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Outstanding praise for the novels of V. S. Alexander

The Irishman’s Daughter

“Skillfully blends family ties with the horrors of a starving country and the hopefulness of young love.”

—Booklist

“Written with hope for a better tomorrow, V. S. Alexander gives readers an intimate heart-wrenching account of the unimaginable suffering of those who clawed their way through Ireland’s darkest years.”

—BookTrib

The Taster

“Alexander’s intimate writing style gives readers openings to ’wonder about what tough decisions they would have made in Magda’s situation. The ‘taster’s’ story adds to a body of nuanced World War II fiction such as Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity, Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, and Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key. Book clubs and historical fiction fans will love discussing this and will eagerly await more from Alexander.”

—Library Journal

“A totally gripping and credible imagining of how a young German woman was affected by the building chaos and cruelty during the late stages of Hitler’s rule. It gains its power through the very special perspective of its main character, who is also the narrator.... Through her, Mr. Alexander creates an impressive and engaging novel that humanizes historical events and provides the rich texture of a life meeting momentous challenges in momentous times.”

—Florida Weekly

The Magdalen Girls

“A haunting novel that takes the reader into the cruel world of Ireland’s Magdalene laundries, The Magdalen Girls shines a light on yet another notorious institution that somehow survived into the late twentieth century. A real page-turner!”

—Ellen Marie Wiseman, author of The Life She Was Given

“Alexander has clearly done his homework. Chilling in its realism, his work depicts the improprieties long condoned by the Catholic Church and only recently acknowledged. Fans of the book and film Philomena will want to read this.”

—Library Journal

Books by V. S. Alexander

THE MAGDALEN GIRLS

THE TASTER

THE IRISHMAN’S DAUGHTER

THE TRAITOR

THE SCULPTRESS

Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.

The SCULPTRESS

V. S. ALEXANDER

www.kensingtonbooks.com

All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.

Table of Contents

Praise

Also by

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

PART ONE - VERMONT and MASSACHUSETTS 1905–1917

CHAPTER 1

PART TWO - BOSTON MAY 1917

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3 - BOSTON

PART THREE - THE ATLANTIC AND FRANCE AUGUST 1917

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5 - PARIS AND THE FRONT

CHAPTER 6 - PARIS

PART FOUR - PARIS JULY 1918

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8 - PARIS AND TOUL

CHAPTER 9 - PARIS

CHAPTER 10 - PARIS

PART FIVE - BOSTON JANUARY 1919

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12 - BOSTON

CHAPTER 13 - BOSTON

AUTHOR’S NOTE

THE SCULPTRESS

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, or events, is entirely coincidental.

KENSINGTON BOOKS are published by

Kensington Publishing Corp.

119 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

Copyright © 2021 by Michael Meeske

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.

To the extent that the image or images on the cover of this book depict a person or persons, such person or persons are merely models, and are not intended to portray any character or characters featured in the book.

The K logo is a trademark of Kensington Publishing Corp.

ISBN-13: 978-1-4967-2042-9 (ebook)

ISBN-10: 1-4967-2042-3 (ebook)

ISBN: 978-1-4967-2040-5

To Alyssa Maxwell—thanks for your support and guidance

PART ONE

VERMONT and MASSACHUSETTS 1905–1917

CHAPTER 1

He was forbidden and Emma Lewis knew it.

They met by chance on summer vacation, before a horseback riding expedition in the wooded hills near Bennington, Vermont. He was the cousin of a friend; she the daughter of an upper-middle-class merchant turned gentleman farmer in the mountains of western Massachusetts.

Kurt Larsen appealed to the sense of the wicked in her, the expectant thrill of some primal taboo not yet fully realized. She thought him “darkly romantic,” a phrase borrowed from her “classics” reading as she told her friends that evening, although he was tall, fair, and blond. Emma, only two months past her fifteenth birthday, was eager for new experiences and willing to take her place among friends who knew more about the world than she. Two glorious weeks on the farm with three girlfriends—two from Boston, and Charlene from the Vermont farmhouse—plus the visiting male cousin, who settled in a few days after the young women had arrived.

“My handsome cousin,” Charlene said, as Kurt strode into the kitchen when the young women were finishing breakfast.

He wore jodhpurs, polished black boots, and a loose, white summer shirt. A cotton rucksack, sporting a tartan plaid, was strapped across his back. He flipped it easily from his shoulders before settling into a vacant chair.

Charlene flicked her red hair from her shoulders and paid little attention to him, as the others, including Emma, making eyes and stealing looks, swooned over him like a Greek god—one pictured from the descriptions in her studies. By her standards, Kurt was new and fascinating, more grown up than the provincial boys she knew who lived near her farm outside Lee. None courted her—her mother wouldn’t allow such activity yet—those boys were friends, only school chums.

Jane and Patsy, the two friends from the city, who might have been sisters they looked so much alike with their tied-back brown hair and pert noses, tried every manner of small talk to capture Kurt’s attention. They asked his age, where he went to school, where he lived, and the most important question, did he have a sweetheart? Kurt answered their questions in professorial style: Seventeen; his father wanted him to attend law school after college, preferably Harvard; he was from Swampscott, a resort town north of Boston; and, no, he had no sweetheart. What young man looking to further himself, with long, preparatory years of schooling ahead, could afford a serious attachment to a girl?

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