The Mapmaker's Children: A Novel by Sarah Mccoy
Release Date: May 5, 2015
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.
Gwendolen: A Novel by Diana Souhami
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Gwendolen Harleth, an exceptionally beautiful upper-class Englishwoman, is gambling boldly at a resort when she catches the eye of a handsome, pensive gentleman. His gaze unnerves her, and she loses her winnings. The next day, she learns that her widowed mother and younger sisters, for whom she is financially responsible, have lost their family’s fortune. As a young woman in the 1860s with only her looks to serve her, Gwendolen’s options are few, so when Henleigh Grandcourt, a wealthy aristocrat, proposes to her, she accepts, despite her discovery of an alarming secret about his past.
During their marriage, Grandcourt is psychologically and physically brutal to her, shattering her confidence. Gwendolen begins to encounter the alluring gentleman from the resort—Daniel Deronda—in her social circles, but Grandcourt, cold and calculating, takes pains to isolate her from everything she loves. Gwendolen’s desperation nearly overcomes her, until an unexpected turn of events suddenly liberates her from Grandcourt’s tyranny and leaves her financially independent. Newly free, but riddled with insecurity and desire, Gwendolen must take painful steps to shape a life that has not gone according to plan.
Gwendolen and her world, originally creations of George Eliot, are inhabited and brought to sympathetic and nuanced life in this irresistible debut novel by Diana Souhami, an award-winning British biographer.
Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf by Norah Vincent
Release Date: April 7, 2015
On April 18, 1941, twenty-two days after Virginia Woolf went for a walk near her weekend house in Sussex and never returned, her body was reclaimed from the River Ouse. Norah Vincent’s Adeline reimagines the events that brought Woolf to the riverbank, offering us a denouement worthy of its protagonist.
With poetic precision and psychological acuity, Vincent channels Virginia and Leonard Woolf, T. S. and Vivienne Eliot, Lytton Strachey and Dora Carrington, laying bare their genius and their blind spots, their achievements and their failings, from the inside out. And haunting every page is Adeline, the name given to Virginia Stephen at birth, which becomes the source of Virginia’s greatest consolation, and her greatest torment.
Intellectually and emotionally disarming, Adeline—a vibrant portrait of Woolf and her social circle, the infamous Bloomsbury Group, and a window into the darkness that both inspired and doomed them all—is a masterpiece in its own right by one of our most brilliant and daring writers.
The Glassblower (The Glassblower Trilogy Book 1) by Petra Durst-Benning (Author), Samuel Willcocks (Translator)
Release Date: November 4, 2014
In the village of Lauscha in Germany, things have been done the same way for centuries. The men blow the glass, and the women decorate and pack it. But when Joost Steinmann passes away unexpectedly one September night, his three daughters must learn to fend for themselves. While feisty Johanna takes a practical approach to looking for work, Ruth follows her heart, aiming to catch the eye of a handsome young villager. But it is dreamy, quiet Marie who has always been the most captivated by the magic—and sparkling possibilities—of the craft of glassblowing. As the spirited sisters work together to forge a brighter future for themselves on their own terms, they learn not only how to thrive in a man’s world, but how to remain true to themselves—and their hearts—in the process.
Madeleine's War: A Novel by Peter Watson
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Matthew Hammond is a British military officer posted to the European theater during World War II. He sustained a serious injury on the front lines, so bad, in fact, that it cost him a lung. Now he is back in England, unable to fight, but he continues to serve his country by training new resistance fighters.
One of the recruits under his tutelage is Madeleine, a spellbinding, impassioned French-Canadian with eyes of "burnished whiskey." Despite protocols discouraging romance, they are deeply in love, and Matthew is torn about putting Madeleine's life in danger. He already has one tragic affair with a Resistance fighter under his belt—his former lover, Celestine, was killed because her assassination of a German doctor went awry.
But the Allies are mustering all their resources for crucial beach landings in Normandy, and Matthew knows his unit will need to play a role. It will be a very dangerous mission: parachuting in behind the Nazi line. As Madeleine progresses through the training with her fellow recruits, Matthew can only hope that luck will guide her through when the drop finally arrives.
Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Paperback by Eliza Redgold
Release Date: July 14, 2015
We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.
We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.
Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.