MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Seven Days of Us

A Novel

by Francesca Hornak

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak X
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2017, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2018, 400 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

To: Andrew Birch andrew.birch@the-worldmag.co.uk
Date: Sat, Dec 17, 2016 at 4:08 p.m.
Subject: Hello

Dear Andrew,

I understand that this message may come as something of a shock, but I wanted to connect because I believe you are my birth father. My late birth mother was a Lebanese woman named Leila Deeba, who I imagine you met as a reporter in Beirut, 1980. She had me adopted soon after I was born, and I was raised by my adoptive parents in Iowa. I now live in Los Angeles, where I produce documentaries, primarily on health and well-being. I will be in Britain over the holiday season, researching a project, and I would very much like to meet you, if you'd feel comfortable with that.

Yours,

Jesse

PS: I'm a big fan of your columns!

"Are you all right?" said Emma, coming into his study. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

"Really?" said Andrew. "I'm fine. Just fine." His laptop was facing away from her, but he shut it anyway. "I've just filed my column. And how are you?" Andrew had always been surprised by his own ability to sound composed, even genial, when his mind was reeling.

"Fab!" said Emma. "I look forward to reading it. I'm just nipping out to John Lewis. I need to get some last things. Well, not last, but some more things for, um, Olivia's stocking. And I, I should get some more wrapping paper . . . " She tailed off, looking over his head at the clock. Andrew registered that his wife was speaking too quickly. But shock was still pounding through his body. She said something about what time she'd be back, and left. Andrew sat, reading the e-mail over and over again. Here it was, the voice he had been half dreading, half expecting. He thought back to that sultry night in Beirut, 1980, the one he had tried to convince himself had never happened. And then he thought of the strange little letter that Leila Deeba had written him, eighteen months ago, which had been forwarded from The World's offices. He still had it, hidden from Emma. "My late birth mother was . . ." So the glorious, firm-bodied woman he had fucked between hotel sheets was dead. He stood up and stared out of the rain-flecked window. "Frosty the Snowman" came floating up from the basement kitchen. How had he reached an age when a woman he had slept with could be dead—and it wasn't even remarkable? It was a bleak train of thought, and he forced himself back to the present. What, if anything, ought he to reply to this man? And, more to the point, what on earth was he going to tell Emma?



Emma

Dr. Singer's Practice, 3rd Floor, 68 Harley Street, 4:59 p.m.

Dr. Singer's waiting room, high above Harley Street, seemed to have been designed to cushion the blow of bad news. Everything was soft, carpeted, beige. There was always a plate of untouched biscuits by the tea and coffee, and piles of soothingly trashy magazines. Looking at a spread of a soap star's wedding, Emma wondered whether OK! was kept afloat by private doctors and their creepy diagnoses. Don't hope, Emma, she kept telling herself. Ever since childhood she had made the same bargain with fate. If she wanted one outcome, she had to make herself expect the opposite—to really, truly expect it. Then, the other outcome would come true (the one you'd wanted all along). It was like paying insurance—prepare for the worst, and all will be well. Of course, when her daughters were afraid she told them to "hope for the best" and "cross that bridge when you come to it." That was what mothers were supposed to say. Although only Phoebe confided in her, these days. If Olivia had any worries, she hadn't shared them for years. Perhaps, thought Emma, she could draw her older daughter out over the quarantine.

"Mrs. Birch?" said the receptionist with the cartoonish lips (did she drop by the cosmetic surgeon on the ground floor during her lunch breaks?). "Dr. Singer's ready for you." Emma walked into his room. It was a grim combination of heavy, mahogany furniture and medical equipment. Behind the curtain she knew there lay a narrow couch covered by a roll of blue paper, where she'd first shown Dr. Singer the hazelnut-sized lump in her right armpit.

Excerpted from Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak. Copyright © 2017 by Francesca Hornak. Excerpted by permission of Berkley Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Holiday Survival Guide

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossings
    Crossings
    by Alex Landragin
    Crossings is a beautiful, if slightly messy, time-bending debut. It reads like a vampire novel, sans...
  • Book Jacket: Pew
    Pew
    by Catherine Lacey
    A quote often attributed to Leo Tolstoy states that "All great literature is one of two stories; a ...
  • Book Jacket: Waiting for an Echo
    Waiting for an Echo
    by Christine Montross
    Dr. Christine Montross had been a practicing psychiatrist for nearly a decade when she decided to ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Flight Portfolio
    by Julie Orringer
    At once a sweeping historical narrative, an insightful character study and a tender romance, Julie ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Hieroglyphics
    by Jill McCorkle

    A mesmerizing novel about piecing together the hieroglyphics of history and memory.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    He Started It
    by Samantha Downing

    A new thriller from the twisted mind behind the mega hit My Lovely Wife.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Every Bone a Prayer
by Ashley Blooms

The the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight is boundless.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.