Synopses & Reviews
"In Jensen's debut novel, set during the Great Depression, two sisters, Mabel and Bertie Fisher, suffer under the tyrannical rule of their abusive stepfather. In an effort to start a new life, Mabel secretly concocts an escape plan with the help of Bertie's boyfriend. But things go wrong and Mabel and her sister are separated. Cassandra Campbell's narration is warm, rich, and a pleasure to listen to. She creates distinctive voices for all the characters, and her tone conveys deep empathy and compassion. Campbell is even able to make the stepfather who is evil and wholly unsympathetic believable and authentic, his voice tough and hard, yet laden with the frustrations and disappointments of his own life. Additionally, Campbell lends voices to the book's numerous children and grandchildren that reflect their separate personalities and dreams. A St. Martin's hardcover." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In the tradition of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge comes a dazzling debut novel about the family bonds that remain even when they seem irretrievably torn apart. Growing up in hardscrabble Kentucky in the 1920s, with their mother dead and their stepfather an ever-present threat, Bertie Fischer and her older sister, Mabel, have no one but each other--with perhaps a sweetheart for Bertie waiting in the wings. But on the day that Bertie receives her eighth-grade diploma, good intentions go terribly wrong, setting off a chain of misunderstandings that will send the sisters on separate paths and reverberate through their daughters' and granddaughters' lives. What happens when nothing turns out as you planned? From the Depression through World War II and Vietnam, and smaller events both tragic and joyful, Bertie and Mabel forge unexpected identities and raise daughters--and sisters--of their own, learning that love and betrayal are even more complicated than they seem. Gorgeously written, with extraordinary insight and emotional truth, Nancy Jensen's debut novel illuminates the far-reaching power of family and family secrets.