John Galsworthy’s nine Forsyte novels span fifty years of family decline, from the 1880s to the 1930s. In seeking to insulate themselves by property from the reality and the disintegration of their class,the Forsytes are gradually blinded to the threats of social change and ‘the stealthy march of passion’. Galsworthy tackles his huge theme – the death of the upper middle classes – with a unique blend of irony and understanding.
1920: The old Forsytes are dead except Timothy, now a centenarian reverting to petulant babyhood, and the Forsytes are split into two camps: those of Soames, the tight-lipped lawyer, ; and of Jolyon, his opposite in temperament. When Soames’s daughter, Fleur, and Jolyon’s son, Jon, fall in love, the Forsyte armistice is over, and old wounds are mercilessly reopened.
Ken Follett - Edge of Eternity
EDGE OF ETERNITY is the sweeping, passionate conclusion to Ken Follett’s extraordinary historical epic, The Century Trilogy. Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll. East German teacher Rebecca Hoffman discovers she’s been spied on by the Stasi for years and commits an impulsive act that will affect her family for the rest of their lives.…George Jakes, the child of a mixed-race couple, bypasses a corporate law career to join Robert F. Kennedy’s Justice Department, and finds himself in the middle not only of the seminal events of the civil rights battle, but a much more personal battle of his own.…Cameron Dewar, the grandson of a senator, jumps at the chance to do some official and unofficial espionage for a cause he believes in, only to discover that the world is a much more dangerous place than he’d imagined.…Dimka Dvorkin, a young aide to Nikita Khrushchev, becomes a prime agent both for good and for ill as the United States and the Soviet Union race to the brink of nuclear war, while his twin sister, Tania, carves out a role that will take her from Moscow to Cuba to Prague to Warsaw – and into history. As always with Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew but now will never seem the same again.
Isabel Allende - The House of the Spirits
Spanning four generations, Isabel Allende's magnificent family saga is populated by a memorable, often eccentric cast of characters. Together, men and women, spirits, the forces of nature, and of history, converge in an unforgettable, wholly absorbing and brilliantly realised novel that is as richly entertaining as it is a masterpiece of modern literature.
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles - The Founding
Set against the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses, this book tells the story of the arranged marriage of Robert Morland and Eleanor, ward of the powerful Beaufort family. Robert adores her, but her secret passion is for Richard, Duke of York. (The first book in the Morland Dynasty series)
Bryce Courtenay - April Fool's Day
_In the end, love is more important than everything and it will conquer and overcome anything. Or that's how Damon saw it, anyway. Damon wanted a book that talked a lot about love._ Damon Courtenay died on the morning of April Fool's Day. In this tribute to his son, Bryce Courtenay lays bare the suffering behind this young man's life. Damon's story is one of lifelong struggle, his love for Celeste, the compassion of family, and a fight to the end for integrity. A testimony to the power of love, April Fool's Day is also about understanding: how when we confront our worst, we can become our best. This life-affirming book will change the way you think.
Anne Rennie - Ride with the Wind
From the colourful world of international horse racing comes a gripping saga of love, ambition and the unswerving conviction of an unforgettable woman. Young Joanna Kingsford shows the same passion and strength of spirit that have made her father, the legendary Charlie Kingsford, one of Australia's greatest trainers. But, torn between his conscience and the demands of his pampered socialite wife, Charlie refuses to let his daughter near the horses she loves. Determined to prove she can succeed in a man's world, Jo begins a new life far from the glamour and excitement of Sydney's racetracks. In the quiet of the English countryside she slowly begins to carve out a name for herself as a first-class trainer... only to find, just as her career and love start to bloom, that the past cannot be forgotten so easily and she must choose between the man she loves and her dream of following in her father's footsteps
John Galsworthy - In Chancery
John Galsworthy's nine Forsyte novels span fifty years of family decline, from the 1880s to the 1930s. In seeking to insulate themselves by property from the reality and the disintegration of their class, the Forsytes are gradually blinded to the threats of social change and 'the stealthy march of passion'. Galsworthy tackles his huge theme - the death of the upper-middle classes - with a unique blend of irony and understanding. Soames, the arch-Forsyte, 'The Man of Property', is separated from his wife, Irene, and at loggerheads with his cousin, 'Young' Jolyon, who is largely emancipated from the Forsyte credo. Both feuds are dramatically resolved against the background of the Boer War, itself a portent of violent upheaval.
Louisa May Alcott - Little Women / Good Wives
Little Women is one of the best-loved children's stories of all time, based on the author's own youthful experiences. It describes the family life of the four March sisters living in a small New England community, Meg, the eldest, is pretty and wishes to be a lady; Jo, at fifteen is ungainly and unconventional with an ambition to be an author; Beth is a delicate child of thirteen with a taste for music and Amy is a blonde beauty of twelve. The story of their domestic adventures, their attempts to increase the family income, their friendship with the neighbouring Lawrence family, and their later love affairs remains as fresh and beguiling as ever. Good Wives takes up the story of the March sisters, some three years later, when, as young adults, they must face up to the inevitable trials and traumas of everyday life in their search for individual happiness.
Anne Bennett - Danny Boy
A deeply moving saga of a young couple with high hopes for a bright future in rural Ireland, only to find themselves embroiled in the uprising of 1916 and having to make a new life for themselves in Birmingham. Rosie's family doesn't have much money, but she's rich in other ways: she loves her life on the farm, her sisters, her friends, and even her spoilt baby brother. When Danny Walsh asks her to walk out with him one Sunday, it's a dream come true. Everyone agrees that they are made for each other and soon they are married. But Danny's young brother runs away to join in the uprising of Easter 1916. Danny is a man of peace but has no choice; he must find his brother and bring him home. Before he can be released, Danny must swear to take his place. Danny will never be free of his pledge. He takes Rosie and their small daughter to what they hope is safety in Birmingham -- but the fight to survive has just begun, as nobody will employ an Irishman when there's a war on. With no money coming in, Rosie does the unthinkable and leaves Danny to look after the child while she finds a job in munitions. Little does she realise the danger she is in and what consequences it will have for her and her family. Danny and Rosie will find their resources, spirit and love for each other are tested to the utmost limit before the future is bright again...
Ann-Marie MacDonald - Fall on Your Knees
The Piper family is steeped in secrets, lies, and unspoken truths. At the eye of the storm is one secret that threatens to shake their lives even to destroy them. Set on stormy Cape Breton Island off Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is an internationally acclaimed multigenerational saga that chronicles the lives of four unforgettable sisters. Theirs is a world filled with driving ambition, inescapable family bonds, and forbidden love. Compellingly written, by turns menacingly dark and hilariously funny, this is an epic tale of five generations of sin, guilt, and redemption.
Louisa May Alcott - Little Men
In this sequel to LITTLE WOMEN, Jo and her husband, Professor Friedrich Bhaer, open Plumfield--a boarding school for boys. Louisa May Alcott's story describes the adventures of Plumfield's boisterous but kindhearted students with the entire Bhaer family, including Jo and Friedrich's two young sons.
Ken Follett - Winter of the World
Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants, the first novel in his extraordinary new historical epic, The Century Trilogy, was an international sensation, acclaimed as “sweeping and fascinating, a book that will consume you for days or weeks” (USA Today) and “grippingly told and readable to the end” (The New York Times Book Review). “If the next two volumes are as lively and entertaining as Fall of Giants,” said The Washington Post, “they should be well worth waiting for.” Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come. These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With passion and the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.
Jonathan Franzen - Freedom
From the National Book Award-winning author of The Corrections, a darkly comedic novel about family Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz - outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival - still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become 'a very different kind of neighbor,' an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes? In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's intensely realized characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
Louisa May Alcott - Good Wives
The novel is a sequel to L. M. Alcott's other novel "Little Women." This story follows the little girls into adult hood. There are autobiographical elements in the book as Jo's struggles in her writing career and other events are depicted. The novel created four most beloved women in American Literature.
Iris Murdoch - An Unofficial Rose
From the elderly widower, Hugh, to his granddaughter, Miranda, the nine characters in this novel are all looking for love; and so closely is the web woven that the actions and passions of each are constantly affecting the others.
Rosamunde Pilcher - The Shell Seekers
Set in London and Cornwall between World War II and the present, this is the story of the Keeling family, and of the passions and heart-break that have held them together for three generations--a story of life, hope, children and death.
Louisa May Alcott - Little Women
A classic with girls everywhere, LITTLE WOMEN tells the gripping story of the four March sisters--Jo, Amy, Beth, and Meg--as they struggle to grow up in an impoverished New England family during the Civil War. In this old-fashioned coming-of-age novel based on Louisa May Alcott's own interesting childhood, each sister, though uniquely talented, has to overcome her own unfortunate qualities, which include bluntness, vanity, shyness, and self-indulgence. Book One focuses on the pleasures and pains of life with their loving and wise mother, Marmee, while their father, a minister, serves in the war. Book Two takes place after the war has ended and the father has returned to the family. Jo's intense determination to become a professional writer, Beth’s loving heart, Meg’s work as a governess, and Amy’s burgeoning artistic talent are each followed with care.
Jonathan Safran Foer - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer tells the story of a precocious 9-year old boy, Oskar Schell. Oskar is very intelligent and independent, writes letters to Stephen Hawking, designs jewelry, and wanders about New York City wearing only white while playing the tambourine. On 9/11, he discovers the family's answering machine contains 5 messages from his father trapped in the north tower before he dies, and he hides the messages from his mother. Oskar struggles to deal with this inconsolable loss, distancing himself from his mom who eventually finds another man, and dreaming of fanciful inventions that can protect people from harm. When he finds a key in his father's closet with the word "Black" on the envelope holding it. Oskar seaches the city for every family named Black in hopes they can tell him the secret of the key, in hopes of understanding his father better. Oskar's grandmother lives across the street from him, and she struggles with the loss of her son while remembering her own survival during the bombing of Dresden and the damage it did to her family. Jonathan Safran Foer explores the psychological fallout from 9/11 through an unlikely boy whose pain and ideas ring all too true. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has received high praise with the Rocky Mountain News saying, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a complex, hilarious, tear-jerking and terribly intimate story."
Jonathan Franzen - The Corrections
The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century-a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. After almost fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly at his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain of an affair with a married man - or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home. Stretching from the Midwest at midcentury to the Wall Street and Eastern Europe of today, The Corrections brings an old-fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions into violent collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and globalized greed. Richly realistic, darkly hilarious, deeply humane, it confirms Jonathan Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.
David Sonnenschein - Sound Design
With sound becoming more important in cinema exhibition and DVD release, Sound Design offers user-friendly knowledge and stimulating exercises to help compose a story, develop characters and create emotion through skillful creation of the sound track. Psychoacoustics, music theory, voice study and analysis of well-known films expand perception, imagination and the musical skills of the reader.