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The House on Fortune Street

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The House on Fortune Street Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It seems like mutual good luck for Abigail Taylor and Dara MacLeod when they meet at St. Andrews University and, despite their differences, become fast friends. Years later they remain an unlikely pair. Abigail, an actress who confidently uses her charms both on- and offstage, believes herself immune to love. Dara, a counselor, is convinced that everyone is inescapably marked by childhood; she throws herself into romantic relationships with frightening intensity. Yet now each seems to have found "true love"—another stroke of luck?—Abigail with her academic boyfriend, Sean, and Dara with a tall, dark violinist named Edward, who literally falls at her feet. But soon after Dara moves into Abigail's downstairs apartment, trouble threatens both relationships, and their friendship.

For Abigail it comes in the form of an anonymous letter to Sean claiming that she's been unfaithful; for Dara, a reconciliation with her distant father, Cameron, who left the family when Dara was ten, reawakens complicated feelings. Through four ingeniously interlocking narratives—Sean's, Cameron's, Dara's, and Abigail's—we gradually understand how these characters' lives are shaped by both chance and determination. Whatever the source, there is no mistaking the tragedy that strikes the house on Fortune Street.

"Everyone," claims Abigail, "has a book or a writer who's the key to their life." As this statement reverberates through each of the narratives, Margot Livesey skillfully reveals how luck—good and bad—plays a vital role in our lives, and how the search for truth can prove a dangerous undertaking. Written with her characteristic elegance and wit, The House on Fortune Street offers a surprisingly provocative detective story of the heart.

Review:

"The absorbing latest from Livesey (Homework) opens multiple perspectives on the life of Dara MacLeod, a young London therapist, partly by paying subtle homage to literary figures and works. The first of four sections follows Keats scholar Sean Wyman: his girlfriend, Abigail, is Dara's best friend, and the couple lives upstairs from Dara in the titular London house. While Dara tries to coax her boyfriend Edward to move out of the house he shares with his ex-girlfriend and daughter, Sean receives a mysterious letter implying that Abigail is having an affair, and both relationships start to fall apart. The second section, set during Dara's childhood, is narrated by Dara's father, who has a strange fascination with Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and shares Dodgson's creepy interest in young girls. Dara's meeting with Edward dominates part three, which mirrors the plot of Jane Eyre, and the final part, reminiscent of Great Expectations, is told mainly from Abigail's college-era point of view. The pieces cross-reference and fit together seamlessly, with Dara's fate being revealed by the end of part one and explained in the denouement. Livesey's use of the classics enriches the narrative, giving Dara a larger-than-life resonance." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

None of the houses in Margot Livesey's newest novel is safe or sound enough to meet the needs of its inhabitants, including the house on Fortune Street in the Brixton area of London that lends the book its title. The most durable structure here, in fact, is not a house but the novel itself, whose design unites so seamlessly with its intentions that one wants to admire it from every angle.

... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Through four ingeniously interlocking narratives, Livesey skillfully reveals how luck--good and bad--plays a vital role in life, in this work that radiates with compassion and intelligence and . . . mystery (Alice Sebold).

About the Author

Margot Livesey's acclaimed novels include Eva Moves the Furnitureand Banishing Verona. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorkerand The Atlantic Monthly. Born in Scotland, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Emerson College.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061451522
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Livesey, Margot
Author:
by Margot Livesey
Publisher:
Harper
Subject:
Luck
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fortune
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20080506
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.05 in 18.32 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The House on Fortune Street Used Hardcover
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$11.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Harper - English 9780061451522 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The absorbing latest from Livesey (Homework) opens multiple perspectives on the life of Dara MacLeod, a young London therapist, partly by paying subtle homage to literary figures and works. The first of four sections follows Keats scholar Sean Wyman: his girlfriend, Abigail, is Dara's best friend, and the couple lives upstairs from Dara in the titular London house. While Dara tries to coax her boyfriend Edward to move out of the house he shares with his ex-girlfriend and daughter, Sean receives a mysterious letter implying that Abigail is having an affair, and both relationships start to fall apart. The second section, set during Dara's childhood, is narrated by Dara's father, who has a strange fascination with Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and shares Dodgson's creepy interest in young girls. Dara's meeting with Edward dominates part three, which mirrors the plot of Jane Eyre, and the final part, reminiscent of Great Expectations, is told mainly from Abigail's college-era point of view. The pieces cross-reference and fit together seamlessly, with Dara's fate being revealed by the end of part one and explained in the denouement. Livesey's use of the classics enriches the narrative, giving Dara a larger-than-life resonance." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Through four ingeniously interlocking narratives, Livesey skillfully reveals how luck--good and bad--plays a vital role in life, in this work that radiates with compassion and intelligence and . . . mystery (Alice Sebold).
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