WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival 2014
New and Recently Released!
Lucky us: a novel by Amy BloomAbandoned by her mother as soon as she's introduced to the half-sister she never knew she had, 12-year-old Eva Logan clings to 16-year-old Iris Acton and their bigamist father, a recently widowed college professor. Iris is beautiful, popular, and determined to become a movie star; Eva is shy, smart, and desperate to keep her new family intact. When Iris flees their Ohio hometown and heads for Hollywood, Eva tags along. Together, the young women embark on a series of adventures that take them across the United States (and back again) during the Great Depression, World War II, and beyond.
The fortune hunter: a novel by Daisy GoodwinBrighter than the world-famous Lennox diamonds that are her birthright, heiress Charlotte Baird is more interested in the new medium of photography than the time-honored tradition of marriage - until she meets the dashing Captain Bay Middleton. The finest equestrian in 1875 England, Middleton lacks the pedigree to wed an heiress as well as the funds to fulfill his lifelong dream of winning the Grand National. Although instantly drawn to each other, Charlotte and Bay's budding courtship is threatened by the arrival of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, an accomplished horsewoman who capture's Bay's attention. As in Daisy Goodwin's previous novel, My Last Duchess, the Gilded Age provides the stage for a dramatic love triangle set against the backdrop of high society.
Wars of the roses: stormbird by Conn IgguldenWhen 22-year-old Henry VI, scion of the House of Lancaster, takes the throne of England in 1437, the rival House of York sees an opportunity to unseat the gentle, pious king known as "the Lamb." Especially once Henry agrees to trade certain British territories to France in exchange for a royal bride, Margaret of Anjou, and a truce between their constantly warring nations. This opening installment of the Wars of the Roses series combines the intricate dynastic politics of Sharon Kay Penman's historical sagas and the fast-paced, visceral military action of Bernard Cornwell's novels.
Euphoria: a novel by Lily KingWhen renowned but controversial American anthropologist Nell Stone arrives in 1930s Papua New Guinea with her husband and colleague Fen, they find a willing guide and assistant in Andrew Bankson, an English linguist studying the isolated Kiona tribe while recovering from a failed suicide attempt. As the three collaborate on their research, Bankson's growing obsession with Nell adds further strain to her marriage to Fen, who's already threatened by his wife's greater fame and professional reputation. Loosely based on the lives and careers of anthropologist Margaret Mead and her second and third husbands, Euphoria is an atmospheric and richly detailed glimpse of a bygone time and place.
No country: a novel by Kalyan RayBeginning in 1843, this sweeping family saga spans both continents and generations. Fleeing trouble in Dublin, Irish freedom fighter Padraig Aherne boards a ship bound for Calcutta, leaving behind his pregnant lover, Brigid. While Padraig prospers in India, his best friend Brendan adopt's Brigid's child and later emigrates with her to Canada when the potato famine devastates their homeland. Before their fates converge, each character's actions set in motion a series of events whose repercussions will daunt all of the far-flung branches of this unusual family, culminating in a present-day homicide case.
Lords of the two lands by Pauline GedgeTo liberate Egypt from the Hyksos pharaohs, Seqenenre Tao and his sons, Kamose and Ahmose - who rule over the still independent kingdom of Weset - take steps to drive the foreigners out and usher in a new dynasty, the Eighteenth, which will become known throughout the world as the New Kingdom. Don't miss this book or its sequels if you enjoy meticulously researched and richly detailed novels of ancient Egypt and the individuals who shaped its history.
Out of the black land: a mystery by Kerry GreenwoodUnexpectedly elevated to the rank of Great Royal Scribe, peasant boy Ptah-hotep serves the pharaoh Akhnaten -- formerly Amenhotep IV -- who has renounced Egypt's traditional pantheon in favor of the sun god Aten. Meanwhile, Ptah-hotep's lover Kheperren enters the employ of General Horemheb and observes his master's attempts to defend the Black Land. But invaders present only one threat to the realm's survival: at court, Queen Nefertiti conspires with her sister Mutnodjme to conceive a royal heir whom she can pass off as the child of her sterile husband, even as opponents of the pharaoh's religious reforms plot to end his reign. Out of the Black Land is an intricate, suspenseful study of the political machinations and courtly intrigue of Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty.
Ramses: the son of light by Christian JacqWhen 14-year-old Ramses, second son of the pharaoh Seti, decides that he'll be his father's successor, he begins a bitter rivalry with his elder brother, Shaanar. Even betrayal by those closest to Ramses cannot diminish the young man's desire to rule Egypt or distract him from his royal ambitions. The Son of Light is the 1st book in the five-volume Ramses series. For a more female-oriented yet similarly detailed and atmospheric evocation of this tumultuous period of ancient Egyptian history, check out Michelle Moran's The Heretic Queen, which describes the unexpected rise to power of Ramses' wife, Nefertari.
Akhenaten, dweller in truth: a novel by Naguib Mahfouz; translated by Tagreid Abu-Hassabo Twenty years after the death of Akhenaten, budding historian Meriamum interviews those who knew the "heretic pharaoh" in an effort to understand the ruler whose unsuccessful attempt to replace Egypt's traditional deities with his own unique brand of monotheism made him a deeply divisive figure. However, as he talks to Akhenaten's most intimate associates - from childhood friends to lovers to bitter enemies - Meriamum soon discovers that truth is relative. Was he a religious zealot? A canny politician? Or something else entirely? Originally published in 1985 in Arabic, this novel by Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz presents 14 overlapping yet contradictory biographical portraits of a complex man and a controversial ruler.
River god by Wilbur SmithSet during the Hyksos invasion of Egypt, this fast-paced and dramatic novel is narrated by the eunuch Taita, who serves both as a slave to noblewoman Lostris and as a spy for her father, Grand Vizier Lord Intef. Although Lostris loves soldier Tanus, Lord Intef devises a plan to marry her off to Pharaoh Mamose; Taita, as canny as he is devoted to his mistress, subsequently counters Intef's move with a scheme to pass off Lostris' son by Tanus as the legitimate heir to the throne. River God is the opening volume of Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series. Taita's adventures continue in The Seventh Scroll, Warlock, and The Quest.
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