What if Hillary Rodham had turned down Bill Clinton’s proposal of marriage? In ‘American Wife’, Curtis Sittenfeld painted a picture of an ordinary American girl who found herself married to a President – basing it on the life of Laura Bush. In this new novel, she takes another ordinary American girl, Hillary Rodham, and explores how her life might have turned out if she had stayed an independent woman.
Some stories are universal. They play out across human history. And time is the river which will flow through them. It starts with a family, a family which will mutate. For now, it is a father, mother and two sons. One with his father’s violence in his blood. One who lives his mother’s artistry. One leaves. One stays. They will be joined by others whose deeds will change their fate. It is a beginning. Their stories will intertwine and evolve over the course of two thousand years – they will meet again and again at different times and in different places. From distant Palestine at the dawn of the first millennium to a life amongst the stars in the third. While the world will change around them, their destinies will remain the same. It must play out as foretold. It is written.
From dead pets and crashed cars to family traumas and misguided love affairs, Susannah Dickey’s revitalising debut novel plunges us into the private world of one young woman as she navigates her rocky way to adulthood.
Siberia’s story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell. Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos – grand instruments created during the boom years of the 19th century, and humble, Soviet-made uprights that found their way into equally modest homes. They tell the story of how, ever since entering Russian culture under the influence of Catherine the Great, piano music has run through the country like blood. How these pianos travelled into this snow-bound wilderness in the first place is testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers and exiles. That stately instruments might still exist in such a hostile landscape is remarkable. That they are still capable of making music in far-flung villages is nothing less than a miracle. But this is Siberia, where people can endure the worst of the world.