Start: 1:00 pm
On the magnificent isle of Capri, an epoch event in the life of Esmeralda Pembrooke, heiress to Italy's largest biotech conglomerate, takes place: she is blackmailed and exposed as an imposter exactly as she launches an international blockbuster film. Bella Figura ($20.89) follows Esmeralda's life as it erupts like a volcano, revealing prejudices of class, religion, race and nationality. Jojo Capece's brilliant cameos of guests at Esmeralda's Villa entwines everyone in a gripping tale of love, greed and intrigue with a finale that will stir the reader long after you have finished the last page.Jojo Capece is the author of All Roads Lead to Rome. She has received the distinction of Honourable Seref Uyeligi from the Turkish-American University, Master's of Art diploma from Heatherley's Art College, London, Member of President Reagan's Task Force for the Initiative on Women's Business Ownership and was the only American advisor to Prime Minister Thatcher's Committee on Women Into Business.
Start: 4:00 pm
In Burying Ben, Dot Meyerhoff has barely settled into her new job as a psychologist for the Kenilworth Police Department when Ben Gomez, a troubled young rookie that she tries to counsel, commits suicide without any warning and leaves a note blaming her. Overnight, her promising new start becomes a nightmare. At stake is her job, her reputation, her license to practice, and her already battered sense of self-worth. This event will be a fundraiser for the First Responders Support Network (FRSN), with a donation from the book's publisher, Aakenbaaken & Kent. The FRSN is a non-profit organization of volunteer clinicians, chaplains, and emergency service peers. Their mission is to offer first responders and their families treatment programs that promote recovery from stress and critical incidents. More information can be found on their website, http://www.frsn.org.Before it was published, Ellen Kirschman’s debut novel, Burying Ben, won first prize for the best not-yet-in-print novel by the Public Safety Writers Association. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and a contributor to the Mystery Readers Journal. A police psychologist for thirty years, her other books are I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know, I Love a Fire Fighter: What the Family Needs to Know, and the forthcoming Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know. She lives in Northern California.
Start: 7:00 pm
In his long-awaited new novel, Norman Rush, author of three immensely praised books set in Africa, including the best-selling classic and National Book Award-winner Mating, returns home, giving us a sophisticated, often comical, romp through the particular joys and tribulations of marriage, and the dilemmas of friendship, as a group of college friends reunites in upstate New York twenty-some years after graduation.When Douglas, the ringleader of a clique of self-styled wits of "superior sensibility" dies suddenly, his four remaining friends are summoned to his luxe estate high in the Catskills to memorialize his life and mourn his passing. Responding to an obscure sense of emergency in the call, Ned, our hero, flies in from San Francisco (where he is the main organizer of a march against the impending Iraq war), pursued instantly by his furious wife, Nina: they're at a critical point in their attempt to get Nina pregnant, and she's ovulating! It is Nina who gives us a pointed, irreverent commentary as the friends begin to catch up with one another. She is not above poking fun at some of their past exploits and the things they held dear, and she's particularly hard on the departed Douglas, who she thinks undervalued her Ned. Ned is trying manfully to discern what it was that made this clutch of souls his friends to begin with, before time, sex, work, and the brutal quirks of history shaped them into who they are now--and, simultaneously, to guess at what will come next.Subtle Bodies ($26.95) is filled with unexpected, funny, telling aperçus, alongside a deeper, moving exploration of the meanings of life. A novel of humor, small pleasures, deep emotions. A novel to enjoy and to ponder.Norman Rush is the author of three previous works of fiction: Whites, a collection of stories, and two novels, Mating and Mortals. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. Mating was the recipient of the National Book Award. Rush and his wife live in Rockland County, New York.