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Fleishman Is in Trouble

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Fleishman Is in Trouble - Taffy Brodesser-Akner Summary

"Dr. Toby Fleishman wakes up each morning surrounded by women. Women who are self-actualized and independent and know what they want--and, against all odds, what they want is Toby. Who knew what kind of life awaited him once he finally extracted himself from his nightmare of a marriage? Who knew that there were women out there who would actually look at him with softness and desire? But just as the winds of his optimism are beginning to pick up, they're quickly dampened, and then extinguished, when his ex-wife, Rachel, suddenly disappears. Toby thought he knew what to expect when he moved out: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, tense co-parenting negotiations. He never thought that one day Rachel would just drop their children off at his place and never come back. As Toby tries to figure out what happened and what it means, all while juggling his patients at the hospital, his never-ending parental duties, and his new, app-assisted sexual popularity, his tidy narrative of a spurned husband is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to really understand where Rachel went and what really happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen it all that clearly in the first place. A searing, funny, and electric debut from one of the most exciting writers working today, Fleishman Is In Trouble is an exploration of a culture trying to navigate the fault lines of an institution that has proven to be worthy of both our great wariness and our great optimism"--

Fleishman Is in Trouble

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Fleishman Is in Trouble - Taffy Brodesser-Akner Summary

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'This is the novel of the summer . . . There is no one that this book isn't for. I can't believe it's a first novel. Pure brilliance' INDIA KNIGHT, THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Sharp and wicked, insightful and funny, and then suddenly so touching' DAVID NICHOLLS 'This book is a work of utter perfection' ELIZABETH GILBERT Finally free from his nightmare marriage, Toby Fleishman is ready for a life of online dating and weekend-only parental duties. But as he optimistically looks to a future that is wildly different from the one he imagined, his life turns upside-down as his ex-wife, Rachel, suddenly disappears. While Toby tries to find out what happened - juggling work, kids and his new, app-assisted sexual popularity - his tidy narrative of a spurned husband is his sole consolation. But if he ever wants to really understand where Rachel went and what really happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen it all that clearly in the first place . . . A BLISTERING SATIRICAL NOVEL ABOUT MARRIAGE, DIVORCE AND MODERN RELATIONSHIPS, BY ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING NEW VOICES IN AMERICAN FICTION 'So sharp' GUARDIAN 'The most astonishingly brilliant Trojan horse of a novel' DOLLY ALDERTON 'Wonderful. Utterly blistering . . . A wildly entertaining, moving story' MARIAN KEYES 'Brimming with wisdom and utterly of this moment . . . Taffy Brodesser-Akner's debut is that rare and delicious treat: a page turner with heft' MARIA SEMPLE 'It is a Great Novel . . . It has depth, wit, nuance and life. Heartbreaking and funny' NIGELLA LAWSON

Fleishman Is in Trouble

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Fleishman Is in Trouble - Taffy Brodesser-Akner Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST • “A feminist jeremiad nested inside a brilliant comic novel—a book that makes you laugh so hard you don’t notice till later that your eyebrows have been singed off.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • The Washington Post • Vogue • NPR • Chicago Tribune • GQ • Vox • Elle • The Guardian • Real Simple • Parade • Good Housekeeping • Marie Claire • Town & Country • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage • BookRiot • Shelf Awareness A finely observed, timely exploration of marriage, divorce, and the bewildering dynamics of ambition from one of the most exciting writers working today Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, in the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return. He had been working so hard to find equilibrium in his single life. The winds of his optimism, long dormant, had finally begun to pick up. Now this. As Toby tries to figure out where Rachel went, all while juggling his patients at the hospital, his never-ending parental duties, and his new app-assisted sexual popularity, his tidy narrative of the spurned husband with the too-ambitious wife is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to truly understand what happened to Rachel and what happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen things all that clearly in the first place. A searing, utterly unvarnished debut, Fleishman Is in Trouble is an insightful, unsettling, often hilarious exploration of a culture trying to navigate the fault lines of an institution that has proven to be worthy of our great wariness and our great hope. Alma’s Best Jewish Novel of the Year “Blisteringly funny, feverishly smart, heartbreaking, and true, Fleishman Is in Trouble is an essential read for anyone who’s wondered how to navigate loving (and hating) the people we choose.”—Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest “From its opening pages, Fleishman Is in Trouble is shrewdly observed, brimming with wisdom, and utterly of this moment. Not until its explosive final pages are you fully aware of its cunning ferocity. Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut is that rare and delicious treat: a page-turner with heft.”—Maria Semple

The Nest: America’s hottest new bestseller

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The Nest: America’s hottest new bestseller - Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney Summary

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ‘I couldn't stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family’ AMY POEHLER ‘A masterfully constructed, darkly comic, and immensely captivating tale...Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney is a real talent’ ELIZABETH GILBERT

The Need

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The Need - Helen Phillips Summary

Molly is exhausted, anxious, losing her grip on reality. Her husband is away and she is running between her children and her job, where things are unravelling. She’s a paleobotanist, working at a fossil quarry, and has recently unearthed artefacts that defy understanding; the coke bottle with the lettering that leans the wrong way, an alternative version of the Bible. Where do these things come from? At home, as dusk falls, she gets jumpy. Are those footsteps out in the hall? What was that noise? She holds her two small children close to her, and tries to pull herself together. But her worlds of work and home are about to collide. She discovers that the stranger in her sitting room knows everything about her life and, as their identity becomes chillingly clear, this intruder makes a demand of Molly that upends everything, forcing her to reckon with her most unspeakable fears. The Need is a gripping, unsettling and stunningly original story that probes deep truths about motherhood, and explores grief, loss and how we treat others. It’s a compulsive, reality-warping novel that makes us rethink our world, and question how far we would go to protect the ones we love.

Us

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Us - David Nicholls Summary

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize David Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together—and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart. Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce. The timing couldn’t be worse. Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests, Connie has planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, and she can’t bring herself to cancel. And maybe going ahead with the original plan is for the best anyway? Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in the marriage, and might even help him to bond with Albie. Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, slyly witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man trying to rescue his relationship with the woman he loves, and learning how to get closer to a son who’s always felt like a stranger. Us is a moving meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the intricate relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls’s gifted hands, Douglas’s odyssey brings Europe—from the streets of Amsterdam to the famed museums of Paris, from the cafés of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona—to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband, or the moment when he turns his marriage, and maybe even his whole life, around?

My Mamma Mia Summer

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My Mamma Mia Summer - Annie Robertson Summary

One summer... One dream... One chance to make it happen. Laurel hasn't taken a risk her whole life. Now as summer dawns, she's going to do something that nobody expects of her. Laurel turns to her ABBA albums and her favourite film, Mamma Mia! She grabs her passport, dons her dungarees, and jets off to Skopelos for her own Meryl-inspired adventure... Laurel books into the faded but charming Villa Athena and befriends its eccentric owner. As she explores the island's famous sights, Laurel finds herself feeling strangely at home. So should she return to her life in London, or could this be where she truly belongs? This summer dust off your passport, pack your best dancing shoes, and escape to Greece on your own Mamma Mia! adventure! The perfect summertime read for fans of Karen Swan, Holly Hepburn and Isabelle Broom. **** Readers are loving My Mamma Mia Summer: 'I LOVED it...this book filled me with joy' 'Full of hope and sunshine...a fun read which has you reaching for the ABBA CDs and booking holidays to Greece!' 'I loved this book...just the thing to get me in the mood for my holiday' 'A vibrant, warm and satisfying read'

A Window Opens

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A Window Opens - Elisabeth Egan Summary

"From the beloved books editor at Glamour magazine comes a heartfelt and painfully funny debut about what happens when a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny--only to learn every opportunity comes at a price. In A Window Opens, Elisabeth Egan brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as "wearing many hats" and wishes you wouldn't, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor, and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker, or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in--and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers--an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life--seems suddenly within reach. Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new "balancing act" (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up, and her work takes an unexpected turn. Fans of I Don't Know How She Does It, Where'd You Go Bernadette, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it's possible to have it all, but what does she--Alice Pearse--really want?"--

My Detective

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My Detective - Jeffrey Fleishman Summary

Los Angeles is booming. Money is pouring in. Buildings are going up. But someone is killing architects. Detective Sam Carver journeys through sins scattered across the City of Angels, where hipsters, homeless, immigrants, producers, politicians, movie stars, and cops collide in mysterious ways. Every move Carver makes is anticipated by the killer, Dylan Cross. She has hacked his computer and knows his diaries and secrets. She sees in him a kindred and damaged spirit, a man who can understand her crimes, heal her scars, and love her. Dylan is reclaiming herself from a past of brutal injustices inflicted by a world of misogyny and power. Detective Carver is dealing with his own troubled history: an elusive and violent father. My Detective is a story of obsession set against vengeance and prayers of forgiveness in a city that is as cruel as it is fantastical. It captures modern Los Angeles in real time, an eerie glide through the imagination, where winds gust high above the San Gabriel Mountains and neighborhoods stretch toward the ocean like the flash and tremor of a dream. The novel speaks to our sense of beauty in a new century and the demons we rouse when we dare to create a new metropolis.

The Greengage Summer

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The Greengage Summer - Rumer Godden Summary

On and off, all that hot French August, we made ourselves ill from eating the greengages ... The faded elegance of Les Oeillets, with its bullet-scarred staircase and serene garden bounded by high walls; Eliot, the charming Englishman who became the children's guardian while their mother lay ill in hospital; sophisticated Mademoiselle Zizi, hotel patronne, and Eliot's devoted lover; 16 year-old Joss, the oldest Grey girl, suddenly, achingly beautiful. And the Marne river flowing silent and slow beyond them all ... They would merge together in a gold-green summer of discovery, until the fruit rotted on the trees and cold seeped into their bones ...

Fates and Furies

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Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff Summary

'A really powerful novel' President Obama AMAZON.COM’s 2015 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER BARACK OBAMA'S BOOK OF THE YEAR A FINALIST FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets.

Stay Up with Hugo Best

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Stay Up with Hugo Best - Erin Somers Summary

June Bloom is twenty-nine, broke, and an aspiring comedy writer. Hugo Best is a beloved late-night TV icon and notorious womanizer who invites her to his mansion for Memorial Day Weekend. This is the story of their four days together, a “zippy… magnificent… devilishly fun ride.”—Vogue June Bloom is a smart, funny, and clear-eyed writers’ assistant on the late-night comedy show, Stay Up with Hugo Best. Hugo Best is in his sixties, a beloved icon of TV and humor, and a notorious womanizer. After he unexpectedly retires and a party is held for his now unemployed staff, June ends up at a dive bar for an open-mic night and prepares for the sad return to the anonymous comedian lifestyle. What she’s not prepared for is a run-in with Hugo at that dive bar. Nor for the invitation that swiftly follows: Hugo asks June to come to his mansion in Greenwich for the long Memorial Day weekend. “No funny business,” he insists. June, in need of a job and money, confident she can handle herself, but secretly harboring the remains of a childhood crush on the charming older comedian and former role model, accepts. The exact terms of the visit are never spelled out, but June is realistic and clear-eyed enough to guess. Even so, as the weekend unfolds and the enigmatic Hugo gradually reveals himself, their dynamic proves to be much more complicated and less predictable than she expected. At once hilarious and poignant, brilliantly incisive and terrifically propulsive, Stay Up with Hugo Best is an incredibly timely exploration of sexual politics in the #MeToo age, and the unforgettable story of one young woman’s poignant stumbling into adulthood.

The Gone Dead

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The Gone Dead - Chanelle Benz Summary

Billie James's inheritance isn't much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day--and she hasn't been back to the South since. Thirty years later, Billie returns, but her father's home is unnervingly secluded; her only neighbors are the McGees, a family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger. Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing story of race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country. It's also an unforgettable debut novel that solidifies Chanelle Benz's place as "a riveting new voice in American fiction" (George Saunders).

The Rules (TM)

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The Rules (TM) - Ellen Fein,Sherrie Schneider Summary

You are a creature unlike any other (Rule #1)--that's why you need . . . The Rules. A simple set of dos and don'ts, The Rules will lead you to where you want to be: in a healthy, committed relationship. Unlike today's haphazard dating customs, The Rules recognizes certain facts of life. That men know what they want. That a man is either attracted to you--or not! That men want a challenge, not an instant or easy victory. When you follow these commonsense guidelines, you treat yourself with respect and dignity--and demand that men do likewise. Although they sound old-fashioned ("Don't see him more than once or twice a week"), they encourage you to lead a full, satisfying, busy life--outside of romance. Although they seem tough ("Don't talk to a man first"), they will teach you how to accept occasional defeat and move on. And although they require discipline ("No more than casual kissing on the first date"), they will bring out the best in you and in the men you date. The goal? Marriage, in the shortest time possible, to a man you love, who loves you even more than you love him.

I Like to Watch

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I Like to Watch - Emily Nussbaum Summary

"From her creation of the first 'Approval Matrix' in New York magazine in 2004 to her Pulitzer Prize-winning columns for The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum has known all along that what we watch is who we are. In this collection, including several substantive, never-before-published essays, Nussbaum writes about her passion for television beginning with Buffy--as she writes, a show that was so much more than its critical assessment--the evolution of female protagonists over the last decade, the complex role of sexual violence on TV, and what to do about art when the artist is revealed to be a monster. And, she also explores the links between the television antihero and the rise of Trump. The book is an argument, not a collection of reviews. Through it all, Nussbaum recounts her fervent search, over fifteen years, for a new kind of criticism that resists the false hierarchy that places one kind of culture over another. It traces her own development as she has struggled to punch through stifling notions of 'prestige television,' searching for a wilder and freer and more varied idea of artistic ambition--one that acknowledges many types of beauty and complexity, and that opens to more varied voices. It's a book that celebrates television as television, even as each year warps the definition of just what that might mean"

The Ditch

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The Ditch - Herman Koch Summary

When Robert Walter, popular mayor of Amsterdam, sees his wife toss her head back in laughter while chatting to one of his aldermen at a New Year’s reception, he immediately suspects the worst. Despite their long and happy marriage, Robert is convinced that Sylvia is cheating on him—and with the straitlaced alderman, no less, who is committed to the environment and wants to spoil the capital’s skyline with wind turbines. Soon afterwards, a journalist produces a photograph of a police officer being beaten up by three protesters during a demonstration against the Vietnam War. She claims that the mayor is one of the protesters. Then, out of the blue, Robert’s 94-year-old father turns up on the steps of the city hall, desperate to speak to him. He and his wife want to die together. They do not want to burden their son with their deteriorating health, so why not end their own lives when the time is right? The Ditch shows a seemingly stable man rapidly becoming entangled in his own fears and suspicions. Or is everything not what it seems, and is Robert Walter actually seeing things clearly for the very first time? ‘Herman Koch is rapidly becoming one of my favourite writers. His three novels, taken together, are like a killer EP where every track kicks ass.’ Stephen King ‘Chilling, nasty, smart, shocking and unputdownable.’ Gillian Flynn on The Dinner ‘The Dinner is a riveting, compelling and deliciously uncomfortable read... both a punch to the guts and...a tonic. It clears the air. A wonderful book.’ Christos Tsiolkas ‘Blackly funny, full of sharp edges and hot issues, and compulsively readable. Verdict: feast on this.’ Herald Sun on The Dinner ‘The Dinner is a masterful, disturbing piece of theatre.’ Age/SMH

The Body in Question

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The Body in Question - Jill Ciment Summary

The place: central Florida. The situation: a sensational murder trial involving a rich, white teenage girl--a twin--on trial for the horrific murder of her toddler brother, and the sequestered jury deciding her fate. . Two of the jurors sequestered (she, Juror C-2; he, F-17), holed up at the Econo-Lodge off I-75. As the shocking and numbing details of the crime and its surrounding facts are revealed during a string of days and seemingly endless court hours, the nights, playing out in a series of court-financed meals Hannah and Graham fall into a furtive affair, keeping their oath, as jurors, never to discuss the trial. During deliberations the lovers learn they are on opposing sides of the case and realize that their fellow jurors are wise to their affair. After the trial's end, as Hannah returns home to her much older, now, suddenly, frail husband (they married when she was 24; he, 58) an exploding media fury involving the case catches them all up in a frenzy of public outrage at a jury that seems to have convicted the wrong twin, and a judge who has received an anonymous handwritten letter about a series of sexual encounters ("I feel it is my duty as a juror and a citizen to report that two of my fellow jurors had sexual contact on more than seven occasions during our nights at the motel..."), calling into question their respective verdicts, and announcing she is releasing the jurors' names to the media. Hannah's "one last dalliance before she is too old" takes on profoundly personal and moral consequences, as the novel moves to its affecting, powerful and surprising conclusion.

Perfect Tunes

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Perfect Tunes - Emily Gould Summary

For readers of Stephanie Danler and Meg Wolitzer, Perfect Tunes is a breakout novel from Emily Gould about music, ambition, sacrifice, and how compromises and rebellion shape women’s destinies. Have you ever wondered what your mother was like before she became your mother, and what she gave up in order to have you? As Perfect Tunes opens we meet Laura, a songwriter with a one-of-a-kind talent. Newly arrived in New York City in the early days of the new millennium, she’s left behind her safe life in Ohio for the East Village, where she hopes to record her first album. But just as she begins to book gigs, she falls hard for a rock star on the rise who’s as wasted as he is compelling. His accidental death leaves Laura reeling—and, she soon learns, pregnant. Obligation, confusion, and romantic delusion conspire to convince her to keep the baby, and with the intermittent help of her friend and former bandmate Callie, she begins to raise her daughter Marie alone. She struggles to keep making music, but despite her best efforts it becomes too difficult. Soon, the only songs she writes are for the infant music classes she teaches, leading drooling infants and their parents in nonsensical sing-alongs. Fourteen years later, Marie finds herself grappling with her father’s legacy as she battles depression and her mother. Laura has tried to keep Marie from asking too many questions about her biological father’s history, but her efforts to protect Marie may only be putting her in greater danger. When Marie runs away to track down Dylan’s family, it forces both mother and daughter to confront the heartbreak at the root of their relationship. Laura must face what she’s lost to motherhood and find out what parts of her former self might still be hers to reclaim.

Rules for Visiting

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Rules for Visiting - Jessica Francis Kane Summary

A beautifully observed and deeply funny novel of May Attaway, a university gardener who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year. At forty, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she's turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm's length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own? RULES FOR VISITING is a woman's exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way--afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends' perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones. Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story--and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.

Disappearing Earth

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Disappearing Earth - Julia Phillips Summary

A stunning debut from an acclaimed travel writer, Disappearing Earth is about two sisters who go missing on the remote volcanic peninsula of Kamchatka. Clues to the crime lie in the lives - and stories of violence and loss - of twelve women in the girls' rural Russian community. As the police quickly lose interest in the case, these women never stop searching and hoping. Beautifully written, thought-provoking, intense and cleverly wrought, this is the first novel from a mesmerising new talent.

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