• Fiction

The Stolen Marriage

A Novel
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250087295
Category: Fiction
Page: 384
View: 6289
Steeped in history and filled with heart-wrenching twists, The Stolen Marriage is an emotionally captivating novel of secrets, betrayals, prejudice, and forgiveness. It showcases Diane Chamberlain at the top of her talent. One mistake, one fateful night, and Tess DeMello’s life is changed forever. It is 1944. Pregnant, alone, and riddled with guilt, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly gives up her budding career as a nurse and ends her engagement to the love of her life, unable to live a lie. Instead, she turns to the baby’s father for help and agrees to marry him, moving to the small, rural town of Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows her no affection. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out. The people of Hickory love and respect Henry but see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. When one of the town’s golden girls dies in a terrible accident, everyone holds Tess responsible. But Henry keeps his secrets even closer now, though it seems that everyone knows something about him that Tess does not. When a sudden polio epidemic strikes Hickory, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital. Tess knows she is needed and defies Henry’s wishes to begin working at there. Through this work, she begins to find purpose and meaning. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle the truth behind her husband’s mysterious behavior and find the love—and the life—she was meant to have? A Library Reads Top Ten Book of October 2017 Praise for The Stolen Marriage: "[A] well-crafted crime-tinged tale." —Publishers Weekly "The Stolen Marriage is the kind of story that will grab you and refuse to let you go until you turn the last page." —All About Romance "Readers will be sucked in immediately...you just can't go wrong with a book with [Chamberlain's] name on the cover." —Southern Pines Pilot

    • Fiction

The Stolen Marriage

The Twisting, Turning, Most Heartbreaking Mystery You'll Read This Year
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 1509809570
Category: Fiction
Page: N.A
View: 5502
'Fans of Jodi Picoult's style will love how Diane Chamberlain writes' Candis 'I love Diane's writing' Cathy Kelly, author of The Year That Changed Everything The Stolen Marriage is a compelling novel from Diane Chamberlain, the bestselling author of The Silent Sister, Pretending to Dance and The Midwife’s Confession. In 1944, Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life, marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night and Tess quickly comes to realize that she is now trapped in a strange and loveless marriage. The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? When a polio epidemic strikes the town, taking the lives of some of its children, the townspeople band together to quickly build a polio hospital. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital. As Henry’s actions grow more baffling and alarming by the day, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behaviour and save her own life?

    • Fiction

The Stolen Marriage


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1760556181
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 7471
The Stolen Marriage is a compelling novel from Diane Chamberlain, the bestselling author of The Silent Sister, Pretending to Dance and The Midwife’s Confession. In 1944, twenty-three-year-old Tess DeMello abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to Hickory, North Carolina. Hickory is a small town struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. Tess’s new husband, Henry Kraft, is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. Tess quickly realizes she’s trapped in a strange and loveless marriage with no way out. The people of Hickory love and respect Henry and see Tess as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and Tess is blamed for the death. Tess suspects people are talking about her, plotting behind her back, and following her as she walks around town. What does everyone know about Henry that she does not? Feeling alone and adrift in a hostile town, Tess turns to the one person who seems to understand her – a local medium who gives her hope but seems to know more than he’s letting on. When a sudden polio epidemic strikes the town, taking the lives of some of its children, including a boy well known to the Kraft family, the townspeople band together to build a polio hospital in less than three days. Tess, who has a nursing degree, bucks Henry’s wishes and begins to work at the hospital, finding meaning in nursing the young victims. Yet at home, Henry’s actions grow more baffling and alarming by the day. As Tess works to save the lives of her patients, can she untangle her husband’s mysterious behavior and save her own life?

    • Fiction

Necessary Lies

A Novel
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250010705
Category: Fiction
Page: 368
View: 7864
Bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town fifty years ago, and the darkest—and most hopeful—places in the human heart After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother's aging, her sister's mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give. When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County's newest social worker, she doesn't realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong. Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it's wrong?

    • Fiction

Keeper of the Light


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: MIRA
ISBN: 9781459204225
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 6270
Dr. Olivia Simon is on duty in the emergency room of North Carolina's Outer Banks Hospital when a gunshot victim is brought in. Midway through the desperate effort to save the young woman's life, Olivia realizes who she is—Annie O'Neill. The woman Olivia's husband, Paul, is in love with. When Annie dies on the operating table, she leaves behind three other victims. Alec O'Neill, who thought he had the perfect marriage. Paul, whose fixation on Annie is unshakable. And Olivia, who is desperate to understand the woman who destroyed her marriage. Now they are left with unanswered questions about who Annie really was. And about the secrets she kept hidden so well.

    • Fiction

The Dream Daughter

A Novel
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250087325
Category: Fiction
Page: 352
View: 7704
New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a thrilling, mind-bending novel about one mother's journey to save her child. When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part. And all for the love of her unborn child. The Dream Daughter is a rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother's quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget. Praise for The Dream Daughter: "Chamberlain writes with supernatural gifts...fate, destiny, chance and hope combine for a heady and breathless wonder of a read." —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale "Can a story be both mind-bending and heartfelt? In Diane Chamberlain’s hands, it can. The Dream Daughter will hold readers in anxious suspense until the last satisfying page." —Therese Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z

    • Fiction

The Stolen Crown

The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England
Author: Susan Higginbotham
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
ISBN: 9781402247019
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 4163
On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything-for Kate and for England. Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth's two young princes, but Richard's own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties... Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly evil-or wholly good. Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown is a compelling tale of one marriage that changed the fate of England forever. Praise for The Stolen Crown: "The Wars of the Roses come spectacularly to life in Susan Higginbotham's compelling new novel about Kate Woodville, sister to Queen Elizabeth of England. A sweeping tale of danger, treachery, and love, The Stolen Crown is impossible to put down!" -Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Cleopatra's Daughter "A fascinating and compelling look at a tumultuous era. Susan Higginbotham writes the perfect blend of historical fact and fiction." -Elizabeth Kerri Mahon, creator of the Scandalous Women blog "A new King with a secret Queen; love and tears, loyalty and turmoil. With a single stroke, Susan Higginbotham transports her readers into a vividly portrayed past, where the turbulent lives of her characters become very real. Probably her best novel yet!" -Helen Hollick, author of the Pendragon's Banner trilogy "A tale of love, palace intrigue, and betrayal...Susan Higginbotham draws the reader under her spell, her characters vivid and real: their voices, their loves, their losses. She brings the dead to life." -Christy English, author of The Queen's Pawn

    • Fiction

The Silent Sister

A Novel
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250010721
Category: Fiction
Page: 352
View: 3584
In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing New York Times bestselling mystery from Diane Chamberlain.

    • Fiction

Pretending to Dance

A Novel
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 125001073X
Category: Fiction
Page: 352
View: 4389
Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She lives in San Diego with a husband she adores, and they are trying to adopt a baby because they can't have a child on their own. But the process of adoption brings to light many questions about Molly's past and her family-the family she left behind in North Carolina twenty years before. The mother she says is dead but who is very much alive. The father she adored and whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison's Ridge. Her own birth mother whose mysterious presence in her family raised so many issues that came to a head. The summer of twenty years ago changed everything for Molly and as the past weaves together with the present story, Molly discovers that she learned to lie in the very family that taught her about pretending. If she learns the truth about her beloved father's death, can she find peace in the present to claim the life she really wants? Told with Diane Chamberlain's compelling prose and gift for deft exploration of the human heart, Pretending to Dance is an exploration of family, lies, and the complexities of both.

    • Fiction

The Good Assassin

A Novel
Author: Paul Vidich
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 150111042X
Category: Fiction
Page: 288
View: 837
“Paul Vidich’s likable and reluctant spy, George Mueller, will keep readers guessing in this eerily real Cuba of 1958. The Good Assassin is a keen historical adventure from the best noir tradition.”—Elizabeth Kostova, #1 New York Times bestselling author “The Good Assassin opens up Hemingway’s Cuba. Possessing Alan Furst’s attention for period detail and the deft character touches of John Le Carré, Vidich has quickly carved out a place for himself among the very first rank of espionage writers. It’s a masterful effort and the author’s best work to date.”—Michael Harvey, New York Times bestselling author of The Chicago Way “The Good Assassin is first-rate literary espionage . . . Author Paul Vidich has evoked not only the intrigue and brutality of Batista’s Cuba, but the island itself . . . a masterful work of noir fiction.”—Susan Isaacs, New York Times bestselling author of A Hint of Strangeness Paul Vidich follows up his acclaimed debut spy thriller with a suspenseful tale of Cold War espionage set in 1950s Cuba, as foreign powers compete to influence the outcome of a revolution. Former CIA Agent George Mueller arrives in Havana in August 1958—the last months before the fall of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista—to look into the activities of Toby Graham, a CIA officer suspected of harboring sympathies for the rebel forces fighting the unpopular Batista regime. Mueller knew Graham as an undergraduate and later they were colleagues in Berlin fighting the Soviet NKVD. Under the guise of their long acquaintance Mueller is recruited to vet rumors that Graham is putting weapons, covertly provided by the CIA to Batista, into the hands of Castro’s forces. Public exposure of the CIA weapons mission, and the activity of one rogue agent, threaten to embarrass the agency. Mueller uncovers a world of deceit as the FBI, CIA, and State Department compete to influence the outcome of the revolution in the face of the brutal dictatorship’s imminent collapse. Graham, meanwhile, is troubled by the hypocrisy of a bankrupt US foreign policy, and has fallen in love with a married American woman, Liz Malone. Paul Vidich has written a powerful story of ideals, passions, betrayals, and corrupting political rivalries in the months before Castro’s triumphant march into Havana on New Year’s Day 1959. This sequel showcases the widely praised talents of Paul Vidich, who Booklist says, “writes with an economy of style that acclaimed novelists might do well to emulate.”

    • Family & Relationships

Brass Ring


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: Diane Chamberlain
ISBN: 0988205734
Category: Family & Relationships
Page: 529
View: 6588
Perpetual optimist Claire Harte-Mathias and her disabled husband, Jon, run a successful foundation to help people with spinal cord injuries. One night, Claire witnesses a woman leap to her death from a bridge, and the tragedy sparks murky childhood memories that leave her confused and frightened. As Claire becomes obsessed with trying to understand the power the haunting memories have over her, she's torn between blocking them from her mind entirely and trying to unearth their source. Putting both her marriage and self image on the line, she struggles to uncover the truth, only to discover that the past, present and future are connected in ways she never dreamed. Library Journal called Brass Ring "well-written" and "suspenseful." Brass Ring was a Literary Guild and Doubleday alternate selection.

    • Fiction

The Shadow Wife


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: MIRA
ISBN: 1488038333
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 3335
Get swept up in this emotional tale of regret and rebirth by bestselling author Diane Chamberlain. Joelle D’Angelo’s best friend, Mara, is left with brain damage after she suffers an aneurysm giving birth to her son. Alone and grieving, Joelle turns to the only other person who understands her pain: her colleague—and Mara’s husband—Liam. What starts out as comfort between friends gradually becomes something more…something undeniable. Torn by guilt and the impossibility of her feelings for Liam, Joelle sets out determined to find help for Mara, no matter how unconventional the source. Her search leads her to a mansion in Monterey, California, and into the life of a woman shrouded in mystery. Carlynn Kling Shire is a healer and, according to Joelle’s parents, saved Joelle’s life when she was an infant. As Joelle is guided down an unfamiliar path by a woman keeping her own shocking secrets, she discovers that while some love is doomed, some love is destined to survive anything. Previously published as Cypress Point Originally published in 2002

    • Fiction

Private Relations


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: Diane Chamberlain
ISBN: 0988205769
Category: Fiction
Page: N.A
View: 541
Welcome to the Chapel House, the old oceanfront mansion where a group of close friends share their hopes and dreams . . . and where love is sometimes an unexpected guest. Heartfelt and deeply moving, Private Relations won the 1989 RITA award for Best Single Title Contemporary Novel from the Romance Writers of America.

    • Fiction

Breaking the Silence


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: MIRA
ISBN: 145929226X
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 1874
Laura Brandon's promise to her dying father was simple: to visit an elderly woman she'd never heard of before. A woman who remembers nothing—except the distant past. Visiting Sarah Tolley seemed a small enough sacrifice to make. But Laura's promise results in another death. Her husband's. And after their five-year-old daughter, Emma, witnesses her father's suicide, Emma refuses to talk about it…to talk at all. Frantic and guilt ridden, Laura contacts the only person who may be able to help. A man she's met only once—six years before. A man who doesn't know he's Emma's real father. Guided only by a child's silence and an old woman's fading memories, the two unravel a tale of love and despair, of bravery and unspeakable evil. A tale that's shrouded in silence…and that unbelievably links them all.

    • Fiction

The Midwife's Confession


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: MIRA
ISBN: 9781459201538
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 4771
Dear Anna, What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry… The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life. Yet there was so much they didn’t know. With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit. Told with sensitivity and insight, The Midwife’s Confession will have you turning pages late into the night. From the bestselling author of The Lies We Told and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes comes a story of deception that asks: How much is too much to forgive?

    • Fiction

An American Marriage

A Novel
Author: Tayari Jones
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 1616207604
Category: Fiction
Page: 336
View: 4597
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION “One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon . . . An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.” —Barack Obama “Haunting . . . Beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review “Brilliant and heartbreaking . . . Unforgettable.” —USA Today “A tense and timely love story . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class.” —People “Compelling.” —The Washington Post “Epic . . . Transcendent . . . Triumphant.” —Elle Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.

    • Fiction

The Marriage Plot

A Novel
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429969180
Category: Fiction
Page: 416
View: 472
A New York Times Notable Book of 2011 A Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Book of 2011 A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Best Fiction of 2011 Title One of Library Journal's Best Books of 2011 A Salon Best Fiction of 2011 title One of The Telegraph's Best Fiction Books of the Year 2011 It's the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine tries to understand why "it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France," real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy—suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old "friend" Mitchell Grammaticus—who's been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange—resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate. Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can't escape the secret responsible for Leonard's seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love. Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.

    • Fiction

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes


Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: MIRA
ISBN: 1460398963
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 6231
In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child. CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she knows what happened to her missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies.

    • Fiction

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

A Novel
Author: Samantha Silva
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 1250154030
Category: Fiction
Page: 288
View: 5719
“A charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.” —Anthony Doerr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva's Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic. Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in. Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Committed

A Sceptic Makes Peace With Marriage
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408807599
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 1489
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe - a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both survivors of difficult divorces. Enough said.) But providence intervened one day in the form of the U.S. government, who - after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing - gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving completely into this topic, trying with all her might to discover (through historical research, interviews and much personal reflection) what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. The result is Committed - a witty and intelligent contemplation of marriage that debunks myths, unthreads fears and suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in her amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibility of adulthood. Gilbert's memoir - destined to become a cherished handbook for any thinking person hovering on the verge of marriage - is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love, with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.