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With “incantatory prose” that “sweeps over the reader like a dream,” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Hoffman follows her celebrated bestseller The Probable Future, with an evocative work that traces the lives of the various occupants of an old Massachusetts house over a span of two hundred years. In a rare and gorgeous departure, beloved novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a web of tales, all set in Blackbird House. This small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod is a place that is as bewitching and alive as the characters we meet: Violet, a brilliant girl who is in love with books and with a man destined to betray her; Lysander Wynn, attacked by a halibut as big as a horse, certain that his life is ruined until a boarder wearing red boots arrives to change everything; Maya Cooper, who does not understand the true meaning of the love between her mother and father until it is nearly too late. From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to our own modern world, family after family’s lives are inexorably changed, not only by the people they love but by the lives they lead inside Blackbird House. These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual. Inside Blackbird House more than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our lives. The past both dissipates and remains contained inside the rooms of Blackbird House, where there are terrible secrets, inspired beauty, and, above all else, a spirit of coming home. From the writer Time has said tells "truths powerful enough to break a reader’s heart” comes a glorious travelogue through time and fate, through loss and love and survival. Welcome to Blackbird House.
Book Harlem's Little Blackbird Description/Summary:
From Caldecott Honor winner Christian Robinson and acclaimed author Renee Watson, comes the inspiring true story of Florence Mills. Born to parents who were both former slaves, Florence Mills knew at an early age that she loved to sing, and that her sweet, bird-like voice, resonated with those who heard her. Performing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired everyone from songwriters to playwrights. Yet with all her success, she knew firsthand how prejudice shaped her world and the world of those around her. As a result, Florence chose to support and promote works by her fellow black performers while heralding a call for their civil rights. Featuring a moving text and colorful illustrations, Harlem's Little Blackbird is a timeless story about justice, equality, and the importance of following one's heart and dreams. A CARTER G. WOODSON ELEMENTARY HONOR BOOK (awarded by the National Council for the Social Studies, 2013)
Book The Witch of Blackbird Pond Description/Summary:
In 1687 in Connecticut, Kit Tyler, feeling out of place in the Puritan household of her aunt, befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft.
NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD WINNER A SYDNEY TAYLOR MIDDLE GRADE HONOR BOOK Like Ruta Sepetys for middle grade, Anne Blankman pens a poignant and timeless story of friendship that twines together moments in underexplored history. On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they've wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend's life? Would you risk your own? Told in alternating perspectives among three girls--Valentina and Oksana in 1986 and Rifka in 1941--this story shows that hatred, intolerance, and oppression are no match for the power of true friendship.
With comic brilliance and a delight in the macabre, Michel Basilières holds a fun-house mirror up to a defining moment in Canadian history and reveals, among other things, a family having a very bad year. Holed up in a shambling house at the base of Mount Royal is the family Desouche: three generations of English- and French-Canadians caught in the gears of a national emergency. Their world is dark and hard, but alive with hope and expectation. When one of the eldest, an Anglo Montrealer, dies at the hand of one of the youngest, a militant separatist, so begins a year of turmoil and change that culminates in the October Crisis. Grave-robbing Grandfather consorts with prostitutes and mad scientists, loses an eye and gains a new vision. His disenchanted wife bonds with his canny pet crow. Mother sleeps her grief away through the seasons, while Father ineffectively schemes to get rich quick. Meanwhile, their twin children, Marie and Jean-Baptiste, find their personal ambitions clashing with their public actions as they derail each other at every turn. In this wholly original novel alive with misfortune and magic, Michel Basilières uncovers a Montreal not seen in any other English-Canadian novel: a forgotten blue-collar neighbourhood in between the two solitudes. Gothic, outrageous, yet tender and wise, Black Bird is as liberating as the dreams of its wayward characters, and as gripping as the insurgencies that split its heart.
Alice Hoffman’s most magical novel to date—three generations of extraordinary women are driven to unite in crisis and discover the rewards of reconciliation and love. Women of the Sparrow family have unusual gifts. Elinor can detect falsehood. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people’s dreams when they sleep. Granddaughter Stella has a mental window on the future—a future that she might not want to see. In The Probable Future this vivid and intriguing cast of characters confronts a haunting past—and a very current murder—against the evocative backdrop of small-town New England. By turns chilling and enchanting, The Probable Future chronicles the Sparrows’s legacy as young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance. Her potential to ruin or redeem becomes unbearable when one of her premonitions puts her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. Yet this ordeal also leads Stella to the grandmother she was forbidden to meet and to a historic family home full of talismans from her ancestors. Poignant, arresting, unsettling, The Probable Future showcases the lavish literary gifts that have made Alice Hoffman one of America’s most treasured writers. Praise for The Probable Future “A thrilling adventure of literary alchemy . . . A magical, mystical tour de force of pure entertainment.”—The Seattle Times “Delicious . . . Hoffman is an unapologetic optimist, and optimism is in short supply these days. It feels like a vacation to curl up with [The Probable Future].”—The New York Times Book Review “Instantly alluring . . . A mysterious, modern-day fairy tale . . . Hoffman is an amazingly talented writer with a beautiful sense of sentence construction, an intriguing imagination, and the ability to create compelling, complex characters that readers care about.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram “Hoffman’s ethereal tale of a family of women with supernatural gifts is a magical escape, grounded in the complex relationships between mothers and daughters.”—Marie Claire
They call themselves the Blackbirds. Kwanzaa, Indigo, Destiny and Erica, four best friends who would go to the ends of the earth for one another. Yet even their deep bond can't heal all, as the women struggle with their own personal demons, drama and steamy desire. As the women try to overcome their impulses, they find not only themselves tested, but the one thing they always considered unbreakable: their friendship.
Future rock star or friendless misfit? That’s no choice at all. In this acclaimed novel, twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers; and with following her dreams. Publishers Weekly called Blackbird Fly “a true triumph,” and the Los Angeles Times Book Review said, “Apple soars like the eponymous blackbird of her favorite Beatles song.” Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods and chastises Apple for becoming “too American.” When Apple’s friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show her how special she really is. Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple’s conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way. “A must-read for those kids cringing at their own identities.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.
Book One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow Description/Summary:
From the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier. Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn't think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse. Losing her husband to Cora's indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family--to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There's Nettie Mae's son, Clyde--no longer a boy, but not yet a man--who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora's daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home. Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other--or else risk losing everything they hold dear.
From the author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Rules of Magic comes a transfixing glimpse into a small American town where a mysterious, magical garden holds the truth behind three hundred years of passion, dark secrets, loyalty, and redemption. “[A] dreamy, fabulist series of connected stories . . . [These] tales, with their tight, soft focus on America, cast their own spell.”—The Washington Post The Red Garden introduces us to the luminous and haunting world of Blackwell, Massachusetts, capturing the unexpected turns in its history and in our own lives. From the town's founder, a brave young woman from England who has no fear of blizzards or bears, to the young man who runs away to New York City with only his dog for company, the characters in The Red Garden are extraordinary and vivid: a young wounded Civil War soldier who is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman who meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet who falls in love with a blind man, a mysterious traveler who comes to town in the year when summer never arrives. At the center of everyone’s life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look. Beautifully crafted and shimmering with magic, The Red Garden is as unforgettable as it is moving.
Behind the golden stone walls of a village in southwest France, American Merle Bennett finds solace from her grief while renovating her late husband's ancestral home. But things don't go as planned. Soon any calm she feels in her French summer is overshadowed by secrets from the past. A crumbling house, a deranged squatter, unfriendly and violent villagers, a surprise in the garden house -- it makes a girl almost wish for the sleepy suburbs. But Merle can't go home until all is resolved, one way or another.In Blackbird Fly, her first suspense novel, Lise McClendon reveals her love of both the French countryside and the intimacies and drama of family, in a book novelist Jenny Siler calls "heartbreakingly beautiful."
A “wondrous” novel of fear, desire, loss, and discovery on Martha’s Vineyard by the New York Times–bestselling author of Practical Magic and Seventh Heaven (Chicago Tribune). Elizabeth Renny has only made two decisions of consequence in her seventy-plus years. While the first, marrying her husband, had adequate results, the second—deciding she could fly from her bedroom window—is less successful. But her flight sets in motion a series of events that will forever change the lives of six residents of Martha’s Vineyard: a young boy who refuses to grow, a wife stifled by her irrational anxiety, a husband tempted by the unknown, a girl flirting with disaster, a gentle giant tortured by his size, and an old woman with nothing to lose. Praised as “an intelligent novel” by the New York Times and “achingly vivid” by Newsday, Illumination Night is a sparkling and heartbreaking narrative that explores marriage, friendship, youth, yearning, disillusionment, and desire, a book as bright and memorable as the festival of lanterns for which it is named.
An ambitious and mesmerizing novel from the bestselling author of Rules of Magic. The Dovekeepers is “striking….Hoffman grounds her expansive, intricately woven, and deepest new novel in biblical history, with a devotion and seriousness of purpose” (Entertainment Weekly). Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.
Writing at the height of her powers, Alice Hoffman conjures three generations of a family haunted by love. Cool, practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn's polar opposite. Yet the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are bound to bring each other grief. Their difficult marriage leads them and their children to a house made of glass in the Connecticutcountryside, to the avenues ofManhattan, and to the blue waters of Long Island Sound. Glass breaks, love hurts, and families make their own rules. Ultimately, it falls to their grandson, Will, to solve the emotional puzzle of his family and of his own identity.
With the startling emotional immediacy of a fractured family photo album, Jennifer Lauck's incandescent memoir is the story of an ordinary girl growing up at the turn of the 1970s and the truly extraordinary circumstances of a childhood lost. Wrenching and unforgettable, Blackbird will carry your heart away. The house on Mary Street was home to Jennifer; her older brother B.J.; their hardworking father, who smelled like aftershave and read her Snow White; and their mother, who called her little daughter Sunshine and embraced Jackie Kennedy's sense of style. Through a child's eyes, the skies of Carson City were forever blue, and life was perfect -- a world of Barbies, Bewitched, and the Beatles. Even her mother's pain from her mysterious illness could be patted away with hairspray, powder, and a kiss on the cheek....But soon, everything Jennifer has come to love and rely on begins to crumble, sending her on a roller coaster of loss and loneliness. In a world unhinged by tragedy, where beautiful mothers die and families are warped by more than they can bear, a young girl must transcend a landscape of pain and mistreatment to discover her richest resource: her own unshakable will to survive.
The revelation of a long-hidden dark secret about Ethan Ford's true identity and his past threatens to turn a small Massachusetts town upside down as the devastating truth shatters Monroe's small-town peace and tests the bonds between family and friends. By the author of The River King. Reprint.
Book Black Bird of the Gallows Description/Summary:
"A pleasingly original contribution to the paranormal-romance genre.” —Kirkus Reviews A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full. Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human. What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death. Each book in the Black Bird of the Gallows series is STANDALONE: * Cleaner of Bones (Prequel) * Black Bird of the Gallows * Keeper of the Bees
Book The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book Description/Summary:
From the proprietors of the renowned Brooklyn shop and cafe comes the ultimate pie-baking book for a new generation of bakers. Melissa and Emily Elsen, the twenty-something sisters who are proprietors of the wildly popular Brooklyn pie shop and cafe Four & Twenty Blackbirds, have put together a pie-baking book that's anything but humble. This stunning collection features more than 60 delectable pie recipes organized by season, with unique and mouthwatering creations such as Salted Caramel Apple, Green Chili Chocolate, Black Currant Lemon Chiffon, and Salty Honey. There is also a detailed and informative techniques section. Lavishly designed, Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book contains 90 full-color photographs by Gentl & Hyers, two of the most sought-after food photographers working today. With its new and creative recipes, this may not be you mother's cookbook, but it's sure to be one that every baker from novice to pro will turn to again and again.