They live, they write, they love; we read. Powell’s pays homage to the time-honored tradition of authors marrying their own with our list of today’s top literary power couples.
Synopses & Reviews
Alison Donnelly has suffered for love. Still stuck in the small Northern Irish town where she was born, working for her father's real estate agency, she hopes to pick up the pieces and get her life back together. Her sister Liz, a fiercely independent college professor who lives in New York City, is about to return to Ulster for Alison's second wedding, before heading to an island off the coast of Papua New Guinea to make a TV show about the world's newest religion.
Both sisters' lives are about to be shaken apart. Alison wakes up the day after her wedding to find that her new husband has a past neither of them can escape. In a rainforest on the other side of the planet, Liz finds herself becoming increasingly entangled in the eerie, charged world of Belef, the subject of her show, a charismatic middle-aged woman who is the leader of a cargo cult.
As Modern Gods ingeniously interweaves the stories of Liz and Alison, it becomes clear that both sisters must learn how to negotiate with the past, with the sins of fanaticism, and decide just what the living owe to the dead. Laird's brave, innovative novel charts the intimacies and disappointments of a family trying to hold itself together, and the repercussions of history and faith.
"Takes off like a shot and pierces the lives of two Irish sisters." Vanity Fair
"[A] roving, ambitious novel....The taut prose propels the story and describes the process by which people ‘make a future by entering into ethical relations with the past.’" The New Yorker
"A truly superb novel exploring the possibilities and impossibilities of forgiveness." Publishers Weekly
"Modern Gods has realer-than-real characters, unexpected turns of plot into unknown corners of the world, and language that finds its way through the darkest moments and states of mind to shine its clear bright light, revelatory and unforgiving. And it encompasses deep–the deepest, thorniest–questions of faith and redemption, fate and forgiveness." Michael Chabon, bestselling author of Moonglow
"Nick Laird takes two experiences poles apart and unites them in gorgeous language…[with] fierce tenderness." Dave Eggers, author of Heroes of the Frontier