Beth Hunter McHugh The Actor

ISBN 13: 9781606390887

The Actor

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9781606390887: The Actor

Winner Best First Book, 2016 High Plains Book Award

Finalist Best Woman Writer, 2016 High Plains Book Award

Winner The 2015 Meadowlark Award

Beth McHugh s brilliant debut novel takes place in the late 1960s in a Montana university town, and it revolves around thirteen-year-old Grace, her younger sister Franny, their beautiful mother, their beloved father and a secret that must be confronted. Perceptive and elegantly understated, The Actor examines the divide between secrecy and truth and what it means to grow up on such a precipice. In the summer of 1967, life seems almost dangerously idyllic to thirteen-year-old Grace Birch and her eleven-year-old sister Franny. Their mother is Nora, a beautiful and educated woman who writes haunted love poems when she isn t working as a law professor at the local university. Their father is David, an actor turned drama professor. As the children of independent, bohemian parents, Grace and Franny spend their days entertaining themselves and their evenings observing the delicate dance that is their parents relationship. David s dedication to his craft makes him magnetic to his students, but challenges his devotion to his two young daughters and his wife. When Ivan, a young actor, comes to stay with the family, Nora and David s relationship faces its greatest test. David falls in love with Ivan, and Grace and Franny realize that their parents relationship holds an ancient and long-buried secret. Eventually, David leaves his family to follow Ivan to New York, and Nora moves with her young daughters to a run-down farm house on the outskirts of town. There, Grace and Franny befriend Susan, the daughter of Jack Leroy, a man with close but mysterious ties to their mother s past. In the new home, Grace and Franny work to slowly reconcile their past life with their present as they grapple with their own adolescence and a mother who is slowly reinventing herself.

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About the Author:

McHugh was raised in Helena, Montana, and is a graduate of the University of Montana where she earned a B.A. in English (2006), an M.F.A in Creative Writing (2009), and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction (2015). She taught writing at Bitterroot College and currently teaches English at Hamilton High School. Her work has appeared in literary magazines, including Orange Quarterly and Writing Tomorrow. The Actor is her first book.

Review:

The Actor is breathtaking in its elegance, precision and beauty. It is a multi-layered love story, and it cracks your heart; it opens your eyes. Beth McHugh is a wizard of perception. She has fashioned a fine, true thing. Read this book, please. --Deirdre McNamer, acclaimed author of Red Rover, My Russian, and Rima in the Weeds

I have not read a book that has so deeply affected me in a long, long time. I fell in love with this novel and the wise young narrator Grace. (Ok, I fell in love with all of the characters and the expansive Montana landscape too.) The Actor is a dream of a read. I sighed. I cried. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I admire it. I envy it. I gaped open-mouthed at its wisdom and beauty! McHugh is the literary heir to Kent Haruf and Ivan Doig. A grand literary debut! --Debra Magpie Earling, award-winning author Perma Red

Winner of the High Plains Book Award for Best First Book (2016)

Finalist of the High Plains Book Award for Best Woman Writer (2016)

Winner of the Meadowlark Award (2015)

--Riverbend Publishing

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Book Description Riverbend Publishing. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 232 pages. Beth McHugh s brilliant debut novel takes place in the late 1960s in a Montana university town, and it revolves around thirteen-year-old Grace, her younger sister Franny, their beautiful mother, their beloved father and a secret that must be confronted. Perceptive and elegantly understated, The Actor examines the divide between secrecy and truth and what it means to grow up on such a precipice. In the summer of 1967, life seems almost dangerously idyllic to thirteen-year-old Grace Birch and her eleven-year-old sister Franny. Their mother is Nora, a beautiful and educated woman who writes haunted love poems when she isn t working as a law professor at the local university. Their father is David, an actor turned drama professor. As the children of independent, bohemian parents, Grace and Franny spend their days entertaining themselves and their evenings observing the delicate dance that is their parents relationship. David s dedication to his craft makes him magnetic to his students, but challenges his devotion to his two young daughters and his wife. When Ivan, a young actor, comes to stay with the family, Nora and David s relationship faces its greatest test. David falls in love with Ivan, and Grace and Franny realize that their parents relationship holds an ancient and long-buried secret. Eventually, David leaves his family to follow Ivan to New York, and Nora moves with her young daughters to a run-down farm house on the outskirts of town. There, Grace and Franny befriend Susan, the daughter of Jack Leroy, a man with close but mysterious ties to their mother s past. In the new home, Grace and Franny work to slowly reconcile their past life with their present as they grapple with their own adolescence and a mother who is slowly reinventing herself. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9781606390887

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