The Ladies' Lending Library: A Novel

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9780061479076: The Ladies' Lending Library: A Novel

It is August of 1963, the year of the Taylor/Burton film epic Cleopatra, showcasing a passion too grand to be contained on the movie screen. The women of the Kalyna Beach cottage community gather for gin and gossip, trading the current racy bestsellers among themselves as they seek a brief escape from the predictable rhythms of children and chores. But dramatic change is coming this summer as innocence falters and the desire for change reaches a boiling point, threatening to disrupt the warm, sweet, heady days and the lives of parents and children, family and friends, forever.

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About the Author:

Janice Kulyk Keefer is widely acclaimed for her novels, short story collections, poetry, and nonfiction. The Ladies' Lending Library is her fifth novel. She lives in Toronto.

From Publishers Weekly:

The Ukrainian-Canadian housewives of idyllic 1960s Kalyna Beach, Ontario, find that show business scandal has far-reaching power in this latest from Canadian novelist Keefer, her first published in the U.S. While their husbands work, former model Sonia Martyn and friends spend the summer of 1963 watching their children on the beach and reading racy books to discuss over Friday cocktails, while the kids test the limits of their mothers' supervisory skills and traditional Ukrainian values. Moms and daughters alike have become enchanted by the new film Cleopatra and the scandalous love affair between stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. When the beautiful, sad wife of a local millionaire embarks on her own misbegotten affair, the ladies of Kalyna Beach feel their familiar world shift, opening up novel possibilities for freedom and betrayal. Keefer neatly captures the security and claustrophobia of immigrant communities, but diffuses her story's power with too many points of view. Just as the ladies' books cannot match the drama in their lives, this story only begins to capture the personal cost of immigration and assimilation. (Jan.)
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