In Alice Munro's superb collection, we find stories about women of all ages and circumstances, their lives made palpable by the subtlety and empathy of this incomparable writer. Throughout this compelling collection, Munro's understanding of the people about whom she writes makes them as vivid as our own neighbors. Here are the infinite betrayals and surprises of love between men and women, between friends, between parents and children that are the stuff of all our lives. It is Alice Munro's special gift to make these stories as vivid and real as our own.
Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and lover. She has instead become the "woman upstairs," a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her life arrive the glamorous and cosmopolitan Shahids--her new student Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale, and his parents: Skandar, a dashing Lebanese professor who has come to Boston for a fellowship at Harvard, and Sirena, an effortlessly alluring Italian artist. When Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies, Nora is drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family; she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora's happiness explodes her boundaries, and she discovers in herself an unprecedented ferocity--one that puts her beliefs and her sense of self at stake. Told with urgency, intimacy and piercing emotion, this brilliant novel of passion and artistic fulfillment explores the intensity, thrill--and the devastating cost--of embracing an authentic life.
This year's Literary Legend at the Florida Heritage Book Festival is best-selling author, Robin Cook. In celebration of this event, we are letting book club members choose any of his titles to read for this month's book discussion. Dr. Cook debuted his first medical thriller, Coma, in 1977, and since then, he has written more than 30 others, becoming recognized worldwide as the master of the medical thriller genre. In 2002, he was awarded the "Author of Vision" distinction from the RP International organization, and in 2004, President George W. Bush appointed him to the Woodrow Wilson Board of Trustees. Wesleyan University honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1982 and the McConaughy Award in 2012 for his writing.