Enchanted Islands

Enchanted Islands

Allison Amend

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

Inspired by the midcentury memoirs of Frances Conway, Enchanted Islands is the dazzling story of an independent American woman whose path takes her far from her native Minnesota when she and her husband, an undercover intelligence officer, are sent to the Galápagos Islands at the brink of World War II. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1882 to immigrant parents, Frances Frankowski covets the life of her best friend, Rosalie Mendel, who has everything Fanny could wish for—money, parents who value education, and an effervescent and winning personality. When, at age fifteen, Rosalie decides they should run away to Chicago, Fanny jumps at the chance to escape her unexceptional life. But, within a year, Rosalie commits an unforgivable betrayal, inciting Frances to strike out on her own.Decades later, the women reconnect in San Francisco and realize how widely their lives have diverged. While Rosalie is a housewife and mother, Frances works as a secretary...
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A Nearly Perfect Copy

A Nearly Perfect Copy

Allison Amend

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

Richly drawn and sharply observed, A Nearly Perfect Copy is a smart and affecting novel of family and forgery set amidst the rarefied international art world.Elm Howells has a loving family and a distinguished career at an elite Manhattan auction house. But after a tragic loss throws her into an emotional crisis, she pursues a reckless course of action that jeopardizes her personal and professional success. Meanwhile, talented artist Gabriel Connois wearies of remaining at the margins of the capricious Parisian art scene, and, desperate for recognition, he embarks on a scheme that threatens his burgeoning reputation. As these narratives converge, with disastrous consequences, A Nearly Perfect Copy boldly challenges our presumptions about originality and authenticity, loss and replacement, and the perilous pursuit of perfection. From the Hardcover edition.
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A Nearly Perfect Copy: A Novel

A Nearly Perfect Copy: A Novel

Allison Amend

Historical / Historical Fiction / Fiction

Richly drawn and sharply observed, A Nearly Perfect Copy is a smart and affecting novel of family and forgery set amidst the rarefied international art world.Elm Howells has a loving family and a distinguished career at an elite Manhattan auction house. But after a tragic loss throws her into an emotional crisis, she pursues a reckless course of action that jeopardizes her personal and professional success. Meanwhile, talented artist Gabriel Connois wearies of remaining at the margins of the capricious Parisian art scene, and, desperate for recognition, he embarks on a scheme that threatens his burgeoning reputation. As these narratives converge, with disastrous consequences, A Nearly Perfect Copy boldly challenges our presumptions about originality and authenticity, loss and replacement, and the perilous pursuit of perfection. Review"Gracefully wielding a collage of unlikely elements, A Nearly Perfect Copy pits authenticity against imitation, deception against personal fulfillment, and replacement against irretrievable loss ... Intricate and ambitious ... Amend’s characters [are] relatable and visceral ... [Her] crisp, even prose is hard to pull away from and subtle in its elegance."—The *Dallas Morning News"A smart page turner ... Amend creates very real characters who live in a very unreal world. This is a wonderfully witty and stylish novel, perfect for the summer."—Elizabeth Taylor, *Chicago Tribune"A well-crafted and introspective novel that will provide fodder for thoughtful discussions on morality and integrity."—*Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star"[A] fast-paced, intriguing novel."—People"Allison Amend has given us a flawlessly rendered, totally engrossing, class-and-continent hopping story about the day to day struggles of marriage and loss, the commerce and caprice of high art, the reality of being talented and ambitious when talent and ambition are not enough, and the ethics of cloning. Every scene, every page, every passage of this novel has been written with the stunning clarity and great humanity of a true artist at the height of her abilities. My guess is, if you read this book you will soon be shoving it into the hand of someone you love. I certainly will."—Charles Bock, New York Times bestselling author of *Beautiful Children*"Just when you think you know where A Nearly Perfect Copy is going, it swerves, like life, in some new direction. Allison Amend has packed this book with wit, style, yearning, risk, damage, truth, and compassion, populated it with characters who breathe with their own individual mystery, and along the way written what just might be the definitive fictional treatment of art forgery."—Kevin Brockmeier, author of *The Brief History of the Dead"This is what people mean when they use the term 'intelligent page-turner.' Amend is a brilliant storyteller, whose pitch-perfect observations call to mind Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Egan. The complicated, completely fascinating characters (built with such human sympathy), the intricacy and cleverness of the plot, and the razor sharp exploration of contemporary mores make for a truly masterful read. I loved, loved, loved it."—Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age"Clever, wry ... Amend makes her characters immediately real, depicting their complicated desires and decisions in a highly enjoyable, nearly perfect novel." —Publishers Weekly, starred review“Amend creates suspense by charting in wincing detail Elm’s and Gabriel’s progress through ethically gray areas in the art market to unquestionably illegal acts ... Well-wrought ... the author meticulously delineates [her characters’] yearnings and frustrations ... Cleverly rendered.”*—The Washington Post*"[Written] with supple command, caustic wit, and a deep fascination with decent people who lose their moral compass ... As Amend tracks the descent of her two wounded and alienated innocents into lies, desperation, and crime, her visual acuity, fluent psychology, venture into the shadow side of the art world, and storytelling verve make for a blue-chip novel of substance and suspense."—*Booklist*"Something very real comes out of the many layers of forgery in Allison Amend's brainy intrigue of the shadowy side of the art world. Provenance is earned in more than the expected ways! A Nearly Perfect Copy is a captivating story."—Ron Carlson, author of *The Signal "Allison Amend is a gifted storyteller—no, more than gifted. Her writing is powerful enough to create its own kind of weather. Her characters are so real it's as if you could reach between the pages and shake hands with them."—Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief*"A fast-paced, lively novel of forgery ... Amend provides a fizzy, entertaining insider's look at the conjunction of visual art and commerce—especially the world of art auctions ... Her exploration of the ethics and the mechanics of the art world provide charm and enjoyment ... A provocative and likable read."—*Kirkus Reviews"Amend’s talent is on full display as these smart, complex narratives dance around each other, each capturing the reader’s imagination without ever detracting from the other story. Although she’s received critical acclaim for her work in a number of literary publications and for her historical novel, Stations West, this finely rendered portrait of two lives should introduce Amend to a wider audience."—*BookPage*About the AuthorALLISON AMEND, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, is the author of the Independent Publisher’s Award-winning short story collection Things That Pass for Love and the novel Stations West, which was a finalist for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Oklahoma Book Award. She lives in New York City.
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