Elise Juska - If We Had Known - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds

If We Had Known

By Elise Juska

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

From the critically acclaimed author of The Blessings, a taut literary drama about a mother and daughter struggling with questions of their own culpability in the aftermath of a mass shooting in their small New England town.

After a shooting in her local mall in rural New Hampshire, English professor Maggie Daley is surprised to learn the gunman was her former student, and chagrined when she finds an old essay offering clues to his violent nature she might have missed.

Even as the tragedy begins to fade from the national consciousness, it takes up a larger and larger part of Maggie's attention and obsession--and it begins to disrupt her relationships with her anxiety-ridden daughter, her ex-husband, and her new lover. Meanwhile, both Maggie's employer and a determined blogger, separately, are digging into the shooter's troubled past. Feeling pressured from all sides, Maggie begins to fear that her culpability may extend past a simple sense of guilt and put the life she's built at risk.

IF WE HAD KNOWN explores the private implications of public tragedies, how we navigate fear in today's world, and whether it's possible to see anyone--spouses, parents, students--as they truly are.

Biographical Notes

Elise Juska's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, Gettysburg Review, The Missouri Review, Good Housekeeping, The Hudson Review, and many other publications. She is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction from Ploughshares and her work has been cited in The Best American Short Stories. She lives in Philadelphia, where she is the director of the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of the Arts.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781455561773
  • Publication date: 14 Jun 2018
  • Page count: 272
  • Imprint: Grand Central Publishing
Hachette Audio

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead
Authors:
Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys is Colson Whitehead's follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning bestseller The Underground Railroad, in which he dramatizes another strand of United States history, this time through the story of two boys sentenced to a stretch in a hellish reform school in Jim-Crow-era Florida.Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clearsighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide 'physical, intellectual and moral training' which will equip its inmates to become 'honorable and honest men'.In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear 'out back'. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King's ringing assertion, 'Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.' But Elwood's fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors.The tension between Elwood's idealism and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions.Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

Dialogue Books

This Brutal House

Niven Govinden
Authors:
Niven Govinden
Hachette Audio

The Great Believers

Rebecca Makkai
Authors:
Rebecca Makkai
Corsair

The Winker

Andrew Martin
Authors:
Andrew Martin

London, 1976. In Belgravia in the heat of summer, Lee Jones, a faded and embittered rock star, is checking out a group of women through the heavy cigarette smoke in a crowded pub. He makes eye contact with one, and winks. After allowing glances to linger for a while longer, he finally moves towards her. In that moment, his programme of terror - years in the making - has begun. Months later, the first of the many chilling headlines to come appears: 'Police hunting winking killer.' Meanwhile in France. Charles Underhill, a wealthy Englishman living in Paris, has good reason to be interested in the activities of the so-called Winking Killer. With a past to hide and his future precarious, Charles is determined to discover the Winker's identity. In the overheating cities of London, Oxford, Paris and Nice, a game of cat and mouse develops, and catching someone's eye becomes increasingly perilous. But if no one dares look, a killer can hide in plain sight . . .From 'a master of historical crime fiction' (The Guardian), The Winker is a gripping thriller that won't let you look away.

Virago

Chasm: A Weekend

Dorothea Tanning
Authors:
Dorothea Tanning

A Surrealist novel in the vein of Angela Carter, about love and beauty and dark secrets.Played out like the command of an oracle are the events that stain one night in the improbable setting of this desert tale. Rearing its impudent architecture like insult on a landscape of quiet beauty is Windcote, "its very name a masquerade," where inhabitants and guests find themselves driven by obsessions and confusions they have never faced before. Here doors open and close and open again. They hide, release, reveal, and ruin. In this web of tangled imperatives is the child, Destina, untouched by the fevers and failures around her. Her own world is outside in the mystery-locked canyon where, for the time of this story, she seems to find her own truth

Virago

Corregidora

Gayl Jones
Authors:
Gayl Jones

'Corregidora is the most brutally honest and painful revelation of what has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women' JAMES BALDWINUpon publication in 1975, Corregidora was hailed as a masterpiece, winning acclaim from writers including James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. Exploring themes such as race, sexuality and the long repercussions of slavery, this powerful novel paved the way for Beloved and The Colour Purple. Now, this lost classic is published for a new generation of readers.After a tragic loss, Ursa, a Kentucky blues singer, confronts her maternal history and the legacy of Corregidora, the Brazilian slave owner who fathered both Ursa's mother and grandmother. Consumed and haunted by her hatred of the man who irrevocably shaped the lives of her family, Ursa must come to terms with a past that is never too distant from the present.Also new to the VMC list: Eva's Man and The Healing, two further searing novels by Gayl Jones.'No novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this' TONI MORRISON

Sphere

Happiness for Humans

P.Z. Reizin
Authors:
P.Z. Reizin
Virago

The Friend

Sigrid Nunez
Authors:
Sigrid Nunez

WINNER OF THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatised by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unravelling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion."A beautiful book ... a world of insight into death, grief, art, and love." -Wall Street Journal"A penetrating, moving meditation on loss, comfort, memory...Nunez has a wry, withering wit." -NPR"Dry, allusive and charming...the comedy here writes itself." The New York Times

Piatkus

Of Blood and Bone

Nora Roberts
Authors:
Nora Roberts

'A match for end-of-the-world classics like Stephen King's The Stand' - New York Times Review of Books 'Breathtaking' - HeatThirteen years ago, a catastrophic pandemic known as The Doom killed billions. For those left behind, it is a chance to build a new world. But The Doom was no ordinary virus. In some survivors, it awoke strange powers - to heal, to harm, even to predict the future. Fallon Swift has no memories of the old world - but she is destined to shape this new one. Growing up with her three brothers on a quiet farm, she has been protected from danger by her mother and stepfather. Now she must leave them, and learn to fight. Because Fallon is not only a powerful 'Uncanny' - she also has a pivotal role to play in the bloody battles ahead. A war between good and evil is brewing, and Fallon - young, tough, headstrong - must be ready. A sequel to the number one bestselling Year One, this breathtaking novel of love, war, family and magic is a gripping and deeply satisfying continuation of an extraordinary new trilogy.

Sphere

The Lives We Touch

Eva Woods
Authors:
Eva Woods

'Full of insight and wisdom and unputdownable.' - Sunday Times bestselling author Katie FfordeThe feelgood, uplifting, fabulous new book from Kindle bestseller Eva Woods. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Lucy Dillon and Rowan Coleman. In our lives we'll meet something like eighty thousand people. Most of them just in passing, sitting beside them on a bus, buying a latte from them, overtaking them too fast on the motorway. Others will become friends, lovers, family. Some will stay in our lives forever, and some will be swept away by the flow of life. But we touch all of these people in some way, tiny or huge, making more of a difference that any of us can imagine. Rosie is in a coma, unable to reach out to the world or communicate. She only has one chance to make it back to consciousness - but she's slipping deeper and deeper into a maze of memories and it's going to be hard to find her way out. Daisy, Rosie's sister, is devastated by the accident. She's always been the good, dependable girl to Rosie's free spirit - but some of Rosie's attitude seems to be creeping into Daisy's dull existence. Can Daisy find the courage to be herself?It only takes one tiny step to change a life forever...

Sphere

Three Little Lies

Laura Marshall
Authors:
Laura Marshall
Sphere

Before and Again

Barbara Delinsky
Authors:
Barbara Delinsky
Piatkus

Man Fast

Natasha Scripture
Authors:
Natasha Scripture

'Smart, funny, and deeply wise' Mirabai Starr'A funny, courageous, and inspiring memoir about one woman's journey into the unknown' Elisabeth Eaves, author of Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five ContinentsAny cute boys? Natasha Scripture's 64-year-old Indian mother wants to know. Once again, Natasha finds herself explaining that it is not easy to find a husband while serving as a relief worker in refugee camps, war zones and natural disaster areas.Yet returning to New York, still reeling from the sudden death of her father, Natasha realizes that no matter how many dates she goes on, she is no closer to finding that special someone to fill the imaginary void inside her. Exasperated by her search for love, she embarks on a 'man fast', where she stops looking for a relationship and instead turns inward to explore the question at the heart of her anxiety: what is her purpose? This soul-searching takes her deep into the wilderness: from meditating in an Ayurvedic ashram in southern India to toiling on a vineyard on Mount Etna to going on a solo-safari in southern Tanzania (where she also marries herself-yes, it's a thing). In stepping away from the demands of modern life and societal pressure to couple up, Natasha finds a space where she allows herself to become fully present and awake: to her grief, to her identity, and to love as a mystical, ever-present force. This is a book to inspire readers who also want to discover their truest, wildest, most empowered selves.

Little, Brown

Tangerine

Christine Mangan
Authors:
Christine Mangan

The perfect read for fans of Daphne du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith, set in 1950s Morocco, Tangerine is a gripping psychological literary thriller.The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends - once inseparable roommates - haven't spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy, always fearless and independent, helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice - she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice's husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.Tangerine is an extraordinary debut, so tightly wound, so evocative of 1950s Tangier, and so cleverly plotted that it will leave you absolutely breathless.

Orbit

The Stone Sky

N. K. Jemisin
Authors:
N. K. Jemisin

WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD 2018WINNER OF THE NEBULA AWARD 2018 WINNER OF THE LOCUS AWARD FOR BEST FANTASY 2018An Amazon Best Book of the YearThe incredible conclusion to the record-breaking triple Hugo award-winning trilogy that began with the The Fifth Season The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women. Essun has inherited the phenomenal power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every outcast child can grow up safe. For Nassun, her mother's mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed. Praise for this trilogy: 'Amazing' Ann Leckie 'Breaks uncharted ground' Library Journal 'Beautiful' Nnedi Okorafor 'Astounding' NPR 'Brilliant' Washington PostThe Broken Earth trilogy begins with The Fifth Season, continues in The Obelisk Gate and concludes with The Stone Sky - out now.

Virago

The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood
Sphere

The Little Shop of Happy Ever After

Jenny Colgan
Authors:
Jenny Colgan

A gorgeous, warm and joyful story from bestselling author Jenny Colgan, author of LITTLE BEACH STREET BAKERY, WELCOME TO ROSIE HOPKINS' SWEETSHOP OF DREAMS and MEET ME AT THE CUPCAKE CAFENina is a librarian who spends her days happily matchmaking books and people - she always knows what someone should read next. But when her beloved library closes and she's suddenly out of a job, Nina has no idea what to do next. Then an advert catches her eye: she could be the owner of a tiny little bookshop bus, driving around the Scottish highlands.Using up all her courage, and her savings, Nina makes a new start in the beautiful Scottish highlands. But real life is a bit trickier than the stories she loves - especially when she keeps having to be rescued by the grumpy-but-gorgeous farmer next door...

Virago

Stone Mattress

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

BY THE AUTHOR OF THE HANDMAID'S TALE AND ALIAS GRACEA recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite.In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle - and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.*Praise for Stone Mattress 'Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood. Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page' -SUNDAY TIMES'Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or - in one memorable case - freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking. Anyone keen to consign literary fiction to an early grave will have to deal with her first' -INDEPENDENT'Atwood's prose is so sharp and sly that the effect is bracing rather than bleak' -GUARDIAN

Grand Central Publishing

The Blessings

Elise Juska
Authors:
Elise Juska

When John Blessing dies and leaves behind two small children, the loss reverberates across his extended family for years to come. His young widow, Lauren, finds solace in her large clan of in-laws, while his brother's wife Kate pursues motherhood even at the expense of her marriage. John's teenage nephew Stephen finds himself involved in an act of petty theft that takes a surprising turn, and nephew Alex, a gifted student, travels to Spain and considers the world beyond his family's Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood. Through departures and arrivals, weddings and reunions, THE BLESSINGS reveals the interior worlds of the members of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family and the rituals that unite them.

Virago

MaddAddam

Margaret Atwood
Authors:
Margaret Atwood

By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias GraceToby, a survivor of the man-made plague that has swept the earth, is telling stories.Stories left over from the old world, and stories that will determine a new one. Listening hard is young Blackbeard, one of the innocent Crakers, the species designed to replace humanity. Their reluctant prophet, Jimmy-the-Snowman, is in a coma, so they've chosen a new hero - Zeb, the street-smart man Toby loves. As clever Pigoons attack their fragile garden and malevolent Painballers scheme, the small band of survivors will need more than stories.