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The Other Half of Meby Morgan Mccarthy
Synopses & Reviews
For fans of Atonement and Brideshead Revisited, a gorgeously written, darkly wise coming-of-age novel about the pull of the past and the destructive power of the stories we tell ourselves.
“What good can the past do the living? What harm?” Growing up in their family’s ancestral home in Wales, Jonathan Anthony and his little sister, Theo, are inseparable. Together they explore the wild acres of the rambling Evendon estate, supporting each other against the loneliness of life with their alcoholic mother, Alicia, and a shifting cast of gossiping cooks and maids. They are fascinated, too, by the nagging mystery of their father’s disappearance: though Alicia insists that he’s been dead for seven years, the children suspect that this is not the whole story.
One morning, they awake to the news that Alicia has been taken away to rehab; their glamorous grandmother, Eve, sweeps onto the scene to impose order on their lives, lavishing the siblings with attention. But as years begin to pass and Jonathan is groomed to inherit Eve’s lucrative American hotel business, his once immutable bond with the brilliant, vibrant Theo begins to break down as she descends into a drug-fueled, obsessive search for the truth about their father. When tragedy strikes the Anthonys once again, Jonathan is forced to confront his own mistakes, and the secrets that have haunted Evendon for generations.
Written in luminous prose, with richly endearing characters and a profound appreciation for the rustic beauty of the Welsh countryside, The Other Half of Me is a magnificent debut, and a masterful portrait of a family and the burdens of the past.
"In McCarthy's evocative debut, the upper-class childhoods of seven-year-old Jonathan Anthony and his younger sister, Theo, are the stuff of a modern fairy tale. Growing up mostly unsupervised on a rambling Welsh manor called Evendon, the siblings, despite their differences (Jonathan is a good student, while Theo struggles to wrest her attention away from dreamy preoccupations), are inseparable, whether carousing in the secret garden, stealing canapÃ©s, or hiding beneath tables at fancy parties hosted by their grandmother, Eve, and graced by their drunken, detached mother. The garden, with its deep, dark pool, is emblematic for the children of Evendon's innumerable mysteries, as well as their aristocratic family's many secrets. The most affecting and curious for Jonathan and Theo is what really happened to their father; Eve told them he died years ago, but Theo believes otherwise, and this doubt threatens to drive her to insanity. Culminating in a tear-jerking conclusion, McCarthy deftly conjures the ghosts of the Anthony family's past to wreak havoc on — and enrich — its tragic present. Agent: Jo Unwin, Conville & Walsh. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“What good can the past do the living? What harm?” Growing up in their family’s ancestral home in Wales, Jonathan Anthony and his little sister, Theo, are inseparable. Together they explore the wild acres of Evendon, inventing magical worlds and buttressing each other against the loneliness of life with their alcoholic mother, Alicia, and a shifting cast of gossiping cooks and maids. When a family tragedy brings their glamorous grandmother, Eve, home from America, Jonathan and Theo are initially elated by the attention she lavishes on them. But soon it becomes clear that there is more to the Anthony family history than either Eve or Alicia will acknowledge, trapping Jonathan and Theo in a web of dark secrets that have haunted Evendon for generations.
Written in luminous prose, with richly endearing characters and a profound appreciation for the rustic beauty of the Welsh countryside, The Other Half of Me is a darkly wise coming-of-age novel and a masterful portrait of a family and the burdens of the past.
About the Author
Morgan McCarthy was born in Berkshire, UK, where she still lives. She has worked in a supermarket, a small independent bookstore, and, most recently, as a media analyst.
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