The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners (Random House Large Print)

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9780739328477: The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners (Random House Large Print)

A legendary island steeped in the mystery and wisdom of centuries...

A runaway heiress learning to trust life, and love...

A mother and daughter, separated for years, searching for a way to face the future together...

New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice tells a powerful story of love, family, and friendship through the lives of two women who reunite at a place where dreams begin—and where they may be fulfilled at last....

Years ago, Lyra Davis left behind a world of wealth and privilege and the people she loved most in the world, unable to reconcile the expectations of her celebrated family with the longings of her own wild heart. Now she lives quietly among a community of expatriates on the isle of Capri, slowly, carefully learning to live fully for the first time, flourishing in the friendship of a singular man who recognizes in her a kindred spirit.

Granddaughter of the reigning doyenne of Newport, Rhode Island, wise beyond her sixteen years, Pell Davis is poised to take her place at the pinnacle of society. Yet she and her young sister still long for the mother who ran away from them when they were children so that they could be raised by the father they adored. Pell knows that Lyra felt she loved them best by leaving. But with her father now dead and her sister veering dangerously into fantasy, she will travel across an ocean to find the mother she remembers and the deeper truths they all need so desperately....

Lyrical, unforgettable, Luanne Rice’s new novel unfolds against a background of timeless beauty, as an unlikely love affair reshapes the meaning of devotion and three generations of women resist the pull of memory and tradition to find a new way forward.
From the Hardcover edition.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Luanne Rice is the author of twenty-seven novels, most recently The Geometry of Sisters, Last Kiss, Light of the Moon, What Matters Most, The Edge of Winter, Sandcastles, Summer of Roses, Summer’s Child, Silver Bells, and Beach Girls. She lives in New York City and Old Lyme, Connecticut.
From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One


I'd flown all night. Taking off from New York, banking over the Atlantic, the plane had headed east into the darkness, toward Rome. Stars filled the sky. Once the flight attendants dimmed the cabin lights, I stared out the window at a thousand constellations. I don't think I slept a minute. My thoughts were a web, swinging me from one star to the next.

I was alone. I mean, there were other people on the plane, but I was traveling by myself, without Lucy. You don't take little sisters on missions, especially when you are completely unsure of the outcome. My grandmother insisted I fly first-class. It wasn't even a discussion—once I told her that I was going to Italy to see my mother, as much as she disliked the idea, she put me in touch with the family travel agent, with the words "Pell Davis, you've always loved a lost cause."

Travis drove me from Newport, Rhode Island, to JFK. We didn't speak a lot. We each had too much on our minds. He had to get back to his job, I was thinking about what I'd set out for myself on this trip, and we both were considering the weeks of being apart looming ahead.

There were good reasons for this trip. I knew I didn't have to explain them to Travis. He's my boyfriend, but we have an unusual relationship. He's a football star at our school, and therefore tough, but sensitive in ways that belie outward facts.

He drove me through Connecticut, across the Whitestone Bridge, to the Alitalia terminal at JFK. We got there very early, hours to spare. The June midday sun was hot as we stepped out of the car.
Travis lifted my bags and backpack from the trunk, checked to make sure I had my passport. Twenty-four hours earlier, the maximum allowable span, he had printed out my boarding pass for me. I looked at my watch, calculating the time he would need to drive home to Newport. He had signed onto a fishing boat as deckhand, and they went out at dusk.

We took care of each other, just as we took care of our sisters and, in Travis's case, his mother. Both of our fathers are dead. They died too young, beloved men. We are shaped by the loss of our fathers, and others. Perhaps that's what drew me to Travis in the first place, a sense that he understood love and life's beauty are real, but any assurance they will last forever is a soothing lie.

The flight from New York was smooth. Flying eastward across Long Island at sunset, I looked down and saw the North and South forks, the curve of Montauk, the dark water of Block Island Sound beneath scratchy white wakes of fishing boats and pleasure craft. Could one of those boats hold Travis? I chose to think yes, I saw him as I left, and he watched my plane pass overhead.

Love is like that. You can see everything. All it takes is the right kind of attention. When my father taught me to play baseball, we'd stand out in the yard until the light died and fireflies came out. He'd throw and I'd catch, or he'd pitch and I'd hit. He'd say, "Don't take your eyes off the ball, sweetheart. No matter what, just keep your eyes on the ball." That's how to see everything with the people you love—keep watching, stay vigilant, watch the ball instead of the fireflies.

So my last sight over the United States was of Travis's boat. He and his family are looking after my sleepwalking sister while I am gone. An ocean later, I landed at Rome, was met by a driver, and taken to Sorrento. Two and a half hours on the road, a chance to think about what I am about to do.

The long drive from Rome to Sorrento, jet-lagged, horns blaring, my grandmother's style of driver: uniformed chauffeur. I will be straightforward about something right now, just so you will understand. Gossip columns, before and after she left the country, referred to my mother as "Lyra Nicholson Davis, heiress." Now they say the same of Lucy and me. Old money, blue-bloods, heirs to the Nicholson silver fortune. We ignore what is said. They now say of my mother, "reclusive heiress." We overlook that too.

My grandmother arranged to borrow the chauffeur from her friend Contessa Otavia Migliori, who used to spend summers in Newport, at Stone Lea, the property next door to what used to be the Aitkens', parents of Martha Sharp Crawford, also known as Sunny von Bxlow. Another tragic Newport family. I think of Cosima, daughter of Sunny and Claus, her father accused of trying to kill her mother over Christmas holidays by injecting her with insulin, then leaving her in a room with windows open to the frigid sea air. He was convicted, then acquitted.

This is the most terrible thing I ever heard, and it sticks with me over the years, but I once heard my mother crying, shrieking, that something was killing her, killing everything she had inside her. Even as a child, I knew she wasn't talking about a knife or a gun or a drug. She meant her heart and soul. She left us about a week later. And the really unjust, awful thing is, it took a few years, but my father is the one who wound up dying.

Anyway, the contessa's chauffeur drove me to Sorrento, an ancient seaside city filled with dark and crumbling beauty I felt too nervous to notice. Lucy would have—she loves antiquities, ghosts, and architecture. I felt pricked by guilt; perhaps I should have brought my sister. Will Lucy be okay without me this summer? We're very close. For so long, we've been each other's most important person.

But the alternative was to bring her along, without knowing what to expect. What if our mother rejects us all over again? I am strong. I have Travis. But Lucy is my little sister. I want to protect her.

The limousine snaked down the hill to the port. Bright boats lined the docks, reminding me of Newport. I opened the window to smell the sea air. The chauffeur seemed to know just where to go.
He drove along the quay, past shops selling shell jewelry, colorful pareos, and finely woven sun hats. I saw stalls of fresh fish, their glistening bodies packed in seaweed, yellow eyes flat and sightless. The smell of strong coffee hit me as we passed a cafe. I wanted some, but couldn't bear to stop until I saw if she'd come to meet me.

We drove between a pair of stone pillars, onto a wooden dock. It seemed like a loading zone—fishing boats and small cargo vessels were tied alongside, and trucks filled with supplies for the islands parked along the edge. Metal and wind: halyards clanging against masts, longshoremen swinging big iron hooks. We stopped at the end of the pier. I climbed out. It felt good to stretch my legs, but my chest was in a knot. Had my mother come to meet me? Was I about to see her?

The chauffeur lowered my bags into a yellow wooden boat tied to barnacle-covered pilings. An old man in a blue shirt and rumpled khakis, his face tan and wrinkled and hair pure white, grabbed the bags, stowed them under a varnished wooden seat. I stood on the dock, staring at the man.

"Hello, Pell," the man said in an English accent. "Come along now, and I'll take you to your mother."

"She's not here," I said stupidly.

"No," he said without explanation. I was upset, and he could see. He stared at me with sharp blue eyes. He didn't fill the silence with excuses about a headache, an important phone call, an earthquake, a plague of locusts, any of the many things that could have detained her. Reaching up, he offered to help me down into the boat from the pier.

"Buono viaggio," the chauffeur said to me.

I thanked him. I didn't tip him, knowing my grandmother would have made arrangements with the contessa. Then I took the old man's hand, stepped down from the dock into the yellow boat.

"I'm Max Gardiner," he said.

"Her neighbor," I said. I'd heard the name before, in letters about Capri, the island's expatriate community, all the artists and intellectuals, the fabulous people, the thinkers and writers who so fascinated her, who'd moved to the island from the United States and England, who had become her friends, companions in her desire to insulate herself from the world. From her daughters, Lucy and me. Max owned the land next to hers.

"Yes," he said. "Now sit tight. Prepare for wonder."

Wonder. Had he really said that? I forced a polite smile that hid the pain I felt. I wasn't new to the sea. I'd visited islands before. I'd been on boats every summer of my life. Now I was on the way to force myself in, to spend time with a woman who'd never wanted me, who didn't want me now.

I untied the bowline to be helpful and show him I knew my way around boats, then took my seat as he cast off. The engine sputtered, and we headed out. Bright day, brilliant blue sky, sparkling sea.

It could have been Newport, this atmosphere of the sea, yachts, classic wooden workboats with nets glittering with fish scales; I thought of Travis, in a time zone six hours behind me. He would have returned from a night of fishing; he would be asleep in his family's cottage on the grounds of Newport Academy by now. I hoped my sister was sleeping as well. There was this incident, a dream-state walking-to-Italy kind of thing, that we hope won't repeat itself. I held my backpack tight to my chest. It felt compact, comforting. I had filled it with books, letters, pictures of the people I love.

We puttered out of the channel. I heard a breath come from the water just below the gunwale—a quick, happy intake of air, then a rushed exhalation. Dolphins swimming beside our yellow boat. I glanced over my shoulder at Max. Was this what he'd meant by wonder? He smiled at me, pointed dead ahead.

"You only get this chance once," he said.

"What chance?" I asked.

"To arrive on Capri for the first time. I feel privileged to witness it."

It's an island, I wanted to say. Far from home. A mountain, a harbor. Marine mammals, yes, but no Lucy, no Travis. I faced forward again, my posture stoic as the boat gain...

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Luanne Rice
Published by Random House USA Inc, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0739328476 ISBN 13: 9780739328477
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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Large type / large print edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. A legendary island steeped in the mystery and wisdom of centuries. A runaway heiress learning to trust life, and love. A mother and daughter, separated for years, searching for a way to face the future together. New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice tells a powerful story of love, family, and friendship through the lives of two women who reunite at a place where dreams begin--and where they may be fulfilled at last. Years ago, Lyra Davis left behind a world of wealth and privilege and the people she loved most in the world, unable to reconcile the expectations of her celebrated family with the longings of her own wild heart. Now she lives quietly among a community of expatriates on the isle of Capri, slowly, carefully learning to live fully for the first time, flourishing in the friendship of a singular man who recognizes in her a kindred spirit. Granddaughter of the reigning doyenne of Newport, Rhode Island, wise beyond her sixteen years, Pell Davis is poised to take her place at the pinnacle of society. Yet she and her young sister still long for the mother who ran away from them when they were children so that they could be raised by the father they adored. Pell knows that Lyra felt she loved them best by leaving. But with her father now dead and her sister veering dangerously into fantasy, she will travel across an ocean to find the mother she remembers and the deeper truths they all need so desperately. Lyrical, unforgettable, Luanne Rice s new novel unfolds against a background of timeless beauty, as an unlikely love affair reshapes the meaning of devotion and three generations of women resist the pull of memory and tradition to find a new way forward. From the Hardcover edition. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780739328477

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Luanne Rice
Published by Random House USA Inc, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0739328476 ISBN 13: 9780739328477
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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Large type / large print edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. A legendary island steeped in the mystery and wisdom of centuries. A runaway heiress learning to trust life, and love. A mother and daughter, separated for years, searching for a way to face the future together. New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice tells a powerful story of love, family, and friendship through the lives of two women who reunite at a place where dreams begin--and where they may be fulfilled at last. Years ago, Lyra Davis left behind a world of wealth and privilege and the people she loved most in the world, unable to reconcile the expectations of her celebrated family with the longings of her own wild heart. Now she lives quietly among a community of expatriates on the isle of Capri, slowly, carefully learning to live fully for the first time, flourishing in the friendship of a singular man who recognizes in her a kindred spirit. Granddaughter of the reigning doyenne of Newport, Rhode Island, wise beyond her sixteen years, Pell Davis is poised to take her place at the pinnacle of society. Yet she and her young sister still long for the mother who ran away from them when they were children so that they could be raised by the father they adored. Pell knows that Lyra felt she loved them best by leaving. But with her father now dead and her sister veering dangerously into fantasy, she will travel across an ocean to find the mother she remembers and the deeper truths they all need so desperately. Lyrical, unforgettable, Luanne Rice s new novel unfolds against a background of timeless beauty, as an unlikely love affair reshapes the meaning of devotion and three generations of women resist the pull of memory and tradition to find a new way forward. From the Hardcover edition. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780739328477

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