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Joanna Briscoe. Bloomsbury, $15 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-60819-483-4
A children's book author excavates her past in Briscoe's taut follow-up to Sleep with Me. Cecilia Bannon returns to her childhood home on the English moor with her husband and children to care for her mother, Dora. The novel moves back and forth from the current story to the 1970s, when Dora moved to the country, hoping for a life of bohemian freedom and artistic expression for her children, an ideal that takes shape at Hayes House, the local progressive school. But Cecilia's English teacher, James Dahl, has a different lesson in store for the girl, and his indulgence in her school girl crush leads to a very real pregnancy that ends with an informal adoption. Back in the present, Cecilia, now a mother to three girls, is so haunted by having given up her first daughter that she embarks on a mission to find her, though what she discovers isn't at all what she expected. Briscoe depicts this world of few rules and many consequences with honesty and with compassion. In lucid, observant prose, she captures the messiness of family and, crushingly, the consequences of desire. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-60819-683-8
Paperback - 357 pages - 978-0-7475-9899-2
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4088-1992-0
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4088-2192-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4640-3298-1
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