Pearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not of her memory. It was a Sunday night in 1944 when her husband left the little row house on Baltimore’s Calvert Street, abandoning Pearl to raise their three children alone: Jenny, high-spirited and determined, nurturing to strangers but distant to those she loves; the older son, Cody, a wild and incorrigible youth possessed by the lure of power and money; and sweet, clumsy Ezra, Pearl’s favorite, who never stops yearning for the perfect family that could never be his own.
“Beautiful.... funny, heart-hammering, wise.... Superb entertainment.” (The New York Times)
“A book that should join those few that every literate person will have to read.” (The Boston Globe)
“In her ninth novel she has arrived at a new level of power.” (John Updike, The New Yorker)
"Few families are as disconnected as the Tulls, and Toren successfully projects the characters' complex and layered feelings of competition, longing, pain, and insecurity, leaving listeners to judge the actions taken or words said. Thanks to Toren's sensitive reading, listeners are not pulled under by the difficult themes explored in the novel. Instead, the Tulls' abusive and clueless behavior opens the door for discussion." (AudioFile)
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