Mitford's Lord's Chapel seats barely two hundred souls, yet millions of Jan Karon's fans will be there for the most joyful event in years: The wedding of Father Time Kavanagh and Cynthia Coppersmith. Here at last is A Common Life, and the long-awaited answers to these deeply probing questions: Will Father Time fall apart when he takes his vows? Will Cynthia make it to the church on time? Who'll arrange the flowers and bake the wedding cake? And will Uncle Billy's prayers for a great joke be answered in time for the reception? All the beloved Mitford characters will be there: Dooley Barlowe, Miss Sadie and Louella, Emma Newland, the mayor; in short, everybody who's anybody in the little town with the big heart. A Common Life is the perfect gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, anniversaries, and for a bride or groom to give their beloved. In truth, it's perfect for anyone who believes in laughter, relies on hope, and celebrates love. Jan Karon says she writes "to give readers an extended family, and to applaud the extraordinary beauty of ordinary people living ordinary lives."
In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet Father Tim, the bachelor rector who yearns for something more, suddenly finds he has more than he can handle. His life is turned upside down with the appearance of a very large dog, a charming and attractive new neighbor, and a lovable but unloved boy named Dooley. Seemingly overnight, Father Tim's quiet life isn't so quiet. Heartfelt and moving, this is the book where it all began.
From New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes The Wedding Chapel. A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation. For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss. Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, to make a new life for herself in New York. She had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement—then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her. Taking a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, Taylor is thrown back into a past of family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. When Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth the wait.
There was never any question that Deirdre and Desmond Doyle would celebrate a gala twenty-fifth anniversary. Naturally, their daughter Anna, would plan their grand affair. Of all three Doyle children, Anna knew exactly what their mother wished—even as she lived her own secret life. Will Brendan, the rebellious son, even bother to return to London? Will Helen, the hapless would-be nun, embarrass them all? This is Deirdre’s day, a triumph for a woman obsessed with keeping up appearances, her silvery revenge after “marrying down” twenty-five years ago. She’s determined to show them all: the maid of honor, still unmarried, still gorgeous, now a successful London business woman…the best man, once Desmond’s close friend, now his boss…their reluctant priest, who harbors his own guilty secret. As family and friends gather, a lifetime of lies takes its toll. But what begins as a family charade brings with it the transforming power of love—and truth. From the Paperback edition.
In her final novel, Dorothy West offers an intimate glimpse into African American middle class. Set on bucolic Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s, The Wedding tells the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's black bourgeoisie. Within this inner circle of "blue-vein society," we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from "a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions." Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community. With elegant, luminous prose, Dorothy West crowns her literary career by illustrating one family's struggle to break the shackles of race and class.
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People “Compelling.” —The Washington Post “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
Restless with his retirement, Father Tim, accompanied by Cynthia, gears up for a year-long ministry across the state line, but a series of events sends shock waves throughout the town of Mitford and through Father Tim's faith.
A New York Times Notable Book of 2011 A Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Book of 2011 A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Best Fiction of 2011 Title One of Library Journal's Best Books of 2011 A Salon Best Fiction of 2011 title One of The Telegraph's Best Fiction Books of the Year 2011 It's the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine tries to understand why "it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France," real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy—suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old "friend" Mitchell Grammaticus—who's been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange—resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate. Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can't escape the secret responsible for Leonard's seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love. Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.
Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize “Brave...Brilliant...This is a book that makes one kneel before the elegance of the human spirit and the yearning that is at the essence of every life.” —The New York Times Book Review "One of the best books I have read in years." —Colm Toibin Two and a half decades into a devastating civil war, Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority is pushed inexorably towards the coast by the advancing army. Amongst the evacuees is Dinesh, whose world has contracted to a makeshift camp where time is measured by the shells that fall around him like clockwork. Alienated from family, home, language, and body, he exists in a state of mute acceptance, numb to the violence around him, till he is approached one morning by an old man who makes an unexpected proposal: that Dinesh marry his daughter, Ganga. Marriage, in this world, is an attempt at safety, like the beached fishing boat under which Dinesh huddles during the bombings. As a couple, they would be less likely to be conscripted to fight for the rebels, and less likely to be abused in the case of an army victory. Thrust into this situation of strange intimacy and dependence, Dinesh and Ganga try to come to terms with everything that has happened, hesitantly attempting to awaken to themselves and to one another before the war closes over them once more. Anuk Arudpragasam’s The Story of a Brief Marriage is a feat of extraordinary sensitivity and imagination, a meditation on the fundamental elements of human existence—eating, sleeping, washing, touching, speaking—that give us direction and purpose, even as the world around us collapses. Set over the course of a single day and night, this unflinching debut confronts marriage and war, life and death, bestowing on its subjects the highest dignity, however briefly.
In These High, Green Hills we're once again in Mitford, a southern village of local characters so heartwarming and hilarious you'll wish you lived right next door. At last, Mitford's rector and lifelong bachelor, Father Tim, has married his talented and vivacious neighbor, Cynthia. Now, of course, they must face love's challenges: new sleeping arrangements for Father Tim's sofa-sized dog, Cynthia's urge to decorate the rectory Italian-villa-style, and the growing pains of the thrown-away boy who's become like a son to the rector. Add a life-changing camping trip, the arrival of the town's first policewoman, and a new computer that requires the patience of a saint, and you know you're in for another engrossing visit to Mitford -- the little town that readers everywhere love to call home. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes The Wedding Shop. Two women separated by decades. Both set out to help others find their dreams when their own have crumbled. It's the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman ?after having inherited her great aunt's wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her his bride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet. ?More than eighty years later, former ?Air Force Captain Haley Morgan has returned home to Heart's Bend after finishing her commitment to military service. After the devastating death of her best friend, Tammy, and discovering the truth about the man she loved, Haley is searching for her place in life. When Haley decides to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop where she and Tammy played and dreamed as children, she begins a journey of courage, mystery, and love. As Cora’s and ?Haley's stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love.
A heartfelt fiction debut that will appeal to fans of Emily Giffin’s Southern charm and Jennifer Weiner’s compelling, emotionally resonant novels about the frustrations of blood ties, Cancel the Wedding follows one woman’s journey to discover the secrets of her mother’s hidden past—and confront her own uncertain future. On the surface, Olivia has it all: a high-powered career, a loving family, and a handsome fiancé. She even seems to be coming to terms with her mother Jane’s premature death from cancer. But when Jane’s final wish is revealed, Olivia and her elder sister Georgia are mystified. Their mother rarely spoke of her rural Southern hometown, and never went back to visit—so why does she want them to return to Huntley, Georgia, to scatter her ashes? Jane’s request offers Olivia a temporary escape from the reality she’s long been denying: she hates her “dream” job, and she’s not really sure she wants to marry her groom-to-be. With her 14-year-old niece, Logan, riding shotgun, she heads South on a summer road trip looking for answers about her mother. As Olivia gets to know the town’s inhabitants, she begins to peel back the secrets of her mother’s early life—truths that force her to finally question her own future. But when Olivia is confronted with a tragedy and finds an opportunity to right a terrible wrong, will it give her the courage to accept her mother’s past—and say yes to her own desire to start over?