The Falls is a novel by Joyce Carol Oates, originally published in 2004 by the Ecco Press, and winner of the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger.
It is 1950 and, after a disastrous honeymoon night, Ariah Erskine’s young husband throws himself into the roaring waters of Niagara Falls. Ariah, “the Widow Bride of the Falls,” begins a relentless seven-day vigil in the mist, waiting for his body to be found. At her side is confirmed bachelor and pillar of the community Dirk Burnaby, who is unexpectedly drawn to her. What follows is a passionate love affair, marriage, and family — a seemingly perfect existence. But tragedy soon takes over their lives, poisoning their halcyon years with distrust, greed, and murder.
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The Known World is a 2003 historical novel by Edward P. Jones. Set in Virginia during the antebellum era, it examines the issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by both white and black Americans.
The book was published to widespread acclaim from literary critics, with much praise directed at its story and Jones’ prose. In particular, his ability to intertwine stories within stories received great praise from The New York Times.
The narration of The Known World is from the perspective of an omniscient figure who doesn’t voice judgment. This allows the reader to experience the story without bias.
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The Poisonwood Bible (1998), by Barbara Kingsolver, is a bestselling novel about a missionary family, the Prices, who in 1959 move from the U.S. state of Georgia to the village of Kilanga in the Belgian Congo, close to the Kwilu River.
The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
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Rogue Lawyer is a novel by John Grisham. Sebastian Rudd is not your typical street lawyer. He works out of a customized bulletproof van, complete with Wi-Fi, a bar, a small fridge, fine leather chairs, a hidden gun compartment, and a heavily armed driver. He has no firm, no partners, no associates, and only one employee, his driver, who’s also his bodyguard, law clerk, confidant, and golf caddy. He lives alone in a small but extremely safe penthouse apartment, and his primary piece of furniture is a vintage pool table. He drinks small-batch bourbon and carries a gun.
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The Goldfiinch (2013) is the third novel by American author Donna Tartt, her first new book in 11 years. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014 among other honors.
The novel is a Bildungsroman told in the first person by Theodore Decker who, at the age of 13, survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum in which his beloved mother dies. Staggering out through the debris, he takes with him a small, Dutch Golden Age painting, The Goldfinch, which will serve as a singular source of hope as he descends into a world of crime. The painting is one of the few surviving works by Rembrandt’s most promising pupil, Carel Fabritius; almost his entire oeuvre was destroyed in the Delft explosion of 1654, in which Fabritius was killed.
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Thousand Acres is a 1991 novel by American author Jane Smiley. It won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1991.
Larry Cook is an aging farmer who decides to incorporate his farm, handing complete and joint ownership to his three daughters, Ginny, Rose, and Caroline. When the youngest daughter objects, she is removed from the agreement. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions, as the story eventually reveals the long-term sexual abuse of the two eldest daughters that was committed by their father.
The plot also focuses on Ginny’s troubled marriage, her difficulties in bearing a child and her relationship with her family.
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