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Steps and Exes : A Novel of Family

Kalpakian, Laura

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ISBN 10: 0380977672 / ISBN 13: 9780380977673
Verlag: Bard, US, 1999
Gebraucht Zustand: Very Good Hardcover
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0380977672 Very good in Very good dust jacket. First Edition. * Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers LOWER2ARSG304

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Steps and Exes : A Novel of Family

Verlag: Bard, US

Erscheinungsdatum: 1999

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Auflage: 1st Edition

Über diesen Titel


Celia Henry owns the most famous bed-and-breakfast in the whole Northwest. Married only once and widowed at twenty-two, Celia has spent a lifetime preaching(and practicing) Unfettered Love, glorying in unions free of matrimony, free of the ties that bind-and that can just as easily strangle. But though the men in her life moved out and moved on, Celia maintained her affections for their children, acquiring a large extended family of children, step-children, partners, and ex-partners. And the children she nurtured remember their island childhood with wry warmth. When her daughter Bethie announces her engagement, Celia reluctantly agrees to throw a lavish celebration. To this party she must invite everyone in her overextended family: her steps and execes, their current partners and starchy in-laws, as well as a host of island eccentrics. As the big day approaches, Celia senses impending disaster, but nothing prepares her for the fallout when the nuclear family explodes and she must reconstruct the past in order to transform the future.


On Laura Kalpakian's imaginary Isadora Island, women not only rule, they've been calling the shots since men first hunted (i.e., sat around campfires trading their B.S. stories) and women gathered (cooked, raised kids, cleaned up, etc.). At least, that's how Celia--grand dame, 1960s holdout, and advocate of unfettered love--sees it. In the world according to Celia, Eve wears the pants while Adam's alias is "first whiner." Perched at the tip of Useless Point, she lords over a quirky, cozy B & B, Henry's House, all the while extolling the virtues of independence and bristling at the notion of institutionalized love. That is, until one of her daughters announces she wants to tie the knot Martha Stewart-style, and Celia is called upon to host the event. In her desire to fulfill her daughter's whim, she transforms Henry's House into the magical hub for a far-flung, idiosyncratic, anything-but-nuclear family. And in this rarified air, guests assemble to raise glasses but instead reveal their deepest, darkest secrets. The trick allows Kalpakian to poignantly dramatize the inner struggle between autonomy and the sometimes cloying grasp of familial love--or, as Celia puts it, "the tie that binds all right. Enough rope to hang yourself."

Kalpakian's well-honed, lyrical prose is as intoxicating as "lavender and lemon, cinnamon and rose and something else, a whiff of what must have been--surely from some remembered Eden." Celia tells us that "God's opera has no sopranos," but after reading Steps and Exes, you'll beg to differ. --Sandra Dalrymple

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