At the top of today’s Buffet is a Victorian romance unlike any you may have read: The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. First published in three volumes in 1860, it tells the story of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, a brother and sister growing up on the river Floss. The book is famed for its unsurpassed depiction of English rural life and for its striking, superbly drawn heroine, Maggie.
George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, an English writer known for novels containing realism and psychological insight. Most of her novels are set in provincial England including classics such as Silas Marner and Middlemarch. The Mill on the Floss is considered her most autobiographical novel, and it stands among the greatest 19th Century British novels. As one reviewer put it, the novel is “as engaging and readable as anything by Austen or Dickens, and adds a degree of psychological and emotional complexity that few novels of any period can match.”
Evans (1819 – 1880) used a male pen name, she said, to ensure her works would be taken seriously. Although many female authors were published under their own names during Evans’ life, she wanted to avoid the stereotype of women writing only lighthearted romances. She also wanted to ensure her fiction would be judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic.
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From the author of Middlemarch and Silas Marner, a story of frustrated intelligence and longing, featuring the intelligent Maggie, who yearns to be loved, and her brother Tom, who is forced to study. When Maggie is cast out by Tom, she is ostracized by society, and must face the consequences of renunciation.
In The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot recreates her own childhood through the story of the wild, gifted Maggie Tulliver and her spoiled, selfish brother. Though tragic in its outcome, this tenderly comic novel combines vivid vignettes of family life with a magnificent portrait of the heroine and an acute critique of Victorian sexual politics.
Eliot had no peer when it came to finding the drama at the heart of normal lives lived in tandem with the gigantic rhythms of nature itself, and in The Mill on the Floss she shows us once again how thoroughly the art of fiction can satisfy our deepest mental and emotional cravings.
The novel’s evocation of childhood in the English countryside-at once unsentimental, yet rich with delight-stands as an enduring triumph, but equally memorable are its portrayal of a narrow tradition-bound society and its dramatic unfolding of tragic human destiny.
Gerry Monroe, is a bitter ex-jockey who has feigned injury to cover his fear of riding. His fierce ambition to ‘be someone’ mutates into a psychotic obsession to bring misery to those who have succeeded where he failed.
Kelly Corell is a Dublin gangster with a reputation for violence and an idea that will net him millions and devastate the world of horseracing. And Peter Culling is a dying vet who wants to live forever . . . Culling doesn’t care who is sacrificed to help finance his wild scheme.
Frankie Houlihan is a young priest distracted from his vocation by just one thing – horseracing. Standing beside the most dangerous steeplechase fence at Cheltenham, Frankie hurries to help a fallen jockey, Kathy Spencer. Their meeting was to change many lives forever.
Frankie Houlihan finds himself confronting the real world and the maelstrom of terror wrought by Monroe, Corell and Culling. Will he be sucked in and destroyed, or can he battle through and finally find peace?
A valuable horse is dead, and it’s all her fault, which is why 14-year-old Kate McGregor has banished horses and riding from her life … forever!
But her new summer job as a companion to Holly Chapman, a former riding star who’s now confined to a wheelchair, takes her back to the barn—the last place Kate wants to be.
Can Kate keep her terrible secret from Holly, who is fast becoming her best friend? And, more important, can she keep her secret from Angela Dean, a teenage bully who lives for only two things: winning ribbons and causing trouble?
Kate manages to keep her secret hidden until an accident forces it into the open … and it’s just the moment Angela has been waiting for.
At 31, Jesse Watson had reached an impasse in her life. It was time for a change. Her job was unfulfilling and her love life was non-existent. Something had to give. Heeding her parents’ advice, she quit her job, gave up her apartment and moved with them to the mountains of Virginia. Her intentions were to find a job and eventually get a place of her own. All that changed the day she went to work for Billy Blackhawk, private eye and Cherokee Indian. Her secretarial skills could not prepare her for what she was about to encounter and her safe and secure life would never be the same.
While in search for a missing girl, a quiet, rural country life with its beautiful mountain scenery quickly becomes a place of danger, murder and mayhem. Jesse faces the wrath of a disturbed, dysfunctional family determined to save themselves at all cost, even to the point of turning on each other. Soon it becomes a race for time as Jesse realizes the life she saves might well be her own. What you see just may kill you.
Abby Thomas is spending the summer in a run-down old house with a bratty pre-teen named Merrideth she is supposed to tutor. Not a dream job. But it does come with perks.
There’s John Roberts, a devastatingly attractive neighbor who is almost too wonderful to be real.
And there’s the new computer program Beautiful Houses—also too amazing to be real. No one knows how it works, but with it she can rewind and fast-forward the lives of all the people who ever lived in the house, including Charlotte Miles.
In 1858, the house is a train stop on the Alton & Chicago Line. And Charlotte is stuck there serving meals to the passengers, wondering if she’ll ever get to have any fun. And then she meets two travelers who change her life forever.
There’s James McGuire with whom she falls in love. And there’s his boss, a young Springfield lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. His debate with political opponent Stephen Douglas catapults him onto the national stage. And it inspires Charlotte to take up the cause of abolition.
Lady Isabella Winton has waited four years to marry her fiancé, but each year Lord Alexander Fitzroy, Earl of Standford, a serving officer and a reformed rake, finds an excuse to delay the nuptials. This time, with the marriage set for the next month, he tells her he received an urgent message from his Colonel. He is needed in Belgium almost immediately. He warns her it may be dangerous for her to accompany him.
Isabella realizes he is bluffing, things would not change so suddenly.
Despite Napoleon’s escape from Elba, Brussels is the centre of a social whirl. She looked forward to riding in the famous park off the Rue Royale; elaborate dinners and extravagant balls; so different from the quiet life in rural Sussex. Fearing Alex may have returned to his rakish ways and already installed a mistress, she insists on travelling with him.
Caught up in arrangements for a hurried wedding, Isabella is unaware Lord Everard Ladness, heir to a dukedom, is obsessed with her and will go to any lengths to possess her.
When you can’t grin and bear it…
Paranormal Psychologist, Matilda Schmidt is sick of secrets. But when her troubled mother falls into dangerous hands, she must enlist the help of the two men who may be hiding the most: the hot-bodied demigod who’s suddenly tight-lipped about his current client, and the delicious hit man who’s been concealing much more than a gun in his pocket.
Faced with the destruction of her tidy life at the paws of three rowdy werebears, and protected only by an immortal egg on the edge, Matilda will have to come riding to her own rescue, or risk a life that’s anything but happily ever after.
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On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine. An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.
Sofia’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.
Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.
Will she succeed? …Or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?
“In retrospect,” writes David Halberstam, “the pace of the fifties seemed slower, almost languid. Social ferment, however, was beginning just beneath this placid surface.” He shows how the United States began to emerge from the long shadow of FDR’s 12-year presidency, with the military-industrial complex and the Beat movement simultaneously growing strong. Television brought not only situation comedies but controversial congressional hearings into millions of living rooms. While Alfred Kinsey was studying people’s sex lives, Gregory Pincus and other researchers began work on a pill that would forever alter the course of American reproductive practices. Halberstam takes on these social upheavals and more, charting a course that is as easy to navigate as it is wide-ranging.
Claire Bradford needed a wake-up call.What she didn’t need was a tragic car accident. As a single mom and the owner of a successful bead shop, Claire leads a predictable life in Hope’s Crossing, Colorado. So what if she has no time for romance? At least, that’s what she tells herself, especially when her best friend’s sexy younger brother comes back to town as the new chief of police.
But when the accident forces Claire to slow down and lean on others—especially Riley McKnight—she realizes, for the first time, that things need to change. And not just in her own life. The accident—and the string of robberies committed by teenagers that led up to it—is a wake-up call to the people of Hope’s Crossing. The sense of community and togetherness had been lost during those tough years. But with a mysterious “Angel of Hope” working to inspire the town, Riley and Claire will find themselves opening up to love and other possibilities by the end of an extraordinary summer….
Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke—they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago.
When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps and dodging Nazi soldiers. Now, the seventy-two-year-old Peke—who survived, came to America, and succeeded—must summon his original grit and determination to track down the thieves, retrieve his things, and restore the life he made for himself.
Peke and his wife, Rose, trace the path of the thieves’ truck across America, to the wilds of Montana, and to an ultimate, chilling confrontation with not only the thieves but also with Peke’s brutal, unresolved past.
Russell Ammiano works on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center. On the morning of September 11, 2001, the phone rings while Rusty is rushing to work. The news is devastating: Rusty’s mother has died of a stroke, leaving his brain-damaged older brother Ben alone. This news also saves Rusty’s life. He’s still at home when two planes hit the World Trade Center–and only one of his friends and colleagues survives. In a single day, the life Rusty built in New York crumbles to the ground.
Rusty returns to his tiny hometown and the brother he was more than happy to leave behind. Ben hasn’t changed a bit, but the town has. Tensions are running high in the wake of the terrorist attack, while Rusty struggles to put the the past behind him and care for the exasperating brother he loves. He finds refuge drinking coffee in the early morning with beautiful Egyptian-American Anat in her father’s bakery.
Rusty is beginning to get his life back…until one awful night threatens to take it all away again.
… See the rest of today’s Editor’s Picks here on page 2