A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing–and for the conjuring of curses–are at the heart of this dazzling first novel
Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife; and their master’s daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom.
Magnificently written, brilliantly researched, richly imagined, Conjure Women moves back and forth in time to tell the haunting story of Rue, Varina, and May Belle, their passions and friendships, and the lengths they will go to save themselves and those they love.
Praise for Conjure Women
“[A] haunting, promising debut . . . Through complex characters and bewitching prose, Atakora offers a stirring portrait of the power conferred between the enslaved women. This powerful tale of moral ambiguity amid inarguable injustice stands with Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An engrossing debut . . . Atakora structures a plot with plenty of satisfying twists. Life in the immediate aftermath of slavery is powerfully rendered in this impressive first novel.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Millions of readers have been enthralled by the saga that began in The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, which now continues with Ken Follett’s magnificent, gripping A Column of Fire.
A WORLD IN TURMOIL
1558, and Europe is in revolt as religious hatred sweeps the continent. Elizabeth Tudor has ascended to the throne but she is not safe in this dangerous new world. There are many who would see her removed, not least Mary Queens of Scots, who lies in wait in Paris.
A NEW ORDER
Elizabeth determines to set up a new secret service: a group of resourceful spies and courageous agents entrusted to keep her safe and in power. As she searches for those who will make the difference, one man stands out.
A MAN WHO WOULD DIE FOR HIS QUEEN
For Ned Willard the opportunity to serve his queen is God-sent. He cannot stay in Kingsbridge and watch the love of his life marry another, and as fires burn and extremism begins to spark throughout Europe, Ned makes his choice. He will spend his life protecting his monarch from the tyrants who aim to destroy her or die trying . . .
Alexander Emmanuel’s boy soldier story means a lot to many people: for soldiers, it is their story told; for non-military personnel, it provides a new way of looking at the military. Whichever you are, you are sure to fall in love with Ayorinde Olanrewaju Banks, the lead character, as you follow him on his many adventures.
The summer of 1915 was a time of prosperity and unease for the Wittgenstein family, and for eldest daughter Beata it was a time of awakening. By the glimmering waters of Lake Geneva, she met a young French officer and fell in love.
As the years pass, Beata must watch in horror as Europe is once again engulfed in war. Her daughter Amadea is forced into hiding, and family and friends are swept away without a trace. Taking on daring missions behind enemy lines, Amadea discovers her place in an unbreakable chain between generations . . . between her lost family and the family of her future.
Now Emma is living with her Aunt Whitney, who had chosen a very different path from Paige. Whitney was always the career-driven older sister, loving a no-strings relationship and hating the cult of celebrity that enveloped their childhood. But at a moment’s notice, Whitney must change her life in every way.
Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs.
Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come.
These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.
A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, The Pillars of the Earth is Ken Follett’s classic historical masterpiece.
A MASON WITH A DREAM
1135 and civil war, famine and religious strife abound. With his family on the verge of starvation, mason Tom Builder dreams of the day that he can use his talents to create and build a cathedral like no other.
A MONK WITH A BURNING MISSION
Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, is resourceful, but with money scarce he knows that for his town to survive it must find a way to thrive, and so he makes the decision to build within it the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.
A WORLD OF HIGH IDEALS AND SAVAGE CRUELTY
As Tom and Philip meet so begins an epic tale of ambition, anarchy and absolute power. In a world beset by strife and enemies that would thwart their plans, they will stop at nothing to achieve their ambitions in a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother . . .
The Pillars of the Earth is the first in The Kingsbridge Novels series, followed by World Without End and A Column of Fire.
Edge of Eternity is the epic, final novel in Ken Follett’s captivating and hugely ambitious Century trilogy. On its own or read in sequence with Fall of Giants and Winter of the World, this is an irresistible and spellbinding epic about the fight for personal freedom set during the Cold War.
A FIGHT AGAINST INJUSTICE
1961, and in the United States George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration and fierce supporter of the civil rights movement, boards a Greyhound bus in Washington with Verena, an employee of Martin Luther King whom he is in love with, to protest against segregation.
A RISING TIDE OF DANGER
In East Germany, teacher Rebecca Hoffmann finds her entire life has been a lie as she is targeted by the secret police, even as her younger brother, Walli, dreams of escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain. In Russia, activist Tania Dvorkin narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news-sheet, her actions all the more perilous because her brother, Dimka, is an emerging star of the Communist Party.
A COLD WAR THAT COULD ELIMINATE THE WORLD FOREVER
In a sweeping tale that began in 1911, the descendants of five families will now find their true destiny as they fight for their individual freedom in a world facing the mightiest clash of superpowers it has ever seen.
The first in Ken Follett’s bestselling Century Trilogy, Fall of Giants is a captivating novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.
A world in chaos.
1911, a thirteen-year-old boy, Billy Williams, begins working down the mines as George V is crowned king. The escalating arms race between the empire nations will put not only the king but this young boy in grave danger.
A terrible war.
Billy’s family is inextricably linked with the Fitzherberts, the aristocratic owners of the coal mine where he works. And when Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London, their destiny also becomes entangled with that of Gus Dewar, an ambitious young aide to Woodrow Wilson, and two orphaned Russian brothers, the Peshkovs, whose plan to emigrate to America falls foul of conscription, revolution and imminent war.
A revolution that will change everything.
When Russia convulses in bloody revolution and the Great War unfolds, the five families’ futures are entwined forever, love bringing them closer even as conflict takes them further apart. What seeds will be sown for further tragedy in the twentieth century and what role will each play in what is to come?
The saga that has enthralled millions of readers, The Kingsbridge Novels continue with World Without End.
On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed.
As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. One boy will travel the world but come home in the end; the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman. One girl will defy the might of the medieval church; the other will pursue an impossible love. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.
Ken Follett’s masterful epic The Pillars of the Earth enchanted millions of readers with its compelling drama of war, passion and family conflict set around the building of a cathedral. World Without End takes readers back to medieval Kingsbridge two centuries later, as the men, women and children of the city once again grapple with the devastating sweep of historical change.
World Without End is followed by the third of Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge novels, A Column of Fire.