NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The story of four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been the Whitshank family's anchor.It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon ..." This is how Abby Whitshank always describes the day she fell in love with Red in July 1959. From Red's parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, the Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets.
- ISBN-13: 9780553394399
- ISBN-10: 0553394398
- Publisher: Vintage
- Publish Date: April 2016
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.65 pounds
- Page Count: 368
Book Clubs: Scout comes home
Harper Lee’s second published novel, Go Set a Watchman, is available in paperback this month after igniting considerable controversy—and record-setting sales—when it was released in hardcover last year. The recently discovered novel offers an unsettling portrait of the Finch family, whom readers first met in Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. Written in the mid-1950s and simmering with the racial and political tensions of that time, Go Set a Watchman portrays Jean Louise Finch (aka Scout) as a 26-year-old who has come back to Maycomb, Alabama, from New York City to visit her father, Atticus. The return home proves to be a melancholy affair, as Jean Louise makes troubling discoveries about her family, community and the people she loves the most. As the past floods into the present, and Jean Louise looks back on her childhood, she finds herself questioning the truths and beliefs that provided the foundation for her life. Reading groups will find much to discuss in Lee’s story of a young woman struggling to make sense of a world in flux.
BEHIND THE LENS
A mesmerizing blend of image and text, Sally Mann’s memoir, Hold Still, is in a class by itself. In this luminous, forthright narrative, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the acclaimed photographer shares the story of her Southern childhood, tracks her evolution as an artist and looks back on her experiences as a wife and mother of three. From the dramatic accident that almost killed her young son, Emmett, to the uproar caused by the photographs of her children in the book Immediate Family (1992), Mann provides insights into her personal life and her aesthetic, which are tightly intertwined. Punctuating Mann’s fluid narration are her own arresting images—photographs of her homestead in Virginia, family portraits old and new and scenes of the South. As precisely composed as one of her photos, this intimate memoir is a must-read for Mann’s many fans and a work that’s sure to inspire up-and-coming creatives, no matter the medium. Filled with quotes, notes, letters and other ephemera, it’s a fascinating scrapbook from the life of an elusive artist.
TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
Beloved author Anne Tyler offers another poignant, true-to-life domestic drama in A Spool of Blue Thread. Spanning seven decades, this richly detailed novel tells the story of the Whitshank family, whose center is 72-year-old Abby. Married to Red, with whom she has raised four children, Abby looks back on the early days of her romance with him in the late 1950s, before they moved into their Baltimore home, a large, rambling house that seems to take on a life of its own as the novel unfolds. In this compelling family epic, readers will find many of the qualities they’ve come to treasure in Tyler’s work—a sense of compassion, a flair for comedy and an unforgettable cast of characters that includes college-dropout Denny, the Whitshanks’ directionless son. Tyler’s 20th novel is the work of a writer at the height of her powers.