America's #1 educational besteseller, Brain Quest, will coming to Bank Square Books on July 1 at 6pm to present a fun-filled, fast-paced, question-and-answer
challenge game that will test your smarts and give you the opportunity
to win cool prizes! No matter what your grade, please join us for this
awesome event. Let us know that you would like to sign up at the store, or give us a call!
Contestants line up and answer questions one-at-a-time, and when a
question is answered incorrectly, the following student has the
opportunity to answer that same question
Teams are split to represent different age ranges and receive points for
answering correctly. Opposing teams are given the opportunity to gain
partial credit for their opponents’ missed questions
Students answer questions while participating in physical challenges
(jumping rope, rubbing stomach and patting head, etc.) Scoring by speed
and/or number of correct answers.
Author Sheila Lytle will be at Bank Square Books on Saturday July 6 from 3-5pm for a book signing.
Natalya Alexander is finally given the chance to go out into the field. On her first assignment she not only meets the love of her life, but has a secret from her past exposed in a startling way. Can Adam Greene help her come to terms with her new life even as he struggles to protect her from a power-hungry and vindictive wolf?
Join us for an author luncheon with Karen Brown and "The Longings of Wayward Girls" on July 10 from 12 - 1:30pm
It’s an idyllic New England summer, and Sadie is a precocious only child
on the edge of adolescence. It seems like July and August will pass
lazily by, just as they have every year before. But one day, Sadie and
her best friend play a seemingly harmless prank on a neighborhood girl.
Soon after, that same little girl disappears from a backyard
barbecue—and she is never seen again. Twenty years pass, and Sadie is
still living in the same quiet suburb. She’s married to a good man, has
two beautiful children, and seems to have put her past behind her. But
when a boy from her old neighborhood returns to town, the nightmares of
that summer will begin to resurface, and its unsolved mysteries will
finally become clear.
$15 includes a paperback copy of the book as
as a catered lunch with your choice of wine or sparkling
water as well as readings and discussion time with the author. Please
call the store or click the button below to reserve your place.
Please join us for a conversation with a glass of wine with authors Anne Korkeakivi and Charlotte Rogan, and their novels An Unexpected Guest and Lifeboat on Thursday, July 11, 2013 from 5-7 pm. Should be a lively discussion with these two lovely ladies and their fabulous novels. FREE
About An Unexpected Guest
"A beautifully written novel about living with our many selves."
- Nicola Keegan, author of Swimming
Clare Moorhouse, the American wife of a high-ranking diplomat in
Paris, is arranging an official dinner crucial to her husband's career.
As she shops for fresh stalks of asparagus and works out the menu and
seating arrangements, her day is complicated by the unexpected arrival
of her son and a random encounter with a Turkish man, whom she discovers
is a suspected terrorist. More unnerving is a recurring face in the
crowd, one that belonged to another, darker era of her life. One she
never expected to see again.
Like Virginia Woolf did in Mrs. Dalloway, Anne Korkeakivi brilliantly weaves the complexities of an age into an act as deceptively simple as hosting a dinner party.
About the Author
Korkeakivi was born and raised in New York City but currently lives in
Geneva, Switzerland, with her husband, who works at the United Nations,
and two daughters. She has also lived in France, Finland, and a number
of states in the Union, accumulating a B.A. in Classics and an M.A. in
English and Comparative Literature. Her short stories have run in The Yale Review, The Atlantic, The Bellevue Literary Review, and other magazines.
Praise For An Unexpected Guest…
Korkeakivi's writing has all the best qualities of an Ishiguro novel.
Clare, a seemingly selfless diplomat's wife, the epitome of restraint
and hermetic detachment, unravels before us into a woman of dangerous
allegiances, passions, and moral dilemmas, in prose that is both
beautiful and razor sharp. Paris is depicted with subtle complexity, a
city that reposes as it threatens, full of scorn and grace. Korkeakivi's
sense of detail is remarkable while grounded in authenticity. An Unexpected Guest is a feast of a novel."
-George Hagen, author of The Laments
About The Lifeboat
Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.
the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying Grace and her
husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion.
Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat,
which the survivors quickly realize has exceeded capacity. For any to
live, some must die.
As the castaways battle the elements and
each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and
the new life of privilege she thought she'd found. Will she pay any
price to keep it?
The Lifeboat is a page-turning novel of hard
choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex
as the events she describes.
About the Author
Rogan studied architecture at Princeton University, graduating in 1975.
She lives in Westport, Connecticut. This is her first novel.
What our very own Annie had to say about the book...
“Grace is the 22-year-old narrator of this
terrifying, tightly told tale of the sinking of an ocean liner crossing
the Atlantic from England in 1914. Few escape onto the small overcrowded
lifeboats, Grace being one. With little food and drink, paranoia and
power struggles surface, and The Lifeboat becomes a study of human
nature and who has a stronger will to survive under extreme conditions.
As Rogan writes in the end, 'It was not the sea that was cruel, it was
the people.' A brilliant and harrowing story of a struggle for survival
as well as a profound look at the complexities of human nature at its
We look forward to hosting Ivy Pochoda and her new book Visitation Street here on July 12 for an in store author luncheon.
This will be the 2nd book published under the Dennis Lehane Line of books and goes on sale July 9. Ivy was born and raised in Brooklyn and in 2009 was the author in residence at the James Merrill House in Stonington. Please join us in welcoming her back to the area for this luncheon!
About the book:
Chosen by Dennis Lehane for his eponymous imprint, Ivy Pochoda's
Visitation Street is a riveting literary mystery set against the
rough-hewn backdrop of the New York waterfront in Red Hook.
summertime in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a blue-collar dockside neighborhood.
June and Val, two fifteen-year-olds, take a raft out onto the bay at
night to see what they can see.
And then they disappear. Only Val will survive, washed ashore; semi-conscious in the weeds.
shocking event will echo through the lives of a diverse cast of Red
Hook residents. Fadi, the Lebanese bodega owner, hopes that his shop
will be the place to share neighborhood news and troll for information
about June's disappearance. Cree, just beginning to pull it together
after his father's murder, unwittingly makes himself the chief suspect,
but an enigmatic and elusive guardian is determined to keep him safe.
contends with the shadow of her missing friend and a truth she buries
deep inside. Her teacher Jonathan, a Julliard School dropout and barfly,
wrestles with dashed dreams and a past riddled with tragic sins.
Praise For Visitation Street…
explores a community’s response to tragedy with crystalline prose, a
dose of the uncanny, and an unblinking eye for both human frailty and
-Deborah Harkness, bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches
Pochoda makes the saltiness of Brooklyn’s Red Hook come to life so
vividly that every time I looked up from the pages of this intoxicating
novel, I was surprised not to be there. Visitation Street is imbued with mystery and danger.
-Emma Straub, author of Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures
The luncheon ticket is $26 and includes a signed copy of Visitation Street as
well as a catered lunch including your choice of wine or sparkling
water, readings and discussion time with the author.
Author Laura B. Hayden will be at Bank Square Books on July 13 from 1-3pm for a book signing with Staying Alive: A Love Story.
The memoir is a series of essays that chronicle her grieving process and her search for meaning after losing her husband 13 years ago.
Her husband, Larry, died at 49, when a blood clot dislodged from his lower leg where an artery had been removed during the process of by-pass surgery.
Hayden said she took time to focus on the needs of her children - Conor, who was 13, and Emily, who was 11 - and to help them through the wake, funeral and their eventual return to school.
About 10 years after her husband’s death, she felt compelled to turn her reflections and experiences of grief into prose; at the same time she enrolled in an MFA program at Western Connecticut State University.
“I had to write about my husband before anything else; I had to make him present,” Hayden said.
Staying Alive: A Love Story, a memoir of hope and renewal by Connecticut author and teacher Laura B. Hayden, received an Honorable Mention for autobiographical non-fiction at the 2013 New York Book Festival June 22.(See list of this year’s winners). The honor represents high praise for the debut author who lives in Windsor Locks and teaches at Asnuntuck Community College and in the Western Connecticut State University MFA in Creative and Professional Writing program.
Jean-Yves Solinga will be at Bank Square Books on Sunday July 21 from 3-4pm for the launch of "Impressions of Reality".
Blurbs from the back of the book:
“Jean-Yves Solinga embraces the world with clear-eyed enthusiasm. There is a kind of joy in these poems, tempered by hard-edged vision. The laughter of women, the art of ship building, music and philosophy, all find their natural place within Solinga’s lines. Solinga casts a cold eye on the past, and uses it as a prism for outlining an absolutely modern present. He manages to make the unraveling of complex knots simple, but doesn’t destroy them- he helps us understand how they’re woven. Even the death of Custer takes its place beside the heroism of the Maquisards. All their translucent fibers are woven into a cloth of the fragile past. In Solinga’s hands, grammar doesn’t simply transform speech; it transforms lives, and in doing so refashions the future. This is what poets do: He sees the whole edifice, details it, helps us understand, and convinces us it’s worthwhile. And it’s all done with the delicacy and beauty of interwoven lace. With the history of poetry and painting behind him, Solinga walks alone through the parallel columns of love and beauty, confident, dexterous, sure footed, almost dancing. His meanings are dappled, like the fields of Provence, like the slopes of Mt. Sainte Victoire. And yet the poems are splendidly fragile, surprising, simple and intricate at once. He’s disinclined to celebrate Pharaohs, instead he celebrates the workers who built the pyramids with their own hands, and left something of themselves in those long shadows. He values each moment, and sees eternity, not in an hour, but in a single second.”
—W.F. Lantry, PhD., prize-winning author ofThe Language of Birds,The Structure of Desire, and the forthcomingA Book of Maps.
“The enviably prolific Jean-Yves Solinga returns to us with a new book aptly titledImpressions of Reality– indeed, its cover art is the famous Monet painting “Impression of the Rising Sun.” These new poems are made of the same unabashedly lyrical and rich language that distinguishes all of Solinga’s work. Many of them give off his trademark scent of exotic locales and reverberate with his learned allusions to music, art, and literature. But there is an anxious intensity to many of these new impressions. In their strong ethical framework, they function as the conscience of a flawed and aching world. Some of the best of them riff on classic films, using them as touchstones or points of departure for a mind that is struggling to make sense of life, even as it wryly acknowledges how Quixotic the quest is for meaning and order. The final poem of the book, ‘Life of a Bubble,’ sums up Solinga’s mission in an epiphany that recounts the poet’s effort to clear his mind of complexity, while sharing the simple pleasure of his grandchildren’s delight in blowing bubbles. It is a worthy mission and a beautiful poem.”
—Christie Williams, M.C. and Member of the Board of Directors of The Arts Café in Mystic, CT.
Bio of Jean-Yves Solinga:
was born in Algeria, of French parents, moving to Morocco as a babe in
his mother’s arms when his father was transferred to Salé: practically
across from the Kasbah des Udayas of Rabat. Thereafter, he spent an
idyllic youth between Morocco and Southern France. Upon settling in
America with his family, at the age of 15, he soon began writing poetry
as a teenager: being first published inA Letter Among Friendsalong
with John Norman of New London, CT. After leaving College, Jean-Yves
began a successful career in teaching and lecturing. He holds a
doctorate in French on the representation of the Maghrebian [North
African] landscape found in the texts by Pierre Loti, André Gide, Albert
Camus and Jean-Marie Le Clézio.
Since his retirement he has published several books of poetry:Clair-Obscur of the Soul(2008),Clair-obscur de l’âme[in French] (2008),In the Shade of a Flower(2009),Landscape of Envies(2010),Words Made of Silk(2011).
His books offer a singularly unique view of mankind’s reflection
through the prism of the lyrical language and the quasi impressionist
imagery of his poetry. “At times, some passages are examples of the
translation of the human condition into pure thought” writes Michael
has been a featured speaker at the Alliance Française of New Haven and
Hartford. Presented at the Center of the Teaching of French at Yale
University and Southern Connecticut State University on the use of
poetry in language studies. Published in “Art et poésie”
edited by the renowned French poet Jean-Claude George. He has read at
the Poetry Institute of New Haven, Wesleyan University book store, the
Cantab Lounge in Cambridage, the Blue Star Café in Providence, the
Guilford Green Barn. He has featured at the Arts café in Mystic, the
Hygienics, the Bean and leaf, the Bank Square Bookstore. He has
co-featured at the Mystic Art Gallery, and at the Harriet Beecher Stowe
Center on the theme of social justice in poetry. Jean-Yves has had poems
published by theFree Poet Collective Ekpharsis Projectat the New Britain museum, theEkpharsis Loft Anthologyof Providence and theLittle Red Tree Anthology. His poetry has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Award.
Solinga is a poet of immense ability and range whose poetry is truly
remarkable. It contains many breathtakingly beautiful and sophisticated
poems that reach out to the very limits of the human condition where
true art exists. Many facets of his work find inspiration and
perspective in his cultural duality. This gives his poems an historical
and critical breath.
InImpressions of RealityJean-Yves
continues to search, as did Montaigne, into the individual experience
for something beyond the biographic or the particular: towards the
universal. His, are poems that transcend the personal experience. His
themes and images go into the elements of the contingent and accidental
to find the eternally repeated and repeatable human moments.
Join us for a special evening at Mystic's Oyster Club in celebration of Stephen P. Kiernan's debut novel: a gripping, poignant, and thoroughly original thriller, The Curiosity.
Kate Philo and her scientific exploration team make a breathtaking
discovery in the Arctic: the body of a man buried deep in the ice. As a
scientist in a groundbreaking
project run by the egocentric and paranoid Erastus Carthage, Kate has
brought small frozen creatures—plankton, krill, shrimp—“back to life.”
Never have the team’s methods been attempted on a large life form.
Heedless of the consequences, Carthage orders that
the frozen man be brought back to the lab in Boston, and reanimated. As
the man begins to regain his memories, the team learns that he was (is)
a judge, Jeremiah Rice, and the last thing he remembers is falling
overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. When
news of the Lazarus Project and Jeremiah Rice breaks, it ignites a
media firestorm and massive protests by religious fundamentalists.
Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, Kate and Jeremiah
forge an unlikely bond. Stephen Kiernan’s provocative debut novel raises disturbing questions
about the very nature of life and humanity—man as a scientific subject,
as a tabloid plaything, as a living being: A curiosity.
About the author:
journalist Stephen Kiernan is a graduate of Middlebury College, and has
earned a MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and a
MFA in fiction
from the Iowa Writers Workshop. He has written two works of nonfiction—Last Rights
and Authentic Patriotism—that promoted civic engagement. He lives in Vermont with his two sons. THE CURIOSITY is his first novel.
Tickets for this event are $50 and include a signed first edition hard cover copy of The Curiosity, a BBQ style picnic dinner on the Oyster Club's outside deck and readings/discussion with the
author. Please call Bank Square Books at 860.536.3795 or click the
button below to reserve your place.
Praise for THE CURIOSITY:
true page-turner… one of the most assured debuts in years, a book that
will stop your heart and start it again.” –Justin Cronin, author of
The Passage and The Twelve
“As thought-provoking and powerful as
Flowers for Algernon and the writing is breathtakingly beautiful.” –Chris Bohjalian, author of
The Sandcastle Girls and Midwives
Author Vladimir Alexandrov will be at Bank Square Books on July 25 for a book reading and signing at 7pm. There is no cost for this event. Join us to celebrate his latest book which chronicles the life of a truly fascinating American turned Russian.
The Black Russian is the incredible story of Frederick Bruce Thomas, born in 1872 to former slaves who became prosperous farmers in Mississippi. A rich white planter’s attempt to steal their land forced them to flee to Memphis, where Frederick’s father was brutally murdered. After leaving the South and working as a waiter and valet in Chicago and Brooklyn, Frederick sought greater freedom in London, then crisscrossed Europe, and—in a highly unusual choice for a black American at the time—went to Russia in 1899. Because he found no color line there, Frederick made Moscow his home. He renamed himself Fyodor Fyodorovich Tomas, married twice, acquired a mistress, and took Russian citizenship. Through his hard work, charm, and guile he became one of the city’s richest and most famous owners of variety theaters and restaurants. The Bolshevik Revolution ruined him, and he barely escaped with his life and family to Constantinople in 1919. Starting from scratch, he made a second fortune by opening celebrated nightclubs that introduced jazz to Turkey. However, the long arm of American racism, the xenophobia of the new Turkish Republic, and Frederick’s own extravagance landed him in debtor’s prison. He died in Constantinople in 1928.
About the Author
Vladimir Alexandrov received a Ph. D. in comparative literature from Princeton. He taught Russian literature and culture at Harvard before moving to Yale, where he is B.E. Bensinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures. He is the author of books on Bely, Nabokov, and Tolstoy, and has published numerous articles on various other Russian writers and topics.
Praise For The Black Russian…
"Magnetizing and unforgettable . . . In his assiduously researched, prodigiously descriptive, fluently analytical, and altogether astonishing work of resurrection, Alexandrov provides uniquely focused accounts of racial struggles in America and decadence and bloodshed in Europe and Russia while insightfully and dynamically portraying a singular man." —Booklist (starred review)
"A wild life of intrigue, deception and beating the odds . . . [Frederick] Thomas’ story is certainly interesting, particularly since he was able to thrive in Europe in a way most African-American men of his generation couldn’t dream of. . . . [The Black Russian is] a good choice for those who enjoy reading about life’s underdogs." —Kirkus Reviews
"[A] gracefully written feat of historical sleuthing. . . . Through prodigious archival research, historical scholarship and painstaking reconstruction of secondhand accounts, [Alexandrov] has drawn a moving and vivid portrait of a remarkable American life." —San Francisco Chronicle
"With so much focus on the black experience in America in the 19th century, we might never consider the black experience in Europe at the same time. Vladimir Alexandrov's The Black Russian rectifies this oversight, and does so with panache. His tale is the biography of an individual who is wholly remarkable, regardless of race, and whose vitality, guile, and charm led him from Mississippi to Moscow, with plenty of adventures along the way. . . . Alexandrov transports the reader to an exotic era. Some of the most memorable parts of Thomas's life story lie in the incidental grace notes that add color to the lands through which he traveled." —The Daily Beast
"It is a testament to Thomas’s unlikely success in Moscow, but also to Alexandrov’s frisson-inducing account of myriad adventures along the way, that The Black Russian emerges as deeply satisfying despite its subject’s woebegone end. . . . By its very nature, the victory of an underdog has a restorative effect on flagging enthusiasm in life’s opportunities. And what triumph against the odds could prove more rousing than that of Frederick Bruce Thomas . . . [who] becomes the king of nightlife?" —Brooklyn Rail
"A compelling narrative of [a] powerful and complex man." —Shelf Awareness
"Although Alexandrov constructed this vessel with sturdy timbers of historical research, it sails lightly on a swift narrative current that transports us from Reconstruction Mississippi to Memphis, New York City, London, Paris, Moscow and, finally, Constantinople. . . . Alexandrov excels at recreating the various worlds Thomas inhabited—from his restricted existence during Reconstruction to his glittering fast-lane life on the Continent. . . . What [Thomas’s] life illustrates, as Alexandrov skillfully and gracefully shows, is that when people are unshackled from slaveries—of whatever sort—freedom's buoyancy can lift them to surprising heights, can offer miraculous views." —Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A remarkable story about a formidable man. A story Alexandrov has uncovered, and masterfully told." —Winnipeg Free Press
"This well-written book is about one of the most fascinating black men of modern times. Like Jack Johnson, Frederick Thomas was a brilliant, proud and ambitious black man who experienced the heights of success and the depths of failure—in a foreign land. Don't miss this masterful work!" —Cornel West, author of Race Matters
"In The Black Russian, Vladimir Alexandrov provides a powerful counter-narrative to the conventional Great Migration story of southern blacks migrating North en masse in the decades after the Civil War. He tells instead the tale of Frederick Bruce Thomas, son of a slave, who left the United States to hopscotch through Europe, proceeding from London south to the Riviera and then east to Moscow, before ending his days in Constantinople. Armed with a single but formidable skill—that of southern hospitality—Thomas progressed from waiting tables to serving as maitre d'hotel in fancy restaurants, to opening his own glitzy night clubs. In assembling the facts of Thomas's story, Alexandrov relates in vivid detail the political, financial, and emotional highs and lows of this man's incredible life." —Carla L. Peterson, author of Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City
"As a reader, I found myself fascinated by this well-written story. As a writer, I found myself envious of Vladimir Alexandrov for having discovered such a remarkable man whose life, both triumphant and tragic, spans continents, wars and a revolution—and whom no one seems to have noticed before. An extraordinary and gripping book." —Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
"A spirited tale of bucking the tides of history, every bit as colorful as it seems improbable." —Stacy Schiff, author of Cleopatra: A Life, a New York Times Book Review Top 10 Books of the Year
"A fascinating tale of culture clash and historical change, researched with energy and written with verve." —Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the international best-seller, Gulag: A History
"In The Black Russian, Vladimir Alexandrov tells the keenly researched and vividly written story of one of the more extraordinary characters in African-American history. Alexandrov deftly brings to life the succession of complex milieus in the United States, France, Russia, and Turkey in which Frederick Bruce Thomas achieved both his improbable successes and his haunting defeats. This is a tale to remember." —Arnold Rampersad, author of Ralph Ellison: A Biography
"As the granddaughter of a family that escaped from Russia because of the Bolshevik Revolution, I read The Black Russian in one sitting. Vladimir Alexandrov has done more than tell the story of a forgotten man, he has woven a fascinating tapestry of Moscow life before the October Revolution. The reader is offered a unique front-row seat to Moscow's Pre-Revolutionary beau monde and a hair-raising escape days before the Bolshevik takeover. Frederick Thomas’s unlikely ascent from Mississippi farmboy to Moscow impresario is a surprising tale with those most American of themes: tenacity and self-invention." —Olga Andreyev Carlisle, author of Solzhenitsyn and the Secret Circle
"That truth is ever stranger than fiction is underscored by the story of Frederick Bruce Thomas. The highs and lows of Thomas's unlikely life journey are skillfully unfurled by Vladimir Alexandrov." —Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, author of A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons
"Hang on for the ride of a lifetime. With the verve of a novelist, historian Alexandrov takes one on an adventure through pre-war Mississippi, London, Paris, Tsarist Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution, ending up in decadent Constantinople." —John Bailey, author of The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans
In store book signing with Tessa Afshar and "Harvest of Gold"on Saturday July 27 from 12 - 2pm at Bank Square Books.
The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has
married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did
not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah
has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still
Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius
remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him,
particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the
walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a
journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled
with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the
hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?
A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.
Join us for a luncheon at the Mystic Arts Center with with Maggie Shipstead (for the paperback
of SEATING ARRANGEMENTS) and J. Courtney Sullivan (for the hardcover of THE ENGAGEMENTS) on Tuesday July 30 from 12 - 2pm.
A San Francisco Chronicle and Daily Candy Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction
Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize
The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to the impeccably appropriate Greyson Duff. The weekend is full of champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust stir beneath the surface.
Winn Van Meter, father of the bride, is not having a good time. Barred from the exclusive social club he’s been eyeing since birth, he’s also tormented by an inappropriate crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid, Agatha, and the fear that his daughter, Livia—recently heartbroken by the son of his greatest rival—is a too-ready target for the wiles of Greyson’s best man. When old resentments, a beached whale and an escaped lobster are added to the mix, the wedding that should have gone off with military precision threatens to become a spectacle of misbehavior.
About Maggie Shipstead
Maggie Shipstead was born in 1983 and grew up in Orange County, California. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, VQR, Glimmer Train, The Best American Short Stories, and other publications. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.
From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage—about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years—forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love—the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding—beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings—and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.
As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.
A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way—for better or for worse—these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love.
About J. Courtney Sullivan
J. Courtney Sullivan is the author of the New York Times best-selling novels Commencement and Maine. Maine was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine and a Washington Post Notable Book for 2011. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and New York magazine, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
$55 includes copies of both books as well as a light lunch including wine or sparkling water.