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|Liss's first novel, A Conspiracy of Paper, was sketched on the wide canvas of 18th-century London's multilayered society. This one, in contrast, is set in the confined world of 17th-century Amsterdam's immigrant Jewish community. Liss makes up the difference in scale with ease, establishing suspense early on. Miguel Lienzo escaped the Inquisition in Portugal and lives by his wits trading commodities. He honed his skills in deception during years of hiding his Jewish identity in Portugal, so he finds it easy to engage in the evasions and bluffs necessary for a trader on Amsterdam's stock exchange. While he wants to retain his standing in the Jewish community, he finds it increasingly difficult to abide by the draconian dictates of the Ma'amad, the ruling council. Which is all the more reason not to acknowledge his longing for his brother's wife, with whom he now lives, having lost all his money in the sugar trade. Miguel is delighted when a sexy Dutch widow enlists him as partner in a secret scheme to make a killing on "coffee fruit," an exotic bean little known to Europeans in 1659. But she may not be as altruistic as she seems. Soon Miguel is caught in a web of intricate deals, while simultaneously fending off a madman desperate for money, and an enemy who uses the Ma'amad to make Miguel an outcast. Each player in this complex thriller has a hidden agenda, and the twists and turns accelerate as motives gradually become clear. There's a central question, too: When men manipulate money for a living, are they then inevitably tempted to manipulate truth and morality?|
My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay
Expecting #2 in May 2013!
Originally Posted by Bufomander
about blink -- i thought all the anecdotes were interesting just for their own sake. Yeah, i don't know. is his main point that we should pay more attention to our first instincts/reactions?
Originally Posted by benjalo
I guess, except he spends at least half of the book giving stories about times when the first response was wrong. Well, my dp wanted me to read it, so I did. Have you read the other one he wrote that was a bestseller? I think The Tipping Point? I'm not tempted, based on Blink.
|With superb craftsmanship, effortlessly suspenseful pacing, and tenderly observed insight, Lily King expertly limns the life of an independent single mother and her fifteen-year-old son, who is on a circuitous path toward a truth she has long concealed from him. Fifteen years ago Vida Avery arrived alone and pregnant at elite Fayer Academy. By living on campus, on an island off the New England coast, Vida has cocooned herself and her son, Peter, from the outside world and from an inside secret. For years she has lived largely through the books she teaches, but when she accepts the impulsive marriage proposal of ardent widower Tom Belou, the prescribed life Vida has constructed is swiftly dismantled. As Vida begins teaching her signature book, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, a tale of an ostracized woman and social injustice, its themes begin to echo eerily in her own life and Peter sees that the mother he perceived as indomitable is collapsing and it is up to him to help. The English Teacher is a passionate tale of a mother and son’s vital bond and a provocative look at our notions of intimacy, honesty, loyalty, family, and the real meaning of home.|
|Each morning, Bhima, a domestic servant in contemporary Bombay, leaves her own small shanty in the slums to tend to another woman's house. In Sera Dubash's home, Bhima scrubs the floors of a house in which she remains an outsider. She cleans furniture she is not permitted to sit on. She washes glasses from which she is not allowed to drink. Yet despite being separated from each other by blood and class, she and Sera find themselves bound by gender and shared life experiences.
Sera is an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage. A widow, she devotes herself to her family, spending much of her time caring for her pregnant daughter, Dinaz, a kindhearted, educated professional, and her charming and successful son-in-law, Viraf.
Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. Cursed by fate, she sacrifices all for her beautiful, headstrong granddaughter, Maya, a university student whose education -- paid for by Sera -- will enable them to escape the slums. But when an unwed Maya becomes pregnant by a man whose identity she refuses to reveal, Bhima's dreams of a better life for her granddaughter, as well as for herself, may be shattered forever.
Poignant and compelling, evocative and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India and witnessed through two compelling and achingly real women, the novel shows how the lives of the rich and the poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and vividly captures how the bonds of womanhood are pitted against the divisions of class and culture.
Originally Posted by Quillian
I thought I was becoming a fan of Alexander McCall Smith but I just could not slog through 44 Scotland Street. I hate not finishing a book once I start reading but life is too short to read something you don't enjoy-right? I will try more #1 ladies Detective Agency reads though.
|Thirty-year-old Temple Barr, Las Vegas PR whiz and amateur sleuth, goes undercover as 19-year-old Xoe Chloe Ozone on a reality TV show, Teen Idol, in Douglas's 17th Midnight Louie caper (after 2004's Cat in an Orange Twist), one of the stronger, leaner entries in this crime-solving cat series. Declining to compete for Teen Pet Idol, feline PI Midnight Louie decides to help Temple protect homicide lieutenant C.R. Molina's 13-year-old daughter, Mariah, who's competing for the Tween division title, from a stalker. Held at a spooky mansion, scene of an old unsolved crime, the contest features eccentric judges, Paris Hilton wannabes, a ghostly Elvis and witty reflections on beauty/reality showbiz. Amid multiple murders, Douglas hints at complications to come for Molina as she deals with a new admirer and her ex-lover, Mariah's dad. Meanwhile, Temple struggles to resolve a deliciously romantic dilemma that should thrill fans of Matt, the divine ex-priest, and worry devotees of her other major suitor, Mystifying Max, "stage magician on hiatus."|
Originally Posted by benjalo
lish, THANKS!! The Space Between Us sounds right up my alley and I'm dying for some good fiction right now.
eta DANG : The library has ordered a copy but I'm going to have to wait. Grrr.
Anyone want to help me with good fiction? I tend to like Asian/Indian historical fiction, am open to good YA books, basically an well-written novel that isn't overly violent or full of bad stuff happening to kids (pregnancy sensitivity). I don't really get into fluff.
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