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.
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?