin, among many other unexpected settings. In The Improbability of Love we meet Annie McDee, thirty-one, who is working as a chef for two rather sinister art dealers. Recovering from the end of a long-term relationship, she is searching in a neglected secondhand shop for a birthday present for her unsuitable new lover. Hidden behind a rubber plant on top of a file cabinet, a grimy painting catches her eye. After spending her meager savings on the picture, Annie prepares an elaborate birthday dinner for two, only to be stood up. The painting becomes hers, and as it turns out, Annie has stumbled across a lost masterpiece by one of the most important French painters of the eighteenth century. But who painted this masterpiece is not clear at first. Soon Annie finds herself pursued by interested parties who would do anything to possess her picture. For a gloomy, exiled Russian oligarch, an avaricious sheikha, a desperate auctioneer, and an unscrupulous dealer, among others, the painting embodies their greatest hopes and fears. In her search for the painting’s identity, Annie will unwittingly uncover some of the darkest secrets of European history—as well as the possibility of falling in love again. Irreverent, witty, bittersweet, The Improbability of Love draws an unforgettable portrait of the London art scene, but it is also an exuberant and unexpected journey through life’s highs and lows and the complexities of love and loss. From the Hardcover edition.

The Glorious Heresies

A Novel

Author: Lisa McInerney

Publisher: Tim Duggan Books

ISBN: 0804189080

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 389

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From Lisa McInerney, hailed by The Irish Times as “arguably the most talented writer at work in Ireland today,” comes The Glorious Heresies, a searing debut novel about life on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. When grandmother Maureen Phelan is surprised in her home by a stranger, she clubs the intruder with a Holy Stone. The consequences of this unplanned murder connect four misfits struggling against their meager circumstances. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father, Tony, whose feud with his next-door neighbor threatens to ruin his family. Georgie is a sex worker who half-heartedly joins a born-again movement to escape her profession and drug habit. And Jimmy Phelan, the most fearsome gangster in the city and Maureen’s estranged son, finds that his mother’s bizarre attempts at redemption threaten his entire organization. Biting and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies presents an unforgettable vision of a city plagued by poverty and exploitation, where salvation still awaits in the most unexpected places. — New York Time's Book Review's "10 Best Crime Novels" of the year

The Road Home

A Novel

Author: Rose Tremain

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316032824

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 5969

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In the wake of factory closings and his beloved wife's death, Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to London, seeking work to support his mother and his little daughter. After a spell of homelessness, he finds a job in the kitchen of a posh restaurant, and a room in the house of an appealing Irishman who has also lost his family. Never mind that Lev must sleep in a bunk bed surrounded by plastic toys--he has found a friend and shelter. However constricted his life in England remains he compensates by daydreaming of home, by having an affair with a younger restaurant worker (and dodging the attentions of other women), and by trading gossip and ambitions via cell phone with his hilarious old friend Rudi who, dreaming of the wealthy West, lives largely for his battered Chevrolet. Homesickness dogs Lev, not only for nostalgic reasons, but because he doesn't belong, body or soul, to his new country-but can he really go home again? Rose Tremain's prodigious talents as a prose writer are on full display in THE ROAD HOME, but her novel never loses sight of what is truly important in the lives we lead.

Travails of LOVE

Author: Bimal Prasad Mohapatra

Publisher: Partridge Publishing

ISBN: 1482814161

Category: Fiction

Page: 546

View: 4935

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The book tells a love story between the daughter of a clever villager and the scholarly boy of a deprived widow. The love-locked pair had an obsession to work with their mentor for image makeover of their village through educational development, denied to the village by its influential Zamindar on the pretext of the modern education would spoil village s age-old social order. As the story progressed, the pair admitted in college where they befriended with a girl who was in exile to pave way for her corrupt father s promotion. The daughters of rich and powerful families tried to entice the boy, being impressed by his personality and all-round performances, which was thwarted with active cooperation of the exiled girl. The major turning point of the story took place when the clever father of the girl forced her to ignore the boy in view of his social status. The frustrated father joined hand with Zamindar, his bête noire in village politics, to get rid of the boy along with his mother in a mid-night fire. But, their mentor rescued them. The boy got selected to civil service, came back to village, set up a High School, rescued his love and the villagers from the evil clutches of Zamindar. A fiction of love, romance, tragedy, superstition, humour, comic, exploitation, corruption, nasty politics and feudocracy.

The Birds of Opulence

Author: Crystal Wilkinson

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 0813166934

Category: Fiction

Page: 208

View: 4742

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From the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of Blackberries, Blackberries and Water Street comes an astonishing new novel. A lyrical exploration of love and loss, The Birds of Opulence centers on several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness. The Goode-Brown family, led by matriarch and pillar of the community Minnie Mae, is plagued by old secrets and embarrassment over mental illness and illegitimacy. Meanwhile, single mother Francine Clark is haunted by her dead, lightning-struck husband and forced to fight against both the moral judgment of the community and her own rebellious daughter, Mona. The residents of Opulence struggle with vexing relationships to the land, to one another, and to their own sexuality. As the members of the youngest generation watch their mothers and grandmothers pass away, they live with the fear of going mad themselves and must fight to survive. Crystal Wilkinson offers up Opulence and its people in lush, poetic detail. It is a world of magic, conjuring, signs, and spells, but also of harsh realities that only love -- and love that's handed down -- can conquer. At once tragic and hopeful, this captivating novel is a story about another time, rendered for our own.

The Sport of Kings

A Novel

Author: C. E. Morgan

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374715173

Category: Fiction

Page: 560

View: 699

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A Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the Kirkus Prize for Fiction • A Finalist for the James Taite Black Prize for Fiction • A Finalist for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction • A Finalist for the Rathbones Folio Prize • Longlisted for an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence • A New York Times Book Review Notable Book Named a Best Book of the Year by Entertainment Weekly • GQ • The New York Times (Selected by Dwight Garner) • NPR • The Wall Street Journal • San Francisco Chronicle • Refinery29 • Booklist • Kirkus Reviews • Commonweal Magazine "In its poetic splendor and moral seriousness, The Sport of Kings bears the traces of Faulkner, Morrison, and McCarthy. . . . It is a contemporary masterpiece."—San Francisco Chronicle Hailed by The New Yorker for its “remarkable achievements,” The Sport of Kings is an American tale centered on a horse and two families: one white, a Southern dynasty whose forefathers were among the founders of Kentucky; the other African-American, the descendants of their slaves. It is a dauntless narrative that stretches from the fields of the Virginia piedmont to the abundant pastures of the Bluegrass, and across the dark waters of the Ohio River; from the final shots of the Revolutionary War to the resounding clang of the starting bell at Churchill Downs. As C. E. Morgan unspools a fabric of shared histories, past and present converge in a Thoroughbred named Hellsmouth, heir to Secretariat and a contender for the Triple Crown. Newly confronted with one another in the quest for victory, the two families must face the consequences of their ambitions, as each is driven---and haunted---by the same, enduring question: How far away from your father can you run? A sweeping narrative of wealth and poverty, racism and rage, The Sport of Kings is an unflinching portrait of lives cast in shadow of slavery and a moral epic for our time.

Rush Oh!

Author: Shirley Barrett

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316261521

Category: Fiction

Page: 368

View: 9217

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"[An] epic tale."--O: The Oprah Magazine "Irresistible."--Wall Street Journal "A fresh and subversive take on a genre traditionally owned by male leviathans."--New York Times Book Review, *Editors' Choice* "Heart-warming and hilarious."--Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places "A book to never forget."--Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief An impassioned, charming, and hilarious debut novel about a young woman's coming-of-age, during one of the harshest whaling seasons in the history of New South Wales. 1908: It's the year that proves to be life-changing for our teenage narrator, Mary Davidson, tasked with providing support to her father's boisterous whaling crews while caring for five brothers and sisters in the wake of their mother's death. But when the handsome John Beck-a former Methodist preacher turned novice whaler with a mysterious past-arrives at the Davidson's door pleading to join her father's crews, suddenly Mary's world is upended. As her family struggles to survive the scarcity of whales and the vagaries of weather, and as she navigates sibling rivalries and an all-consuming first love for the newcomer John, nineteen-year-old Mary will soon discover a darker side to these men who hunt the seas, and the truth of her place among them. Swinging from Mary's own hopes and disappointments to the challenges that have beset her family's whaling operation, RUSH OH! is an enchanting blend of fact and fiction that's as much the story of its gutsy narrator's coming-of-age as it is the celebration of an extraordinary episode in history.

I Am China

A Novel

Author: Xiaolu Guo

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385538723

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 7342

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Rock 'n' roll, revolution, and romance are seductively woven together in this intense and moving novel from the author of Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth In her flat in north London, Iona Kirkpatrick sets to work on a new project translating a collection of letters and diaries by a Chinese musician. With each letter and journal entry, Iona becomes more and more intrigued with the unfolding story of two lovers: Jian, a punk rocker who believes there is no art without political commitment, and Mu, the young woman he loves as fiercely as his ideals. Iona cannot possibly know that Jian is mere miles away in Dover, awaiting the uncertain fate of a political exile. Mu is still in Beijing, writing letters to London and desperately trying to track Jian down. As Iona charts the course of their twenty-year relationship, from its early beginnings at Beijing University to Jian’s defiant march in the Jasmine Revolution, her own empty life takes on an urgent purpose: to bring Jian and Mu together again before it’s too late.

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding

A Novel

Author: Jackie Copleton

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698407326

Category: Fiction

Page: 304

View: 1546

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In the tradition of Memoirs of a Geisha and The Piano Teacher, a heart-wrenching debut novel of family, forgiveness, and the exquisite pain of love When Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her Philadelphia home to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, she doesn’t believe him. Her grandson and her daughter, Yuko, perished nearly forty years ago during the bombing of Nagasaki. But the man carries with him a collection of sealed private letters that open a Pandora’s Box of family secrets Ama had sworn to leave behind when she fled Japan. She is forced to confront her memories of the years before the war: of the daughter she tried too hard to protect and the love affair that would drive them apart, and even further back, to the long, sake-pouring nights at a hostess bar where Ama first learned that a soft heart was a dangerous thing. Will Ama allow herself to believe in a miracle?

Mad Girl

Author: Bryony Gordon

Publisher: Headline

ISBN: 1472232070

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 3688

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THE NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB 2017 PICK A new Sunday Times bestseller from Bryony Gordon, Telegraph columnist and author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers. For readers who enjoyed Matt Haig's Reasons to Stay Alive and Ruby Wax's Sane New World, Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness. 'I loved it. A brilliant fast and funny and frank look at something that absolutely needs to be talked about in this way' Matt Haig Bryony Gordon has OCD. It's the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn't repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty. A hugely successful columnist for the Telegraph, a bestselling author, and a happily married mother of an adorable daughter, Bryony has managed to laugh and live well while simultaneously grappling with her illness. Now it's time for her to speak out. Writing with her characteristic warmth and dark humour, Bryony explores her relationship with her OCD and depression as only she can. Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.

The Virginity of Famous Men

Author: Christine Sneed

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1620406977

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 1746

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The Virginity of Famous Men, award-winning story writer Christine Sneed's deeply perceptive collection on the human condition, features protagonists attempting to make peace with the paths they have taken thus far. In "The Prettiest Girls," a location scout for a Hollywood film studio falls in love with a young Mexican woman who is more in love with the idea of stardom than with this older American man who takes her with him back to California. "Clear Conscience" focuses on the themes of family loyalty, divorce, motherhood, and whether "doing the right thing" is, in fact, always the right thing to do. In "Beach Vacation," a mother realizes that her popular and coddled teenaged son has become someone she has difficulty relating to, let alone loving with the same maternal fervor that once was second nature to her. The title story, "The Virginity of Famous Men," explores family and fortune. Long intrigued by love and loneliness, Sneed leads readers through emotional landscapes both familiar and uncharted. These probing stories are explorations of the compassionate and passionate impulses that are inherent in--and often the source of--both abiding joy and serious distress in every human life.

The Book of Memory

A Novel

Author: Petina Gappah

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374714886

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 3662

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The story that you have asked me to tell you does not begin with the pitiful ugliness of Lloyd’s death. It begins on a long-ago day in August when the sun seared my blistered face and I was nine years old and my father and mother sold me to a strange man. Memory, the narrator of Petina Gappah’s The Book of Memory, is an albino woman languishing in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare, Zimbabwe, after being sentenced for murder. As part of her appeal, her lawyer insists that she write down what happened as she remembers it. The death penalty is a mandatory sentence for murder, and Memory is, both literally and metaphorically, writing for her life. As her story unfolds, Memory reveals that she has been tried and convicted for the murder of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted father. But who was Lloyd Hendricks? Why does Memory feel no remorse for his death? And did everything happen exactly as she remembers? Moving between the townships of the poor and the suburbs of the rich, and between past and present, the 2009 Guardian First Book Award–winning writer Petina Gappah weaves a compelling tale of love, obsession, the relentlessness of fate, and the treachery of memory.

Scary Old Sex

Author: Arlene Heyman

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

ISBN: 9781632862334

Category: Fiction

Page: 240

View: 1046

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A woman goes about certain rituals of sex with her second husband, sharing the bed with the ghosts of her sexual past. A beautiful young art student embarks on an affair with a much older, married, famous artist. A middle-aged woman struggles with the decline of her mother, once glamorous and still commanding; their fraught relationship causes unexpected feelings, both shaming and brutal. A man finds that his father has died while in the midst of extra-marital sex and wonders what he should do with the body. And a boy sits in his Calculus class, fantasizing about a schoolmate's breasts and worrying about his father lying in hospital, as outside his classroom window the Twin Towers begin to fall. In this stunning, taboo-breaking debut, Arlene Heyman, a practicing psychiatrist, gives us what really goes on in people's minds, relationships, and beds. Raw, tender, funny, truthful and often shocking, Scary Old Sex is a fierce exploration of the chaos and beauty of life.

Gorsky: A Novel

Author: Vesna Goldsworthy

Publisher: The Overlook Press

ISBN: 1468312871

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 3743

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An enchanting love story—a tale of big money, fine art, and great books On a rainy afternoon in London’s old Chelsea, a charming multi-billionaire Russian oligarch, Gorsky, walks into an ailing bookshop and writes the first of several quarter-of-a-million pound checks. With that money, Gorsky has tasked Nikola, the store’s bored and brilliant clerk, with sourcing books for a massive personal library, which which will be housed in the magnificent, palatial home Gorsky happens to be building immediately next to Nikola’s own modest dwelling. Gorsky needs a tasteful collection of Russian literature to woo a long-lost love—no matter that she happens to be married to an Englishman. His passion for her surpasses even his immeasurable wealth, and Nikola will be drawn into a world of opulence, greed, capitalism, sex, and beauty as he helps Gorsky pursue this doomed love. Charmingly written and inspired by The Great Gatsby, Gorsky is a vicarious thrill—an ode to cosmopolitan taste and a brilliant reimagining of a powerful classic.

The House at the Edge of the World

Author: Julia Rochester

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241971705

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 1512

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LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2016 Part mystery, part psychological drama, Julia Rochester's The House at the Edge of the World is a darkly comic, unorthodox and thrilling debut When I was eighteen, my father fell off a cliff. It was a stupid way to die. John Venton's drunken fall from a Devon cliff leaves his family with an embarrassing ghost. His twin children, Morwenna and Corwin, flee in separate directions to take up their adult lives. Their mother, enraged by years of unhappy marriage, embraces merry widowhood. Only their grandfather finds solace in the crumbling family house, endlessly painting their story onto a large canvas map. His brightly coloured map, with its tiny pictures of shipwrecks, forgotten houses, saints and devils, is a work of his imagination, a collection of local myths and histories. But it holds a secret. As the twins are drawn grudgingly back to the house, they discover that their father's absence is part of the map's mysterious pull. The House at the Edge of the World is the compellingly told story of how family and home can be both a source of comfort and a wholly destructive force. Cutting to the undignified half-truths every family conceals, it asks the questions we all must confront: who are we responsible for and, ultimately, who do we belong to? 'A story that carries you along - clever plotting and a startling outcome. An impressive first novel' Penelope Lively 'Wonderfully crisp and funny and it's so full of vivid, surprising images that the reader almost doesn't notice the moment that deep secrets begin to be revealed' Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing Julia Rochester grew up on the Exe Estuary in Devon. She studied in London, Berlin and Cambridge and has worked for the BBC Portuguese Service and for Amnesty International as Researcher on Brazil. She lives in London with her husband and daughter.

MacGregor Tells the World

A Novel

Author: Elizabeth Mckenzie

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0307487822

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 9951

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The highly acclaimed author of Stop That Girl delivers a masterfully plotted debut novel–at once a mystery of identity, sly literary satire, and coming-of age story–capturing a young man’s impossible and heroic first love. Twenty-two-year-old MacGregor West, orphaned as a boy, is on a quest: to understand the circumstances of his mother’s untimely death. On a foggy San Francisco evening, guided by an old stack of envelopes, Mac finds himself at the mansion of cultural icon Charles Ware, where he encounters the writer’s beautiful and enigmatic daughter, Carolyn, trapped in a fold-up bed. Upon freeing her, Mac plunges headlong into the world of the eccentric Ware family and a love affair with a woman whose murky history may be closely linked to his own. MacGregor Tells the World is a poignant and often hilarious ride through present-day San Francisco, a city brimming with memorable characters who help Mac discover just what story is his to tell. Praise for Elizabeth McKenzie’s Stop That Girl “Elizabeth McKenzie is an accomplished humorist and a developed stylist, and she wastes no time dazzling the reader with her clean direct language, her simple but searing use of metaphor and her unflinching eye.” –The New York Times Book Review “Single-handedly reinvigorate[s] the coming-of-age genre. . . . Here is a writer to watch, and a book to breeze through with glee.” –San Francisco Chronicle From the Trade Paperback edition.

Arlington Park

Author: Rachel Cusk

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571267181

Category: Fiction

Page: 256

View: 7736

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Arlington Park, a modern-day English suburb, is a place devoted to the profitable ordinariness of life. Amidst its leafy avenues and comfortable houses, its residents live out the dubious accomplishments of civilisation: material prosperity, personal freedom, and moral indifference. For all that, Arlington Park is strikingly conventional. Men work, women look after children, and people generally do what's expected of them. Theirs is a world awash with contentment but empty of belief, and riven with strange anxieties. Set over the course of a single rainy day, the novel moves from one household to another, and through the passing hours conducts a deep examination of its characters' lives: of Juliet, enraged at the victory of men over women in family life; of Amanda, warding off thoughts of death with obsessive housework; of Solly, who confronts her own buried femininity in the person of her Italian lodger; of Maisie, despairing at the inevitability with which beauty is destroyed; and of Christine, whose troubled, hilarious spirit presides over Arlington Park and the way of life it represents. Rachel Cusk's sixth novel is her best yet. Full of compassion and wit, each page laden with truth, she writes about her characters' domestic lives, their private thoughts and fears with an intelligence and insight that will leave readers reeling.