Freshman novelist Gaynor Arnold exquisitely imbues a story that takes place more than 150 years ago with a ripped-from-today's-headlines texture, while simultaneously hurtling readers headlong into the heart and soul of Victorian womanhood. Using as inspiration letters written by Charles Dickens to his wife Catherine, Arnold riffs on a theme we see played out everyday in the 21st century. That is, how much does the family of a celebrity owe to the public and to posterity? Is any sacrifice too great when it comes to supporting a creative genius? To further complicate this dilemma, Arnold's novel takes place in an era of unyielding social standards and moral regulations, a time when many women struggle within the constraints of suffocating options. It is also a time when such raging celebrity as Dickens enjoyed is mostly unheard of.
So it's fitting that Arnold's fictionalized account ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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