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From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman's journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII. On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man. When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child. Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she's never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved's fate, whatever the cost.
It's 1895, and after the death of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma's reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she's being followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence's most powerful girls - and their foray into the spiritual world - lead to?
A fairy tale with bite—vampire-style. “Don’t hold your breath waiting for Disney to film this very adult and erotic version of Beauty and the Beast.” —Winnipeg Free Press “Will you give me your blood to drink, though you die of it?” In an unexpected twist on a fairy tale, an artist goes into the wilderness to fulfill his father’s debt and finds himself the prisoner of a dangerously beautiful inhuman monster. “A Terrible Beauty is modern Canadian Gothic . . . Nancy Baker shows her mastery of the form—the mysterious letter, the journey into the wilderness, the shadows that hide from the flickering firelight—and her real affection for a good ol’ fashioned vampire yarn.” —The Telegraph Journal (Saint John) “Baker’s narrative is seductive and compelling. Like Rice, she transcends the horror genre.” —Province Showcase (Vancouver) “A polished and enchanting tale . . . It is, in a word, breathtaking.” —Ottawa Citizen “Baker’s prose is lush and sensual . . . she has a real gift for making the fantastic seem plausible and investing the mundane with eerie significance.” —Toronto Sun “A very interesting and unique take on Beauty and the Beast.” —SFFP Romance
If art is our bid to make sense of the senseless, there is hardly more fertile creative ground than that of the twentieth century. From the trench poetry of World War I and Holocaust memoirs by Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel to the post-colonial novels of southern Asia and the anti-apartheid plays of the South African Market Theater, writers have married beauty and horror. This "century of trauma" produced writing at once saturated in political violence and complicated by the ethics of aesthetic representation. Stretching across genres and the globe, Terrible Beauty charts a course of aesthetic reconciliation between empathy and evil in the great literature of the twentieth century. The "violent aesthetic"—a category the author traces back to Plato and Nietzsche—accommodates the pleasure people take not only in destruction itself but also in its rendering. As readers, we oscillate between a fascination with atrocity and an ethical imperative to bear witness. Arguing for the immersive experience of literature as particularly conducive to ethical contemplation, Marian Eide plumbs the aesthetic power and ethical purpose of this creative tension. By invoking the reader as complicit—both stricken witness and enthralled voyeur— Terrible Beauty sheds new light on the relationship between violence, literature, and the moral burdens of art.