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This is Awkward by Sammy Rhodes

41iDy+zrioLDon’t waste your awkwardness.

One of the saddest realities of life is that the things we need to talk about the most, we tend to talk about the least—from bouts with depression to sexual struggles to parent-wounds that never seem to heal. Raise these issues out loud, and wait for the awkward silence. But those awkward moments are precisely where we find connection with God and one another.

In This is Awkward, Sammy Rhodes talks directly, honestly, and hilariously (because sometimes we need to laugh) about the most painfully uncomfortable subjects in our lives. In chapters like “Parents Are a Gift (You Can’t Return Them)” and “D is for Depression,” he boldly goes where most of us fear to tread, revealing that we can be liberated by the embrace of a God who knows the most shameful things about us and loves us all the same. Because nothing is too awkward for God.

The American Lover by Rose Tremain

51bCPR7w-rL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_“A collection of stylish daring, tonal mastery and smart, tough love.”―New York Times Book Review

Trapped in a London apartment, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster’s cottage, miles from Moscow. A young woman who is about to marry a rich aristocrat instead begins a torrid relationship with a construction worker. A father, finally free of his daughter’s demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. A middle-aged woman cares for her injured mother at Christmas. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor, Daphne du Maurier.

Rose Tremain awakens the senses in this magnificent and diverse collection of short stories. In her precise yet sensuous style, she lays bare the soul of her characters―the admirable, the embarrassing, the unfulfilled, the sexy, and the adorable―to uncover a dazzling range of human emotions and desires.

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

510Xm0djJXL“[A] luminous, Marquez-esque tale.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

From theNew York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

Building on the triumphs of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, set in a world of almost unimaginable beauty, The Marriage of Opposites showcases the beloved, bestselling Alice Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frédérick is a story that is as unforgettable as it is remarkable.

Enchantress of Paris by Marci Jefferson

51W4tTtlzjLFraught with conspiracy and passion, the Sun King’s opulent court is brought to vivid life in this captivating tale about a woman whose love was more powerful than magic.

The alignment of the stars at Marie Mancini’s birth warned that although she would be gifted at divination, she was destined to disgrace her family. Ignoring the dark warnings of his sister and astrologers, Cardinal Mazarin brings his niece to the French court, where the forbidden occult arts thrive in secret. In France, Marie learns her uncle has become the power behind the throne by using her sister Olympia to hold the Sun King, Louis XIV, in thrall.

Desperate to avoid her mother’s dying wish that she spend her life in a convent, Marie burns her grimoire, trading Italian superstitions for polite sophistication. But as her star rises, King Louis becomes enchanted by Marie’s charm. Sensing a chance to grasp even greater glory, Cardinal Mazarin pits the sisters against each other, showering Marie with diamonds and silks in exchange for bending King Louis to his will.

Disgusted by Mazarin’s ruthlessness, Marie rebels. She sacrifices everything, but exposing Mazarin’s deepest secret threatens to tear France apart. When even King Louis’s love fails to protect Marie, she must summon her forbidden powers of divination to shield her family, protect France, and help the Sun King fulfill his destiny.

 

 

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