Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is an e-ARC from NetGalley, release date:  October 4, 2016.  Cruel Beautiful World is by Caroline Leavitt, a portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.





Intro:  (1969)

Lucy runs away with her high school teacher, William, on a Friday, the last day of school, a June morning shiny with heat.  She’s downstairs in the kitchen, and Iris has the TV on.  The weather guy, his skin golden as a cashew, is smiling about power outages, urging the elderly and the sick to stay inside, his voice sliding like a trombone, and as soon as she hears the word “elderly,” Lucy glances uneasily at Iris.

“He doesn’t mean me, honey,” Iris says mildly, putting more bacon to snap in the pan.  “I’m perfectly fine.”


Teaser:  He looked over at the TV and then at the burgers.  “Buckwheat burgers again?”

She opened up the cupboards.  “What else do you see for me to cook?”

“We have chickens, honey.  We could have omelets.  Or a quiche.”

“What’s a quiche?” (53%)


Synopsis:  It’s 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy’s default caretaker for most of their lives, Charlotte’s youth has been marked by the burden of responsibility, but never more so than when Lucy’s dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare.

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty, and explores what happens when you’re responsible for things you cannot make right.


What do you think?  Do the excerpts tease you?  Make you want to keep reading?  Or is it the blurb that settles it for you?



  1. Diane D

    I like the cover which has an old fashioned feel to it and the intro leaves me curious. Plus I know someone who ran off with their high school teacher and are still together 40 years later LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like a very complicated situation – I’ve strong views on teachers assaulting the children in their care. It is crossing all sorts of lines and breaking trust with a relationship that can run very deep with care and love in it, on both sides. Throwing the romantic version into the mix is ALWAYS inappropriate. So I wouldn’t pick this one up, because right from the start I would be consumed by the urge to hit William very hard with a poker… Having said that, it sounds like it raises all sorts of relevant issues:). Thank you for sharing – and dropping by earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

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