Stephanie Kallos, Author . Grove $24 (384p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1779-3

"The dead, Margaret thought. They can be so loud ." So muses the protagonist of this dreamy, powerful tale of familial warring, secrets and redemption. When elderly Margaret Hughes discovers that she has a malignant brain tumor, she refuses treatment and decides to take a nice young tenant into her huge, lonely Seattle mansion for company. What she gets is Wanda Schultz, a tough-as-nails stage manager who is secretly seeking the man who left her and prone to inexplicable weeping breakdowns. Wanda, ignorant of Margaret's illness, is intrigued by the museum-like house and its eccentric owner—so when Margaret unexpectedly invites her to a drink-champagne-and-break-the-priceless-antique-china party for two, she's delighted. But a dark history lurks; the houseful of gorgeous antique porcelain comes from Margaret's father's WWII pilfering of European Jewish homes. Meanwhile, Wanda's father, who deserted her years ago, is on the road trying to heal, and Margaret's mother's ghost is haunting the Seattle mansion, lounging about in expensive peignoirs and criticizing her only daughter. Wrestling to keep the dead and the ghosts of their pasts at bay, the two women slowly build an extraordinary friendship, and when Wanda discovers a talent for mosaics, the past begins to quiet. Though it takes a while to get started, this haunting and memorable debut is reminiscent of early Atwood, peopled by lovably imperfect and eccentric characters. Agent, Simon Lipskar at Writer's House. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/12/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 526 pages - 978-1-58547-984-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4332-6831-1
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7861-3423-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-2869-3
Paperback - 373 pages - 978-0-8021-4210-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-2905-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7861-8245-9
Compact Disc - 11 pages - 978-0-7861-8343-2
MP3 CD - 978-0-7861-8403-3
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-55584-657-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4551-0496-3
Show other formats
Discover what to read next