the island house
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From the internationally bestselling author of The Dressmaker comes an unforgettable novel about a young archaeologist who unearths ancient secrets, a tragic romance, and Viking treasure on a remote Scottish island. One warm, rainy summer, Freya Dane, a PhD candidate in archaeology, arrives on the ancient Scottish island of Findnar. Estranged as a child from her recently dead father, himself an archaeologist, Freya yearns to understand more about the man, his work on the island, and why he left her mother so many years ago. It seems Michael Dane uncovered much of Findnar’s Viking and Christian past through his search for an illusive tomb, and Freya continues his work. The discoveries she is destined to make, far greater than her father’s, will teach her the true meaning of love and of loss. AD 800, and a wandering comet, an omen of evil, shines down on Findnar. The fears of the locals are justified. In a Viking raid, Signy, a Pictish girl, loses her entire family. Taken in by survivors of the island’s Christian community, she falls in love with an injured Viking youth left behind by the raiders and is cast out. Confused and bereft, eventually she becomes a nun, a decision that will unleash tragedy as she is plunged into the heart of a war between three religions. Forced to choose among her ancestors’ animist beliefs, her adopted faith, and the man she loves, Signy will call out to Freya across the centuries. Ancient wrongs must be laid to rest in the present and the mystery at the heart of Findnar’s violent past exposed. In time the comet will return, a link between past and present. But for these two women, time does not exist. For them, the past will never die. It has waited for them both.
New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer evokes the shimmering seascape of Nantucket in a delightful novel that resonates with the heartache and hope of growing up, growing wise, and the bittersweet choices we must be brave enough to make. Courtney Hendricks will never forget the magical summers she spent on Nantucket with her college roommate, Robin Vickerey, and Robin’s charismatic, turbulent, larger-than-life family, in their gorgeous island house. Now a college English professor in Kansas City, Courtney is determined to experience one more summer in this sun-swept paradise. Her reason for going is personal: Courtney needs to know whether Robin’s brother James shares the feelings she’s secretly had for him. Time with the Vickerey family always involves love and laughter, and this season is no different. Vivacious matriarch Susanna Vickerey is celebrating her sixtieth birthday, but beneath the merriment, trouble is brewing. The family patriarch, Dr. Alastair Vickerey, is quiet and detached, while unspoken tension looms over oldest son Henry, a respected young surgeon. Warm and witty Robin, the most grounded of the siblings, is keeping a secret from her parents. Iris, the colorful baby of the brood, remains rudderless and in need of guidance. And the sexy, stunningly handsome, untouchable James—to Courtney’s dismay—may be in love with a beautiful and vibrant local artist. As the summer unfolds, a crisis escalates, surprising truths are revealed, and Courtney will at last find out where her heart and her future lie. Weaving the trials and uncertainty of real life into a tapestry of passion, hope, and courage, The Island House is a beautifully told story about the ties that bind us—and how the blessings of love and family heal us in ways we never dream possible. Praise for The Island House “Thayer’s latest should be filed under a Best Beach Reads of 2016 list. . . . The characters are complex and their struggles and concerns feel real. . . . Thayer has a really wonderful ability to showcase the meaning of family.”—RT Reviews “A perfect book to read while sticking your toes in the sand this summer!”—Bookish Devices “A touching story about friendship, family, and the uncertainty of love.”—Bustle Praise for Nancy Thayer The Guest Cottage “A sweet book with romance, laughter, and love after loss . . . Thayer knows her Nantucket history, and it shines in this book.”—RT Book Reviews “It’s a pleasant escape to a state of mind in which rebuilding a life is as simple as pitching an umbrella and spreading out a towel.”—Kirkus Reviews Nantucket Sisters “Thayer obviously knows her Nantucket, and the strong sense of place makes this the perfect escapist book for the summer, particularly for fans of Elin Hilderbrand.”—Booklist “Thayer keeps readers on the edge of their seats with her dramatic story spanning the girls’ childhood to adulthood. This wonderful beach read packs a punch.”—Library Journal Island Girls “A book to be savored and passed on to the good women in your life.”—Susan Wiggs “Full of emotion and just plain fun, this novel is delightful.”—Romance Reviews Today
From National Book Award–nominated writer Andrea Lee, an epic, gorgeously evocative novel about love and identity, following two decades in the marriage between an African American professor and her wealthy Italian husband as it unfolds on the remote and mysterious island of Madagascar. Shay is surprised when her husband Senna declares his intention to build her a spectacular dream house on an idyllic beach in the tropical island nation of Madagascar. But the Red Island House casts a spell from the moment she sees it, and before she knows it Shay has become the somewhat reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and education, and her connection to the continent of her ancestors. At first, she’s content to be an observer of the passionate affairs and fierce ambitions and rivalries around her. But as she and her husband raise children and establish their own rituals on the island, Shay finds herself drawn ever deeper into an extraordinary place with its own laws and logic, a provocative paradise full of magic and myth whose fraught colonial legacy continues to reverberate. Soon the collision of cultures comes right to Shay’s door, forcing her to make a life-altering decision. A sweeping novel about marriage and loyalty, identity and heritage, fate and freedom, Red Island House reintroduces readers to a powerhouse literary voice and an extravagantly lush, enchanted world.
Unable to move on after the death of his lover, British expat Niall Ahern clings to Nolan's dream of living in the Caribbean by moving to Tortola. Once there, he finds that not even the beauty of the island can fill the hole in his heart. Broke and spent in nearly every way imaginable, Niall wants out of the lonely, miserable, guilt-ridden life he's carved out for himself. When Ethan Bettencourt, a wealthy tech guru, shows up in British Virgin Islands looking to purchase a second home, he gives Niall hope that he can move on. Both men fall hard and fast, but Niall finds piloting his yacht in the midst of a hurricane is nothing compared to weathering life's simple misunderstandings. As their troubles come between them, Niall is left to wonder if he and Ethan are over before they've begun.
The home of designer John Sefanidis is a source of inspiration to homeowners and decorators. With vivid colors, bold simplicity, natural materials, and crisp, clean lines, the house epitomizes Stefanidis's comfortable but sophisticated style.
Wayne Good's approach to architecture is based on the idea that 'it is better to be good than to be original'. Although a passionate observer of the contemporary architectural scene, he believes strongly that the 'cult of novelty' pervasive within the profession is ultimately the 'mother of mediocrity'. Further, architecture must have room for new ideas and experimentation or it will stagnate, but without also informing our buildings with the memory of their cultural past, they are reduced to nothing more than idiosyncratic form. Through a process of reflective interpretation of familiar forms, context, and local culture as guided by the client's brief, Wayne's architecture is informed with an enduring quality of domestic repose. His work demonstrates that architectural excellence can be achieved with less iconoclastic ideals than those aspired to by the trend followers.
Roosevelt Island captures the fascinating and sometimes curious history of an island located halfway between Manhattan and Queens in the East River. In 1824, the city of New York purchased Blackwell's Island, later Welfare Island, as a site for its lunatic asylum, penitentiary, workhouses, and almshouses. In the years that followed, the island was a temporary home for several of New York City's famous and infamous. William Marcy Tweed, better known as "Boss Tweed," was imprisoned at the penitentiary in the 1870s. Mae West was incarcerated in 1927 at the Workhouse for Women after her appearance in a play called Sex. After many institutions were closed or relocated, Welfare Island was virtually ignored until 1973, when it was reborn as Roosevelt Island, which is now a model planned community and thriving home to almost ten thousand people.