My friend Beatriz Williams, whose previous books Overseas and A Hundred Summers are both beautiful, has a brand new book coming out TODAY, and I have in my hot little hands something even better than a regular copy such as you'd find in a store: I have a more-rare-and-much-harder-to-come-by ARC (Advance Reading Copy), SIGNED by Beatriz herself!
(Full Disclosure: She actually sent it to me a couple of months ago so I could give it away, and being Me I set it here on my desk with Good Intentions, and promptly buried it in pages of the novel I'm now working on...)
Here's the official story synopsis for THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT:
Passion, redemption, and a battered suitcase full of secrets: the New York Times-bestselling author of A Hundred Summers returns with another engrossing tale.
Manhattan, 1964. Vivian Schuyler, newly graduated from Bryn Mawr College, has recently defied the privilege of her storied old Fifth Avenue family to do the unthinkable for a budding Kennedy-era socialite: break into the Mad Men world of razor-stylish Metropolitan magazine. But when she receives a bulky overseas parcel in the mail, the unexpected contents draw her inexorably back into her family’s past, and the hushed-over crime passionnel of an aunt she never knew, whose existence has been wiped from the record of history.
Berlin, 1914. Violet Schuyler Grant endures her marriage to the philandering and decades-older scientist Dr. Walter Grant for one reason: for all his faults, he provides the necessary support to her liminal position as a young American female physicist in prewar Germany. The arrival of Dr. Grant’s magnetic former student at the beginning of Europe’s fateful summer interrupts this delicate détente. Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British Army, challenges Violet to escape her husband’s perverse hold, and as the world edges into war and Lionel’s shocking true motives become evident, Violet is tempted to take the ultimate step to set herself free and seek a life of her own conviction with a man whose cause is as audacious as her own.
As the iridescent and fractured Vivian digs deeper into her aunt’s past and the mystery of her ultimate fate, Violet’s story of determination and desire unfolds, shedding light on the darkness of her years abroad . . . and teaching Vivian to reach forward with grace for the ambitious future––and the love––she wants most.
More Full Disclosure: As I said above, Beatriz is my friend. We have trudged through a New York City blizzard together to sign books (though she, being Beatriz, looks Elegant even in blizzards, whilst I, being Me, look Bedraggled...)
She has even allowed me to talk her into entering Historical Costume Competitions whilst wearing my reproduction 18th century gown when I forgot to pack my stays so couldn't wear it myself (Beatriz, as you can plainly see, does NOT need stays).
But besides being my friend, she is also one amazing storyteller, and I think anyone who enjoys my books would enjoy Beatriz's also.
To enter for a chance to win this single advance reading copy I have on my desk here, just leave a comment answering this question:
What member of YOUR family would you like to know more about?
I'll choose the winner at random from all the comments left here before midnight, May 31st.