cover image The Peacock Emporium

The Peacock Emporium

Jojo Moyes. Penguin, $16 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2233-5

Moyes moves forward from her Me Before You trilogy with an emotionally luscious, freestanding novel about generations of mothers and daughters navigating grief and the satisfaction of self-discovery. Suzanna Peacock lives in a small town in Suffolk near the estate of the family from whom she has estranged herself, and struggles with an unsettled marriage and pressure to have a baby. Despite her awkwardness with people, she opens a quirky coffee and curio shop. A young mother in an abusive relationship and an Argentinian male midwife become her close friends at the shop, but she keeps even from them her inner turmoil about her relationships to her missing birth mother, wild debutante Athene Forster, and to Vivi Fairley-Hulme, the mother who raised her. Moyes moves back and forth though the timeline to tell Suzanne and Vivi’s stories with profound sympathy. Though this is not a romance novel like Moyes’s previous works, it maintains their legacy of diving into the emotions of desire and connection, and a spirit of optimism and setting the world right. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Apr.)