| Book Summaries|
A_Bend_in_the_River Summary - The steamer Salim gets on is attacked, and when an attached barge full of people is cut loose, the people onboard are killed. The story ends with Salim on the steamer ship, sailing away in the dark.
A_Bright_Shining_Lie Summary - Finally, John Vann Stays told how Vann found his desires fulfilled. Months before his death, he was given a position of command over II Corps through his civilian agency. Vann fought his final battles with his notable grace and daring. Despite destruction in his personal life, Vann finally had everything he had wanted in his professional life. However, he slowly realized that the Americans had lost the war in Vietnam.
A_Frolic_of_His_Own Summary - Lily's father cuts her out of his will on advice from his greedy spiritual guide, Rev. Bobby Joe. At the same time, she learns that the lump in her breast about which she has long obsessed, is leakage from implants rather than cancer. Oscar's father and overworked Harry both die, each as he realizes a major victory. Crease leaves an estate too small for Oscar to pay his legal bills, and the firm collects Harry's life insurance. Oscar settles the personal injury suit, but ends depressed, discovering the chronology of his family myth on which he based his play is off by one generation.
Martha_Ballard Summary - The epilogue tells the history of Martha's diary after her death. It was handed down through the family and eventually made its way to the Maine State Library.
A_Month_in_the_Country Summary - As the novel ends, Birkin realizes that the original painter fell to his death in the church before finishing the painting. When Moon uncovers the lost grave, they also realize that the damned man in the painting is none other than the excommunicated ancestor of Miss Hebron. When Alice arrives to see, they share a moment where their love is almost spoken, but not acted upon. In the end, neither crosses the line. Alice leaves Oxgodby with her husband the next day. Birkin receives a letter from his estranged wife and decides to return to her. After gazing on the painting one last time, Birkin leaves Oxgodby and his time there comes to a close.
A_Nation_Under_Our_Feet:_Black_Political_Struggles_in_the_Rural_South_from_Slavery_to_the_Great_Migration Summary - The last part of the book examines such topics as the toppling of Reconstruction governments in the South, the disenfranchisement of African Americans from the political arena, and the emergence of new projects outside of politics. The grassroots emigration movement rose in the latter part of the 1800s, as African Americans hoped to find places to build stable and safe communities away from the reach and violence of whites. African Americans also turned to biracialism in politics which created alliances with white insurgents. The violence and disenfranchisement during this time period would lead to the Great Migration and Jim Crow.
"A_Problem_From_Hell:"_America_and_the_Age_of_Genocide Summary - Although international laws were created to ban the destruction of nations, races, and ethnicities, prosecution of perpetrators has had its own sets of issues. It was not until the 1990s that any person guilty of genocide was brought before an international tribunal or court and tried for their actions. In fact, many perpetrators remain free within their respective countries. The United States and the UN have given UN peacekeepers orders in some cases not to apprehend perpetrators, even when their location is well known.
A_Rock_and_a_Hard_Place Summary - Ralston's story is a testament to a true outdoorsman who views risk as a pivotal part of his happiness. His accident in Blue John Canyon is, however, a freak accident. Gut wrenching and honest, Ralston leads the reader from his early beginnings as an outdoorsman to his darkest moments in Blue John Canyon. News of his survival story spanned the globe. His story is as unbelievable as it is inspiring, as it speaks to the basic will to survive.
A_Rumor_of_War Summary - Caputo returns to Vietnam ten years later as a field correspondent for the Chicago Tribune to report on the final moments of the war before Saigon is overrun by the North Vietnamese. In the impending confusion and fear that encompasses thousands of people trying to evacuate by land, sea or air, Caputo comes full circle with his feelings on the war. Once safe upon a helicopter assault ship in the South China Sea, Caputo and many others are left to feel the weight of the end of a decade of war.
A_Salty_Piece_of_Land Summary - Ix-Nay tells Tully about a Land Rover that is for sale in Belize. Wanting to replace Bucky's Jeep, Tully and Ix-Nay make the trek and encounter an eccentric Brit, Archie Mercer. Since the Land Rover isn't yet available, Archie extends the use of his condominium at Renaldo's, a nearby resort, to his new friends. At the resort, Tully meets Dawn, a sexually adventurous teenager on spring break. However, Dawn possesses a very dangerous secret - she's the stepdaughter of Thelma Barston and the Stilton Brothers are in town to capture Tully! With the aid of his new friends, Tully narrowly escapes. Tully's adventures are far from over as he sets out to finish the journey Johnny Red Dust cautioned him about - his journey to find his true home.
A_Summons_to_Memphis Summary - Father's health fails and ultimately, he dies of a stroke the following spring. Phillip has reconciled with Holly during this time and her father is also sick. Both deal with the deaths of their fathers and come closer in doing so. Phillip gives Holly the clover pendant and wonders if she has seen it before in his drawer. She doesn't seem to mind and life goes on in his serene apartment, with Memphis out of his mind.
A_Thousand_Acres Summary - After Larry's death, Rose makes public the knowledge that he had sexually abused both her and Ginny when they were teenagers, after their mother died. Few people believe her. Ginny returns to the farm, as she has learned that Rose is dying from cancer. Rose, not wanting to leave the farm to her daughters, gives it to her sisters, who, after the bank's foreclosure sale, owe the IRS $34,000 (the farm itself is absorbed into a larger corporate hog operation). Ginny retrieves the sausage—which Rose had not touched, eating like a vegetarian when she lived with Jess—from the cellar. Although Caroline paid her part of the debt immediately, Ginny pays $200 per month and thinks that, perhaps in 14 years, the IRS will be satisfied that she has paid enough. The novel concludes with Rose's college-aged daughters living in St. Paul with their Aunt Ginny.
A_Wind_in_the_Door Summary - The evil beings behind the cosmic and microcosmic destruction are called Echthroi. Echthroi exist to destroy; their goal is to un-create the universe. The Echthroi are responsible for all war, destruction and lack of communication throughout the universe. They find a foothold in Sporos and also in the un-likeable Mr. Jenkins, the principal at Charles' grade school. As Proginoskes explains to Meg, anyone who does not know who they truly are provides an opening for the Echthroi to do harm. Meg and Proginoskes are Namers. Their job is to help people know themselves better so that they will not become tools of the Echthroi. In order to keep both Sporos and Mr. Jenkins from siding with the Echthroi, Meg must find enough love in her heart to appreciate and recognize who these two individuals really are. As Blajeny teaches them, the balance of creation can hinge on something as large as the birth of a star or something as small as the life of a single child. Charles Wallace's survival is critical to the well being of the entire cosmos. In order to save Charles Wallace's life, Meg and her friends must save Sporos and Mr. Jenkins from the Echthroi. To succeed in these tasks, Meg must come to realize that love is the most powerful force in the universe.
Aesop's_Fables Summary - These are not the tales of childhood. These are jokes, one liners, crude stories and sometimes, moral entreaties.
Against_All_Enemies Summary - That same year, al Qaeda tried to bomb a U.S. ship in a Yemenese port. In 2000, al Qaeda succeeded in ramming a boat full of explosives into the Cole, which, docked in a Yemenese port, was heavily damaged. That same year, the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia--who had been warning of terrorist attacks--was removed from his post by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's Deputy, Paul Wolfewitz: In 2002, a nightclub in Bali was bombed and, after that, a hotel in Jakarta. In 2003, Clarke resigned from federal service--as have, he notes, most of his peers. He left after the U.S. invaded Iraq: Since bin Laden had predicted, over a decade earlier, that the U.S. would invade an oil-rich Muslim state, Clarke argues that this invasion has undermined, not strengthened, the security of the U.S.
Albert_Einstein_(Levinger) Summary - Although this book is immensely enjoyable, anyone researching Einstein should consult more recent publications as well. Subsequent works have uncovered new information and revealed some inevitable flaws in Levinger's study.
All_the_Pretty_Horses Summary - Heading into the hills with the horses and the captain, Cole is overtaken by brigands, who seize the captain. Arriving in Texas, Cole returns Rawlins' horse to his friend. Cole is taken to court attempting to return Blevins horse to its rightful owner. False charges were made by men who wanted to claim the horse themselves. Finding no owner and hearing Cole's case, a judge listens to the tale of John Grady Cole and rules in his favor. The story concludes when Cole returns to San Angelo, Texas to discover both his father and childhood nurse dead. He has arrived in time to witness her funeral. All the Pretty Horses ends as it had begun: with John Grady Cole attending a funeral. Having left Texas with his innocence and youthful ignorance intact, Cole has returned with little to his name and less of his ideals.
An_American_Soldier Summary - Franks writes a lot about the art and science of war. Franks gives details about meetings at the highest levels among people like President George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld while they plan the response to world terrorism that threatens the United States.
Among_the_Hidden Summary - When he discovers another third child, Jennifer Rose Talbot, also hiding in his neighborhood, he dares to venture outside his attic-hiding place and thus discovers a network of hidden children who communicate via Internet chat rooms. As Luke's friendship with Jen grows, he learns that she is organizing the hidden children to protest against the government's oppressive laws, and he must decide whether to defy the government and seek freedom. In this futuristic dystopia, Haddix explores the consequences of population control and other policies of a totalitarian government on individuals living in that society, and she explores how far an individual will go to have a life that is worth living.
Amongst_Women Summary - The story ends with the death of Moran, a mere shadow of his former self, and the acknowledgment of the strength and fortitude of the women in his life.
Amsterdam Summary - Both Clive and Vernon travel to Amsterdam on business trips. They arrange to meet at a hotel. Each man consults his own Dutch doctor and arranges to have the other killed.
An_Awfully_Big_Adventure Summary - O'Hara's passion for Stella leads him to the boarding house, where in a conversation with Uncle Vernon and Lily he realizes the awful truth. Stella is his own daughter by his long lost love from years ago.
Angels_and_Demons Summary - The camerlengo glides down to land on top of St. Peter's Basilica. People worldwide believe that a miracle has occurred. Langdon lands in the Tiber River and is taken to a hospital. There, he discovers the tape from Kohler. He takes the tape to the Sistine Chapel, where the College of Cardinals is set to elect the camerlengo Pope. The tape contains a recording of the camerlengo admitting that he planned everything in order to bring people back to the church. The camerlengo lights himself on fire. The Vatican asks Langdon and Vittoria to keep quiet about what really happened that night if they feel that this is right in their heart.
Anne_of_Green_Gables Summary - Anne experiences the dark side of childhood as well: the loneliness of the outsider, the sense of being unattractive, and the grief of losing someone very dear. Most of Anne's triumphs follow extreme embarrassment. Her imagination, impulsiveness, and tendency to talk too much lead to one misadventure after another. Still, through a combination of resourcefulness and good luck, Anne manages to avoid any dire consequences.
2002_Arab_and_Jew:_Wounded_Spirits_in_a_Promised_Land Summary - While keeping the original narrative intact, Shipler added notes and postscripts to deal with monumental events that demanded treatment. He notes the political process that had brought Arabs and Jews to "the brink of resolution"; Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in1995 and the instability that this act introduced to Israeli policy; Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's take-it-or-leave-it-offer in 2000 of sovereignty over 96 percent of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - and chairman Yasser Arafat's rejection of it. He recounts the ostentatious visit by Barak's successor, Ariel Sharon, to the disputed Temple Mount, which provoked a violent Arab reaction - a second bloody intifada - and Israeli retribution, equally bloody; and the internationalization of the conflict, launched by the World Trade Center/Pentagon massacre on 9/11/2001.
Are_You_Afraid_of_the_Dark? Summary - Tanner and Senator Van Luven escape on Tanner's private jet, leaving Prima I set to self-destruct. They intend to hold the world hostage with the power of Prima II. Tanner makes the critical mistake of underestimating his brain-damaged brother Andrew, however. Tanner leaves Andrew behind to die in the Prima explosion. Andrew, even with his mental disability, realizes his brother has become an evil man. As his final act, Andrew sets Prima to destroy the KIG jet with Tanner and Van Luven inside. With Tanner Kingsley dead, his vast conspiracy collapses. Kelly and Diane have survived their ordeal and set about reclaiming the pieces of their lives.
Ashes_to_Ashes:_America's_Hundred-Year_Cigarette_War,_the_Public_Health,_and_the_Unabashed_Triumph_of_Philip_Morris Summary - Liability lawsuits against tobacco companies, which had been stifled successfully for more than twenty years, began to have success by the 1990s. Individual states began suing over increased health care costs. The stage was set for the tobacco/state 'tobacco settlement,' which would effectively put an end to the litigation, once and for all.
Atonement_(novel) Summary - Cecilia has become a nurse and has cut herself off from her family. Briony follows her sister's career path and experiences the rigors of training in the Nightingale tradition. Briony is determined to make amends by recanting her testimony. After treating the first wave of wounded evacuees from Dunkirk, Briony drops in on Lola and Paul Marshall's wedding, then on Cecilia, whom Robbie is visiting. After a tense face off, Briony agrees to reveal everything to the world. This endeavor consumes most of the next six decades of Briony's life and after a 77th birthday celebration and diagnosis with vascular dementia, Briony realizes the story will have to be published posthumously. She contemplates how her readers will want a happy ending and she does not show Robbie dying on the beach of septicemia and Cecilia being killed in the bombing of London. Having done her best to atone, Briony is tired and needs to sleep.
Barchester_Towers Summary - Eleanor and Mr. Arabin return to town and announce their engagement. At the same time, Mr. Harding has been informed that he has been chosen to be the new Dean. He turns down the position and gets the church leaders to give it to Mr. Arabin instead. Mr. Slope leaves Barchester in disgrace. Eleanor and Mr. Arabin get married and everyone is very happy for them.
From_the_Mixed-Up_Files_of_Mrs._Basil_E._Frankweiler Summary - But its appeal goes beyond entertainment, for Konigsburg develops believable characters with whom young people can identify. Claudia, like many another bright eleven-year-old, feels unappreciated by her family. Tired of the arguments over television shows, weary of being responsible for her youngest brother, and basically upset because she is growing up on the inside but getting no recognition for it on the outside, Claudia has important reasons for getting away from it all. Her experience in the museum, which ultimately leads to a resolution of her problems, establishes her maturity. She learns about herself, and in her interactions with nine-year-old Jamie, whom she chooses to accompany her, she realizes the value and the pleasure one finds in teamwork, even when the other member of the team is one's brother. In addition to being an interesting and entertaining story, the novel deals with some important issues of growing up, making it a doubly valuable book to read.
Becoming_a_Man:_Half_a_Life_Story Summary - Paul begins therapy at the insistence of a friend who is concerned that he looks suicidal. The therapist encourages Paul to try to go straight. Paul begins a series of relationships with women, trying to convince himself he could be straight, but he still longs for men. Eventually, Paul realizes that he is gay and there is no changing this. He has known it all along. Throughout his entire life, Paul has remained petrified of coming out and has not been able to do so, no matter how much he longs to free himself of the pain of the closet. Finally, as the story comes to a close, Paul meets his soul mate, Roger and with his help, is finally able to come out.
The_Beginning_of_Spring Summary - That day, the household staff is having the ritual spring house opening. In the middle of the ritual, a taxi arrives at the front door. A servant opens the door and Nellie walks in.
The_Belle_of_Amherst Summary - Emily speaks of her goal to be published under her own name and how crushed she was at Professor Higginson's critique of her poetry. After Mr. Higginson's heartbreaking remarks, Emily admits that she still writes poetry, just not as much as she used to. She feels that the people who should be listening to her poetry, like Mr. Higginson, are deaf to artistry. Her failed publishing career or her failed romantic entanglements do not daunt Emily. Instead, she chooses to share her world with the audience and invites them to come back and visit and let her know how they like the cake recipe.
Beside_the_Ocean_of_Time Summary - After the war, Thorfinn returns to the deserted island of Norday. During the war, most of the fertile land and productive farmland was destroyed to make room for an enormous aerodrome used for defense against German attackers. Almost overnight, the entire community was changed, with large groups of workers, machinery, and concrete destroying the once placid and pastoral island. Thorfinn returns to Norday after several years spent living a wild and experienced, rich life in Edinburgh. After writing numerous romances, the author tries a different approach and writes a novel about "the impact on a primitive simple society, close to the elements, of a massive modern technology." This book brings him great success, but Thorfinn chooses to leave Edinburgh and return to live a simple life on the deserted island where he grew up. He returns to Norday, committed to living off the land and sea. Sophie joins him. The novel ends with the couple walking along the shore by the ocean, discussing how they will work the land and raise a son, who will be a poet.
The_Big_Bad_Wolf Summary - Sorokin leads the FBI to the last of the Wolf's clients, known as the Sphinx. Surprisingly, it turns out to be Lizzie Connolly's husband. Mr. Connolly had sold his own wife into captivity. Cross is disgusted and treats the judge accordingly. The agents are then given another lead that allows them to capture the Wolf's chief rival. Although many unsavory characters are brought to justice, Cross still wants the Wolf. As his hunt for the Wolf continues, the Wolf assassinates Sorokin by shooting a rocket launcher into the van transporting him to trial.
Bitter_Fruit Summary - Michael's transformation within the novel is the most drastic. He learns of his mother's rape by reading her diary and he also discovers that he is Du Boise's child. As he struggles to come to terms with this information, Michael embarks on several affairs from which he gains information about Du Boise and a stolen gun from the women he sleeps with. Michael reconnects with the Silas's family, hoping to prove Lydia wrong, and he is drawn into his late grandfather's mosque. In the mosque Michael learns of his grandfather's personal revenge against the man who raped his sister and Michael gains a safe haven for himself. When a young woman he knows admits to him that she has been sleeping with her own father, Michael is pushed to the edge. He kills the woman's father and then Du Boise, before starting his journey to India and safety.
Black_Dogs Summary - Their honeymoon takes them across war-torn Europe, and the couple sees the war's devastation first hand for the first time in their sheltered lives. A confirmed atheist, Bernard reacts with hopelessness and despair, taking refuge in idealistic political platitudes. Along the way, June has a terrifying encounter with two vicious black dogs, which become the instrument of her conversion to belief in God. This day marked the beginning of the end for the two loving souls, who were always to remain married and in love, but forever to live apart, carrying on their argument as to the existence of God even beyond the grave. It is up to the narrator, Jeremy, to sort their story out and heal the longstanding rift in his family.
Black_Wind Summary - Pitt survives the chaos and resurfaces in the submersible. He is picked up in the blimp by his son, and they chase some of Kang's henchmen, stopping them. Then Dirk Pitt, Jr. accompanies a SEAL team to Korea, where they attack Kang's fortress. Dirk Pitt, Jr. ends up in a face-to-face battle with Kang. He wounds the villain and jumps off of the yacht, before it crashes and explodes. Then, he returns to America where he meets up with the beautiful scientist. They drive off into the sunset together.
Blind_Alley Summary - Using Jane as bait, Trevor and Jane devise a plan to lure Aldo back to the place where the whole nightmare started - Herculaneum, a city that was destroyed in a massive volcanic eruption thousands of years earlier. In order for their plan to work, they will have to convince Aldo that Cira's body has been discovered. Then, in the dark tunnels where she allegedly perished, Jane will confront Aldo for a final battle to the death.
Brick_Lane Summary - Nazneen stays in London and she survives with the help of Razia. The women establish a sewing business with some of their other friends and they make a good living catering mainly to white women who will pay high prices for Bangladeshi/Indian-style clothing. The novel ends with a surprise trip for Nazneen. Nazneen's daughters and Razia take her to an ice-skating rink for the first time, where she will be free to skate, they tell her, even in her sari.
The_Bride_Comes_to_Yellow_Sky Summary - Scratchy Wilson approaches Jack Potter's house and calls out his challenge, with no response. Still frustrated, he reloads his gun, and the bride and Jack Potter interrupt him. Scratchy points his gun at Jack, dissatisfied with Jack's answer that he did not have a gun on him. Jack announces that he had just gotten married, to the complete Scratchy's shock. The shock of the news in enough to turn Scratchy away from the gunfight, and he walks away, flabbergasted.
Bridget_Jones's_Diary Summary - On Christmas Day, Julio appears at Bridget's family's home with Mark Darcy in hot pursuit. The police are called, and Julio is arrested. Mark Darcy sweeps Bridget away and declares his love to her. The book ends with a summary of Bridget's progress on her New Year's Resolutions, only one of which she kept. She found a wonderful boyfriend.
The_Cask_of_Amontillado Summary - According to Vincent Buranelli, Poe's short stories also influenced the music of Claude Debussy, who was "haunted" by the atmosphere of Poe's tales, and the art of Aubrey Beardsley, as well as the work of other composers and artists in the United States, Great Britain, and in Europe. Poe was criticized in his own time for daring to examine a crime with no apparent motive, and a murderer with no apparent remorse. For one hundred and fifty years, these themes have continued to challenge readers, who are attracted and repulsed by Poe's creation.
Chain_of_Command:_The_Road_from_9/11_to_Abu_Ghraib Summary - In the Iraq war aftermath, many regions are still very critical to the region's future. These include such nations as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Israel, and Turkey.
Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets Summary - Harry's self-confidence and faith in his allies bolster his magical abilities, allowing him to vanquish his foes in the form of the villainous Voldemort and his own confusing insecurities.
Charlotte's_Web Summary - Charlotte's Web is an animal fable that deals with several important aspects of a happy life: friendship, heroism, con stancy, and death. And yet the story treats these topics indirectly. The primary appeal of Charlotte's Web is its charming story. White allows the characters to explore their relationships with each other in such a way that the story's themes grow naturally from these interactions. In the Zuckermans' bam, unbelievable things happen in very believable ways. Animals talk, a spider writes words in its web, and a pig wins fame that can only be described as undying, since he avoids being turned into hams and sausages. Yet all these characters act from perfectly natural motives. Any reader will recognize and, perhaps, identify with Wilbur's fear and loneliness. Charlotte's Web is a work of fantasy that draws much of its strength from White's evocation of the real world of the farmyard.
Charming_Billy Summary - Dennis has suffered from the lie he told Billy. He too finds himself wondering if Billy's life might have been different had he not lied to him. Billy is romantic, full of poetry no one else really understands. Dennis tells himself it is this idyllic view of the world that has driven Billy to drink, not his own lie. However, when Dennis's wife, Claire, dies, he finds himself struggling with a complete loss of faith. It is only in his friendship and later romantic interest in Billy's widow, Maeve, that Dennis finally finds his faith again.
Chatterton Summary - Phillip, Charles's best friend, returns to the home of the gentlemen who gave Charles the Chatterton manuscripts shortly after Charles's death and asks about their true origin. Phillip learns that the manuscripts were a joke written by the man who published the majority of Chatterton's work during his life and many years afterward, a Mr. Joynson. He apparently became upset when a rival book publisher published some of Chatterton's letters that accused Joynson of taking his manuscripts and then abandoning him. Joynson believed should his joke ever become public it would humiliate Chatterton's reputation and save his own. Phillip returns the manuscripts to the original owner. The painting, however, is destroyed when an artist attempts to restore it.
Clear_Light_of_Day Summary - Part 4, the final section of the novel, goes forward again in time to Tara's visit to her childhood home. Bim and Tara converse a great deal about their brother, Raja. Although Bim has seemed to resent her brother up until this point, the resentment slowly fades and she convinces herself to accept her brother and his shortcomings. Tara expresses her concern for Bim and, before leaving, pours out her feelings of guilt for leaving Bim with her aunt and brother when she left the house to marry Bakul. Bim looks into her sister's eyes and recognizes her distress. The two sisters grow very close in this moment, as Bim realizes they are not so different after all.
The_Collected_Stories_of_Jean_Stafford Summary - The final two stories in this section based on Manhattan Island are centered on beauty and its acknowledgement in a society with high expectations. Cops and Robbers is the tale of a young girl's loss of her beautiful tresses to a father's petty injustice to his wife. As the youngest of five children, the youth's hair, so like her mother's, was the child's perceived single contribution to her family. A beautiful woman is kept so by the contributions of medical science in the story The End of a Career. When her story ends, so does her life. The woman's beauty has faded and so had her purpose for living.
Waiting_for_Snow_in_Havana Summary - The book is full of the sense of loss and longing for a life long-gone and a future promised but revoked. It speaks of the life that might have been, and the life he found instead.
Confessions_of_an_Heiress Summary - Paris also discloses some of the things she likes to do in her private life. She tells of her own personal relaxation techniques, which include classical music and baths with many wonderful products. She analyzes her life and the different turns it has taken, saying that she is becoming more serious as she gets older, and gaining a deeper appreciation for her family and their great support of her in all situations. She looks forward to the future and the possibility of someday having her own children.
The_Confessions_of_Nat_Turner_(1967) Summary - Nat studied strategy, formed a plan for rebellion, and used his status as a preacher to convert other slaves to his cause. When the day came to execute his plan, Nat was determined to leave no survivors; he knew that in order to make an impact on the long-entrenched institution of slavery, the rebellion would have to be huge and bloody. Nat and his band of seventy-five followers succeeded in executing fifty-five white slave-owners - the largest insurrection of its kind in recorded history. Nat's success came at a steep price, though. In retaliation, the white militia killed over a hundred innocent black people, none of whom were involved in Nat's rebellion, and some of whom were not even slaves. Of the seventy-five slaves actually involved in the rebellion, about a dozen were returned to their masters, fifteen or so were sold down the river to hard labor and certain death, and seventeen, including Nat and his best friend Hark, were hanged.
Crossing_the_River Summary - Len eventually goes to prison for dealing in the black market during the war, leaving Joyce to run the village shop. The U.S. Army stations a detachment of black soldiers near the village where Joyce lives, and she falls in love with one of the officers named Travis. She becomes pregnant by Travis just before he is shipped off to Italy. He is able to return on leave to marry Joyce - whose divorce from Len is finally settled - just days before the birth of their baby, Greer. Travis is killed in Italy, and Joyce is forced to give Greer up to the county as a war orphan. The only time she sees him again is in 1963, when he comes as a young man to visit her in a new life. Joyce secretly continues to love Travis, even in her new life, and she is portrayed as a good person, caught up in bigotry and circumstances beyond her control.
The_Gunslinger Summary - There is a strong connection between Roland and the man in black. They come from the same place and share a culture and way of life. The man in black is an evil force, while the gunslinger is a vengeful but altruistic force. The gunslinger's ultimate goal is to find the man in black so that he can get answers from him, some of which relate to the Tower. The gunslinger also aims to kill the man in black when he finds him, but only after his questions are answered. Roland, the gunslinger, does finally catch the man in black, but only after Roland makes a blood sacrifice to the man. The answers Roland receives are not what he bargained for. This is not the end of his journey, but only the beginning.
Daughters_of_the_House Summary - In one of the final scenes in the novel, Thérèse calls out for her mother and runs toward the door of the church, rushing to outrun the flames that surround her. Léonie decides to finally go public with the secret that she has been carrying for many years. In the nightmares of Léonie's childhood, the names of the murdered family members were revealed to her. In these dreams she also heard the name of the informer who led Henri and the young family to their deaths.
Disgrace Summary - David is busy writing an opera that he has been contemplating for some time, and finds himself connecting to the character of the female lead. Returning to the city, he realizes that there is no place for him here anymore and that he is an outsider among his former peers. He returns to the country, lives in a small rented room, and tries to reconnect with his daughter. He continues helping out at the animal shelter.
The_Electric_Michelangelo Summary - Cy returns to his hometown after the war and reestablishes the tattoo shop. His demons are mostly behind him. On the verge of retirement, a freaky teenage girl, the granddaughter of the first lust of Cy's life, appears in Cy's shop and ingratiates herself to him. She is settling in as his apprentice as the novel ends, with the promise of Cy's passing on the ancient lore.
Empire_Falls Summary - Amidst the many other characters in Empire Falls is John Voss. John is a silent, troubled boy who is in Tick's art class at Empire Falls High School. Forced into a friendship with John, Tick gets him a job at the Empire Grill. John is the sort of boy who invites abuse from his peers. It is ultimately revealed that he has been badly abused by adults as well. John's story culminates in a schoolroom massacre after discovering that the boy carried his grandmother's body out to a landfill and left it there when she died. Unbeknownst to officials and peers, John has been living alone in his grandmother's house.
Entertaining_God Summary - After John's death and finding out the bizarre circumstances surrounding it, John's mother has a breakdown and undergoes a change in her view of the world. She does a 180, suddenly completely embracing her blackness and African roots through changes in her appearance and state of mind. She becomes a radical poet, affirming the beauty of being black and encouraging the young people to be filled with black pride. John's mother is fueled to do this because of her son. Through her radical poetry she is attempting to do for others what she did not do for her own son-help them find and accept their identity, their blackness. She is attempting to right the wrongs she made with her son, searching for John in the process.
Eragon Summary - Eragon meets with the leader of the Varden Ajihad and with King Hrothgar, the leader of the dwarves. Later, he tests his abilities with Arya the elf after she recovers from her poisoning by the Shade Durza. The Urgals invade at Farthen Dyr, and Eragon and Saphira are enlisted to fight off the monsters. The Shade Durza appears with the invading Urgals, and Eragon fights him to his death. Wounded and scarred in his fight, Eragon is visited by a vision that instructs him to go to Ellesmyra, the land of the elves, and he makes a promise to do just that.
Esperanza_Rising Summary - Her friend, Miguel, steals Esperanza's money and he disappears. Esperanza is very depressed at not being able to help her mother. Finally, Miguel returns with Abuelita after having gone to Mexico with Esperanza's money to bring Abuelita to California.
Every_Man_for_Himself Summary - In 200 pages, Bainbridge allows readers to participate in the very human, however superficial, relations of her first-class passengers and step into the shoes of some of the personnel who serve the elite, experiencing the haughtiness they have to endure and rather enjoying the cheek they give in return. We feel Titanic beneath our feet for five days and then feel her tilt and sink, with little melodrama but great pathos, following as the narrator, no longer a shallow youth, rises to the occasion and rushes about the ship, helping friends and strangers in their hour of need. Reading Every Man for Himself is a remarkable experience.
Everyday_Use Summary - "Everyday Use" was published early in Alice Walker's writing career, appearing in her collection In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women in 1973. The work was enthusiastically reviewed upon publication, and "Everyday Use" has since been called by some critics the best of Walker's short stories. In letting a rural black woman with little education tell a story that affirms the value of her heritage, Walker articulates what has since become, as critic Barbara Christian notes, two central themes in her writing: "the importance of the quilt in her work ... [and] the creation of African American Southern women as subjects in their own right." When Mrs. Johnson snatches her ancestors' quilts from her daughter Dee, who wants to hang them on a wall, and gives them to Maggie, Walker illuminates her life-long celebration of rural Southern black womanhood. The motif of quilting has since become central to Walker's concerns, because it suggests the strength to be found in connecting with one's roots and one's past. As with many other stories by Walker, "Everyday Use" is narrated by the unrefined voice of a rural black woman, in the author's attempt to give a voice to a traditionally disenfranchised segment of the population.
The_Fall Summary - The Fall ends with a very ill Jean-Baptiste Clamence explaining, finally, his whole purpose of raising himself up by putting others down. Having learned the secret of his own form of happiness, Clamence indulges himself in everything, every impulse - even the possession of a stolen painting from a 15th century altarpiece. Most importantly, however, Clamence finally feels adored.
The_Fall_of_the_House_of_Usher Summary - "The Fall of the House of Usher," written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839, is regarded as an early and supreme example of the Gothic horror story, though Poe ascribed the term "arabesque" to this and other similar works, a term that he felt best described its flowery, ornate prose. Featuring supernatural theatrics, which critics have interpreted a number of ways, the story exhibits Poe's concept of "art for art's sake," the idea that a story should be devoid of social, political, or moral teaching. In place of a moral, Poe creates a mood—terror, in this case— through his use of language. This philosophy of "art for art's sake" later evolved into the literary movement of Aestheticism which eschewed the symbolic and preachy literature of the day—especially in England—in an attempt to overcome strict Victorian conventions. Because of his emphasis on style and language, Poe proclaimed his writing a reaction to typical literature of the day, which he called "the heresy of the Didactic" for its tendency to preach, Condemned by some critics for its tendencies toward Romanticism, a literary movement marked by melodramatic and maudlin exaggerations, "The Fall of the House of Usher" was nevertheless typical of Poe's short stories in that it presents a narrator thrust into a psychologically intense situation in which otherworldly forces conspire to drive at least one of the characters insane.
Family_Matters_(book) Summary - There is an Epilogue that takes place five years later. Nariman is still an invalid; after his ankle heals his Parkinson's disease keeps him confined to his bed, virtually unable to communicate.
Fear_and_Loathing_in_Las_Vegas_(book) Summary - Soon after the episode with the maid, Thompson drives his attorney to the airport. Thompson intends to remain in town longer, but over the next few days his actions start catching up with him. He realizes it's time to return to L.A. With the seminar over, cops and investigators have made a mass exodus to the airport. Embittered by his perception of the conference, he boards a plane and leaves, having pushed himself beyond fatigue and into a state of near-hysteria.
The_Fellowship_of_the_Ring Summary - None can carry the Ring to its destruction except Frodo, because of his pure nature, but the task is too difficult for a young Hobbit on his own. Thus, the "Fellowship" is born to help Frodo reach the fires of Mordor, the only place where the One Ring can finally be rendered unusable by the Dark Lord Sauron. The Council of Elrond provides a representative of each of the free races of Middle Earth to swear their allegiance to Frodo and promise to help him reach his destination unharmed, or die trying. Along with this group, the wizard Gandalf, and hobbits Sam Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck, and Pippin Took, also swear their allegiance to Frodo. The group meets with many great adventures and obstacles along their way to Mordor. It is this noble quest and its awesome difficulties that form the enchanting story of The Fellowship of the Ring.
The_Five_People_You_Meet_in_Heaven Summary - The fifth person Eddie meets is a little girl, named Tala, whom he tried to rescue in the burning tent in the Philippines in the war. She asks him to take a stone and wash her as her mother had done. When he does, all the damage done by the fire is washed away. She asks him why he was so unhappy on earth, and he tells her it was because he never accomplished anything. She tells him that he was where he was supposed to be, keeping children safe on the rides for her sake. She also tells him that he did, in fact, save the little girl from the falling cart and that as he died, the hands he felt in his were her own, Tala's. She was bringing him to Heaven to keep him safe, she tells him. At last, Eddie feels peace. Eddie is then transported back to Marguerite to spend eternity with her at home in Heaven.
Flaubert's_Parrot Summary - Told in a variety of different formats, the novel questions our assumptions about what history is and how we discover the facts of history. Virtually every chapter offers an alternate way of approaching the "facts" of history or a person, illustrating how our vision changes with the format and perspective.
An_Artist_of_the_Floating_World Summary - The story begins in post-World War II Japan. Ono is retired, and his main preoccupations in life are repairing his bomb-damaged home and negotiating the marriage of his youngest daughter, Noriko. We learn, through the narration and reminiscences of an old man, how Ono got to this point in his life. The marriage investigation reveals that Ono's reputation has suffered tremendously since Japan lost the war. The death and damage toll faced by the country have caused a backlash of anger towards Ono and his generation for beginning the war. Ono, having spent most of his career furthering militaristic agendas, is now faced with the ruins of his home, his country, and his reputation. Through Ono's occasionally confused eyes, we gradually learn about the events surrounding Kuroda's imprisonment. Ono is faced with a difficult emotional journeyto admit his mistakes, accept his responsibility for what occurred, and ultimately to find forgiveness, both for himself and from his family after having blindly pursued and advocated the ideals that resulted in the death and destruction of the country and people he loved.
Florida Summary - When Alice is a young woman, she reconnects with her mother, and spends her summer vacations visiting with her in California. As Alice finds meaning in her life through inspiring her students, her mother's life is on the decline. Over the years, Alice's mother becomes very unhealthy, and she is admitted to a nursing home. Ultimately, when Alice reaches a point in her life where she is happy with herself and the life she has made for herself in New York, she is forced to witness a second, quite different, loss of her now elderly mother.
The_Flowers Summary - There is one point of foreshadowing in this story: when she stops, arms full of flowers, and looks at her surroundings before heading back home. The place is gloomy, damp, and silent. Prior to this, everything was bright and beautiful. The reader is put on alert with this foreshadowing, knowing something more sinister is about to take place. It is on her way home that she steps into a dead man's face. Due to either her innocence or the common occurrence of being around death in her life, Myop is unafraid. Curious, she studies the dead man, surveys her surroundings, and sees a beautiful pink rose. As she picks the flower she finds remnants of a noose, and then up above, she spots a strand of rope. It is then that Myop lays down her flowers and the story states that the summer was over. This is the moment that Myop's childhood ends and her innocence is lost. The flowers represent the beauty of life and Myop represents childhood innocence. Death is represented, obviously, in the dead man, but it is not the discovery of this dead man that ends Myop's childhood. The discovery of the noose and rope is what ends her innocence. In this story then, the noose and rope represents the existence of evil.
Foreign_Affairs_(novel) Summary - Edwin and Vinnie meet for lunch and she admits out loud that she loved Chuck. Edwin reports that Rosemary is on the way to recovery and Vinnie reveals a note from Fred saying his marriage is being put back together. As she returns to her flat, Vinnie reminds herself that despite the loneliness she will face when she returns to America, she is a successful writer and she invites a miniaturized and hesitant Fido into the flat.
Fortunate_Son Summary - But even though his hopes and dreams were squashed a second time with this loss, Lewis Puller still contributed a great deal to the world. His courage and determination touched the lives of many, especially the thousands of young men who had dodged the Vietnam draft, for whom Lewis helped secure clemency in his official capacity as a Clemency Board member under President Ford's administration. Lewis made powerful friends during the many years he served as an attorney in the Department of Defense, but always felt the closest fellowship with the other men of his generation who had put their lives on the line for an unpopular war. Lewis' autobiography inspired thousands of his fellow veterans by giving voice to their despair, courage, and hardship. His story will be remembered for years to come, and the contrast between his father's military experience and his own teaches a lesson about the value of human life, and the insanity of sacrificing lives for the wrong cause.
Founding_Brothers:_The_Revolutionary_Generation Summary - In the mid-1770s, leaders of thirteen British colonies stretching most of the length of the Atlantic coast of North America improbably succeeded in breaking loose from imperial control. In the 1780's-90's, they struggled to turn their nation-states into a viable union, capable of survival in a still-hostile world. They looked across the Atlantic to France, seeing that revolution more probably leads to further bloodshed and the imposition of a new form of totalitarianism. Some patriots saw the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as compromising, or even abandoning, the Spirit of '76. Others saw it as a natural and necessary evolution. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, close personal friends in the band of brothers, personify the two positions, and sacrifice their friendship to promote their vision. Founding Brothers looks closely at a series of incidents that bring the post-revolutionary era alive, examining the major events and controversies that were taken up or covered up in the early republic's struggle for survival. The final chapter takes up the substance of the debate as the chief adversaries mellow with advanced age and seek to establish their views for posterity.
Freedom_From_Fear Summary - She did act. That she is the daughter of Aung San indisputably brought many to her first rallies. If election results—her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) carried over 80% of the 1990 vote—count as evidence, people listened. She gave over a thousand speeches between August 1988 and July 1989—all in direct violation of the government's open meeting laws—when she was placed under house arrest. In 1991, immediately prior to this book's publication, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She remains under house arrest, and Burma remains under a military dictatorship.
The_Girl_Who_Loved_Tom_Gordon Summary - With the faith of Tom Gordon to aid her through her darkest hours, Trisha learns that she, too, has ice water in her veins. The little girl summons the courage and faith she needs to survive loneliness, hunger, and the threat posed by an unknown creature which stalks her through the forest. In the end, Trisha saves herself, and perhaps even her family, with whom she is ultimately reunited. The crisis brings her family closer together, and Trisha learns that no matter what curve balls life may throw at her, she is capable of standing up to them.
Goblin_Market Summary - Through the effects of the fruit on Laura, Rossetti shows that evil, like drugs and other apparently pleasurable things, cannot long satisfy. She conveys the idea that those who embrace evil or selfish pleasure will suffer—and so will those who love them. On a deeper level, Rossetti's 567-line poem provides significant insights into the relationships between men and women and into the often-divided human personality. Perhaps more important, the poem develops the idea that a suffering individual enslaved by habits or evil can be rescued through the redeeming love and sacrifices of another.
God:_A_Biography Summary - God: A Biography proposes that God, as an inwardly-conflicted solitary figure, realizes himself by creating the human race and then dealing with it and discovering why he wanted a self-image in the first place, how he wants to relate to it and what he must do for it and it must do for him. As understanding grows, activity lessens, until God falls into silent obsolescence, his story and laws preserved in the book that can be said to have formed Western civilization.
Northern_Lights_(novel) Summary - She runs after him but that is where this installment of the story ends, to be taken up again in The Subtle Knife and concluded in The Amber Spyglass.
The_Great_Santini Summary - The school year culminates with the violent events of a young girl's rape and the racist murder of Ben's mentor, a local man named Toomer. While unexpected, neither of these events is wholly surprising given the backdrop of racial prejudice and misogyny so prevalent in the small Southern town of Ravenel. The book climaxes with the death of Bull, whose plane is downed by an engine fire. Bull heroically gives his own life to ensure his plane doesn't crash over a populated area, and Ben is forced to both reevaluate his father and assume his role as head of the family.
Gulag Summary - The final section discusses the decline of the camps until their elimination in the late 1980's and early 1990's. During World War II, the camps had expanded due to the influx of prisoners from occupied territories and foreign armies. During and immediately following the war, Stalin tightened his control over the Soviet Union, sentencing more individuals to the camps to serve the need for slave labor. Although Stalin persisted with the camps, it was becoming increasingly clear to other leaders that the camps were both problematic and unprofitable. After Stalin's death, the camps underwent a number of changes. While some subsequent leaders tried to improve conditions within the camps and release some prisoners, others tightened control over them. During the post-Stalinist period, a number of strikes and a few rebellions occurred, which helped bring about the end of the system. Finally, during the 1980's, Gorbachev issued a series of amnesties for most of the remaining prisoners and called for an examination of the history of the Gulag, which essentially shut the camp system down.
Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel Summary - In the final section of the book, Diamond applies his theory to different locations on the globe. He shows why, despite common ancestors, Australia and New Guinea developed differently in response to their environments. Some societies in both China and the Polynesian Islands that had skills, including the ability to grow crops and make weapons, conquered less fortunate peoples who had not developed these skills. The history of Eurasia also illustrates why Europe was able to conquer much of the Americas and Africa.
Harry_Potter_and_the_Half-Blood_Prince Summary - This school year concluded early, immediately after Dumbledore's funeral, which was attended by many from many lands. As Dumbledore's pyre ignited, Harry thought he saw a phoenix flying off into the blue sky. After the funeral, Harry told his friends that he would not be returning to Hogwart's. He would, as Dumbledore had wished, spend a little time on Privet Drive, after which he would visit his parents' graves and begin the search for the remaining Horcruxes. Hermione said that, wherever he went, she and Ron would go, too.
Harry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix Summary - Minister Fudge sees Voldemort with his own eyes before Voldemort can escape, proving Harry and Dumbledore's claims of the Dark Lord's return. Dumbledore and Harry are once again respected and Voldemort's plans have been foiled again, though the stage is set for a terrible war among the wizards.
Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone Summary - The first ten years of Harry's life bear a resemblance to Wart's, the young King Arthur's, childhood as depicted in T. H. White's The Once and Future King. Where White's long-bearded Merlin gives the Wart in fosterage, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Rowling's Professor Dumbledore farms Harry out to distant relatives. Where White's young Arthur is treated as a second-class son compared to the up-and-coming Sir Kay, Rowling's child hero is abused and maligned by his aunt and uncle and their spoiled, ridiculous son Dudley. Where White's protagonist is unwittingly trained for kingship by Merlin before he stumbles across the sword in the stone and his heroic self, Rowling's title character is eventually relieved of his unhappy Muggle upbringing by Professor Dumbledore's letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Noble parentage and inherent heroism are revealed and Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone takes off into a description of the non-Muggle world, the wonderful landscape and lifestyle of Hogwarts school, and the firstyear student adventures of Harry and his new friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Together, they embark on a quest for the Sorcerer's Stone, a magical stone that, as they discover, is hidden deep within Hogwarts.
The_Haunting_of_Hill_House Summary - When Dr. Montague notices how deeply ensnared Eleanor has become by the ghosts of the house, he insists that she leave for her own safety. Hill House, however, having claimed Eleanor, has no intention of letting her go. As Eleanor drives away from the house, she feels compelled to speed up and turn her car towards an ancient tree at the bend in the driveway. Feeling triumphant, Eleanor thinks she's discovered a way to stay at Hill House despite having been so rudely kicked out. Only in the final moment before her car smashes against the tree does Eleanor's lucidity return. She wonders why she is doing such a disastrous thing, but it is already too late. Hill House has claimed yet another victim to add to the long list of mysterious deaths and supposed suicides which have taken place on the grounds.
Heat_and_Dust Summary - The young woman who came to India to discover more about Olivia is the narrator—neither her name nor the exact year she arrived are ever stated. She takes a room in Satipur and visits the house in which Olivia and Douglas had lived (it had been subdivided into several government offices, in one of which Inder Lal, her new landlord, works). She first visited the Nawab's palace with Inder Lal. She first visited the shrine of Baba Firdau on the day of an annual fertility festival (the "Husband's Wedding Day"), with Inder Lal's mother and her friends. When she subsequently visits the shrine with Inder Lal, the two become lovers (near the spot where Olivia and the Nawab had become lovers in 1923). The midwives in Satipur can tell the narrator is pregnant before she herself realizes it. The novel concludes with the narrator, whose choice is to carry her child to term, having arrived in X (she has taken a room; she has stood inside Olivia's house). The narrator has heard there is an ashram further up the mountain although she does not know how long she will stay, she says she rarely looks down.
Her_Sweet_Jerome Summary - The narrator finally stumbles onto Jerome's books. The books symbolize knowledge and power. When his wife realizes there is no other woman and that Jerome's passion is for knowledge, she knows she is defeated. She realizes that she can't bully, kill, or compete with knowledge, for she has no education and can't begin to comprehend what the books are even about. Though wealthy, she can't buy intelligence. The only power she has is tied to what her money can buy...and it no longer can buy Jerome. She realizes she is inferior. In her impotent outrage she burns the books, and the fire ends up consuming her as well.
Holes_(novel) Summary - Fortune turns in favor of the Yelnats. Stanley's dad has discovered a formula for eliminating foot odor and Clyde "Sweet Feet" is its principal endorser. Zero has admitted that he stole the shoes, only because he lived on his own and had to steal to get by. The change in fortune stems from the fact that Zero's name is actually Hector Zeroni, the great-great grandson of Madame Zeroni. The promise has finally been kept. A Yelnats carried a Zeroni to the top of the mountain, lifting the curse and changing the fortune of the Yelnats family.
The_Holy_Blood_and_the_Holy_Grail Summary - The lack of true historical fact surrounding Jesus and the inability of the authors to get the existing members of the Priory of Sion to confess their long-held secret does not stop the authors from putting forth their theories. However, the authors conclude that although Jesus was likely married, his marital status does not take away from the idea that he was the Son of God, or served as the mortal form in which God took in order to discover what it was like to be human. The authors assert that it would have been expected of God to be married if his goal was to truly see what it was like to be human. The authors end their book by assuring the readers that these revelations should not shake the reader's faith. They posit that perhaps the world has never been more ready for the revelations they have made in the book, and that the exposure of the true heir to Jesus' bloodline might be like the second coming that many religious believers have been waiting for.
Homage_to_Catalonia Summary - He then receives some leave and returns to Barcelona to join his wife who has, by this time, also traveled to Spain. In Barcelona, however, fighting breaks out between rival Republican groups. Orwell is caught up in several days of street fighting, which eventually dwindles away. He briefly returns to the front and is seriously wounded and evacuated to a hospital, where he partially recuperates. Continued political rivalry in the Republican government eventually leads to the suppression of POUM, the political group with which Orwell is affiliated. As POUM is suppressed, former members are arrested, jailed, and sometimes executed. Orwell, his wife, and a few comrades escape arrest and flee to France. Orwell then travels to England, where he makes an extensive review of news accounts of the war and writes the book. He intersperses his journalist account of his personal war experiences with two lengthy sections describing the political situation in Catalonia, and with numerous corrections to what he sees as unjust views of, and information about, the war.
Hotel_du_Lac Summary - By that evening, Edith decides to accept. That night she goes up to her room to write a letter to David to inform him that she will be marrying a man she met at the hotel and will no longer be seeing him. The following morning, Edith wakes early to mail the letter; as she exits her room, she sees Mr. Neville quietly slipping out of Jennifer Pusey's room. Edith realizes that they have been having an affair and is not surprised. Instead of mailing the letter, Edith goes back to her room, tears it up and throws it away. She then goes downstairs and sends a one-word telegram back home to England: "Returning."
The_Hound_of_the_Baskervilles Summary - Sherlock Holmes is called upon to solve the mystery, and the intricate story builds to an extraordinary climax when the hound attacks: "Fire burst from its open mouth, its eye glowed with a smoldering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap were outlined in flickering flame." A fiend from hell seems loosed upon Sir Henry.
House_of_Sand_and_Fog Summary - Conflict over the house in Corona is the core of this novel. Kathy pleads with Behrani (and talks with his wife and son, Nadereh (Nadi) and Esmail). One evening, Officer Lester Burdon, believing that it's not right for Kathy to lose her house to wealthy foreigners because of a bureaucratic error, threatens Behrani by stating that the INS deports people every day. (In response to this threat, Behrani files a formal complaint the next morning.) A day later, Kathy attempts suicide but is rescued by Behrani. She again tries to kill herself, and this time her life is saved by Nadereh, Behrani's wife. Lester later breaks into the Corona house-fearing for Kathy's safety-and holds at gunpoint the very people, he soon realizes, who saved Kathy's life. His realization comes too late to prevent the tragedy that unfolds: the novel concludes with Esmail, Nadereh, and Behrani shot dead and Kathy and Lester in prison.
How_Late_It_Was,_How_Late Summary - The police are interested in Sammy due to his association with Charlie Barr, a political activist and terrorist who it is believed Sammy met up with over the weekend. Sammy claims to remember little about the meeting, but the police persist, releasing Sammy only to re-arrest him for further interrogation later in the week. Sammy has been in prison in the past for his involvement in crime, and he is frightened of being imprisoned again. Finally, with the help of his son, Sammy escapes from Glasgow with the intention of starting a new life in England.
How_to_Make_Love_Like_a_Porn_Star:_A_Cautionary_Tale Summary - She goes on another self-destructive path with alcohol and Vicodin. She knows that she should stop using both, but she is having fun letting the anger that has been building for all these years out. It makes her feel good. During this time, she meets Jay. She fights the feelings she has for him. Jenna just runs from commitment, and being with Jay would mean commitment. He rescues her several times, before she realizes that he is the man she has been waiting for and that she has to stop running and give their relationship a chance to grow into the unconditional love she has dreamed of all of her life.
How_We_Die,_Reflections_on_Life's_Final_Chapter Summary - The Dr. beseeches the reader to take control of his destiny and offers suggestions on how best to accomplish this by sharing with, or confronting the family physician. Use the knowledge gained from reading this tale on How We Die, Reflections on Life's Final Chapter, to renew an interest in the quality of one's life and demonstrate the wisdom to live every day to its fullest.
I_Am_Charlotte_Simmons Summary - Charlotte, who throughout most of the book believed strongly in her identity as Charlotte Simmons, ends the book as Jojo's girlfriend. She may have gotten what she wanted (popularity and prestige), but she paid a high price to receive it.
I_Am_My_Own_Wife Summary - In the second act, more is revealed of Charlotte's involvement with the Stasi. The audience discovers that she was an informant for many years against her friends and family, which may explain how she was able to survive as a homosexual under the Communist Party. Her role as a gay hero is called into question, but she does not seem to feel any remorse for her involvement with the Stasi. She eventually moves to Sweden, but she returns seven years later to visit her museum in Berlin. While at the museum, she has a massive heart attack and dies. Her elusiveness about her Stasi involvement and her paradoxical life lead Doug to frustration about how to deal with Charlotte as both character and mentor.
In_the_Heart_of_the_Sea:_The_Tragedy_of_the_Whaleship_Essex Summary - Facing extreme starvation and dehydration, the men would sail for two more months. Along the way, one by one, the men began to die. The first several men were buried at sea but after Owen Chase's whaleboat was separated from the other two and provisions ran low, the men began to eat their dead shipmates. By the end, all three boats would be separated from each other; one would never be found. After sailing over 4,500 miles, Owen Chase, Benjamin Lawrence, and Thomas Nickerson were rescued from their whaleboat and George Pollard and Charles Ramsdell would be rescued five days later from theirs.
Independence_Day_(novel) Summary - Over the course of this holiday weekend, Frank begins to see himself in the Markhams. Like them, his inability to commit to a relationship - either with Sally, his former wife, or any of the innumerable women which he's known in between - has nearly put him past the statistical point of no return as well. When the Markhams waffle on the 45th house - the best house Frank has to show them - he begins to realize that his own indecision regarding Sally mirrors the Markhams' inability to recognize a good thing when they see it. However, it takes a tragic injury to his son Paul to re-engage Frank fully in his emotional life. When Paul's eye is flattened by a 75-mile-per-hour fastball at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Frank is rudely jolted back to reality, and emerges at long last from his Existence Period.
Intruder_in_the_Dust Summary - After developing a scheme to catch Crawford, the sheriff releases Lucas. Crawford then kills himself in his jail cell shortly after his arrest. Everything returns to normal, including Lucas, who shows up at Uncle Gavin's office to gloat in his own way. He pays Uncle Gavin what he owes him, only he pays him in pennies.
Ironweed Summary - It is the night before Halloween in 1938, and Francis, who left his family for good back in 1916, is beginning to think about all that he's left behind. This is a sea change for Francis, who has perfected the art of forgetting. His life has become so base and desolate that he does not even wish to remember what happened yesterday, much less explore the painful memories of the events which led him to take flight from his home in the first place. He is helped along in his recollections by the appearance of ghosts from his past. He sees and converses with men he has killed, and men he's befriended or helped along the way. The ghosts act as Francis' conscience, which he has ignored for so long that it must manifest itself in the form of these apparitions. The novel's events take place over a period of only three days, in which Francis walks the streets of his youth and gradually comes to terms with the past he fled so long ago. By the end of the novel, Francis has, surprisingly, returned home to live with the wife and family he abandoned twenty-two years before. He has not, in the short space of three days, become a fully changed person, but the story ends on a hopeful note as Francis, given a choice to run away or to stay, chooses to stay for the first time in his adult life.
Ishi Summary - Despite the wanton murders of their people by gold-seeking white men, the small group of Yahi keep reminding themselves that not all white men are evil and that each must be evaluated upon his own merit. This belief allows Ishi, the sole surviving Yahi, to live among the white men and memorialize his people through the stories and artifacts he leaves for the California museum. Ishi's story also explores how people can learn to co-exist with nature even though nature exacts strong penalties for humankind's ignorance and indifference. On the other hand, the story also reveals that learning to live comfortably with the brutality that people inflict upon one another is impossible.
Island_of_the_Blue_Dolphins Summary - Page after page, O'Dell offers imaginative solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. Although the story takes place over a century ago, Island of the Blue Dolphins has a timeless appeal because of the author's artistry in communicating his love for the sea.
Jacob_Have_I_Loved Summary - Paterson's exploration of the psychological effects of this lifestyle lends depth and authenticity to the work.
John_Adams_(book) Summary - The two patriots died within hours of one another on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. David McCullough paints an absorbing portrait of an overlooked man, his remarkable wife and their circle of friends, enemies and family.
Journey_to_the_End_of_the_Night Summary - Bardamu leaves the unpleasant scene and returns to Paris, where he takes a new job at a psychiatric institute, under the leadership of Dr. Baryton. Unfortunately for Bardamu, Robinson turns up again in a few months and asks to be sheltered at the Institute. Robinson has recovered his sight and left Madelon, who has been pursuing him and threatening to turn him into the police unless he marries her. In an effort to reconcile the three, who have all had quarrels with each other, one of the nurses at the clinic proposes a night at the carnival. Madelon refuses to join in the fun. During the taxi ride home and when Robinson continues to reject her declarations of love as meaningless, she shoots and kills him. After watching his friend die, Bardamu finds himself wondering if Robinson had actually planned for Madelon to shoot him all along. After all, Robinson had sought a way out of the war by surrendering, maybe he was just looking for an easy way out of life, which, thinks Bardamu, in the end is just a carnival full of empty, cheap pleasures meant to distract us from our troubles.
Khrushchev_(book) Summary - By 1964, the always brusque, crude, entertaining Khrushchev has grown so caustic, arbitrary, and isolated from his party colleagues, and so inattentive to the danger of being away from the Kremlin for extended periods, that a plot to overthrow him can be organized and executed to perfection. Khrushchev goes into a depressed internal exile but eventually uses the time to dictate extensive memoirs that his son has published in the West. After a series of heart attacks, Khrushchev dies in 1971 and is buried simply in the cemetery that holds many Russian notables, without communist pomp and circumstance.
Kira-Kira Summary - That summer, the Takeshima family takes a vacation to California. As Katie stands on the beach, she remembers Lynn. "Kira-kira," she can hear her call. "Kira-kira."
Last_Orders Summary - The men arrive at the Margate pier as a storm makes the going treacherous. They carry on and walk to the end, where they see remnants of the original jetty where Jack requested his ashes be taken. Ray tells Vince that he has the money and Vince is relieved. They all dip their hands into the jar and scatter Jack's ashes.
Lenin's_Tomb:_The_Last_Days_of_the_Soviet_Empire Summary - In the end, the coup fails and the Soviet Union is dismantled. Although there are various factors that contribute to the Empire's collapse, the most significant factor is the Soviet people themselves. After years of blind obedience and misery, the Soviet people seem to awaken from a miserable dream in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This awakening gives the strength and the courage to face not only their past, but their future. To witness this transformation through Remnick's eyes and words is a remarkable lesson in the power of the human spirit.
The_Life_and_Times_of_Michael_K Summary - In Sea Point (the Cape Town suburb where he lived with his mother for a time), K meets up with some nomadic townspeople who feed him. Eventually, K returns to the old apartment and wonders about his garden in Prince Albert.
Life_of_Pi Summary - When Pi finally rescues himself by landing on a beach in Mexico, he is orphaned once again by his reason for living, Richard Parker. The tiger disappears into the Mexican jungle, while Pi is interrogated by officials seeking the "real story" of why the ship sank. Pi recalls his tale, which the officials label as preposterous, only to re-tell the tale sans animals and with Pi as a blood-thirsty cannibal. The author's twist may mystify some readers who will wonder if the latter tale is closer to the truth. The book is, after all, fiction.
Ligeia Summary - In some ways, Ligeia, like many of Poe's works, has some root in its author's biography. Poe's child bride/first cousin Virginia was, by all accounts, the love of his life. However, while in Richmond working with Thomas A. White for The Southern Literary Messenger, it is rumored that Poe, in despair at the thought that he might lose Virginia, became romantically involved with White's blonde-haired and blue-eyed daughter Eliza. Just as in the story, however, the reappearance of his true love vanquishes this light-haired fling.
Lincoln_at_Gettysburg:_The_Words_that_Remade_America Summary - Wills believes that Lincoln found the words that "remade America." He writes "In the crucible of the occasion, Lincoln distilled the meaning of the war, of the nation's purpose, of the remaining task, in a statement that is straightforward and magical."
Little_Earthquakes Summary - Although it's obvious that "the perfect life" may not be in the cards for any of these women, they learn that love and forgiveness are far more important than perfection.
Loitering_with_Intent Summary - The end of the story, however, is a happy one, as Fleur continues her friendship with Lady Edwina, finds another publisher for her book and for her subsequent novels, and begins to enjoy recognition for her work. The story ends the same way it began, with Fleur sitting in the old graveyard in London, working on a poem. She is approached by the friendly policeman, and the reader is filled in on the lives of the remaining members of the Autobiographical Association, having therefore learned the events that marked that "chunk" of her life that she had just finished as she sat there that evening.
London_Bridges Summary - Alex goes to see Tolya Bykov, the man at or near the top of the Red Mafiya. After a useless meeting with him, he leaves the house and notices something about one of the bodyguards: he's squeezing a black rubber ball. Alex chases him down and jumps into the car he has started, punching and breaking his nose. The man bites down on something and Alex realizes it's poison. The man convulses and dies in the seat of the expensive car. Alex retrieves the ball as a trophy, telling himself that the Wolf is finally dead.
Madeleine_is_Sleeping Summary - Through a tragic mistake, it is not Le Petomane who appears on stage, but M. Jouy, Madeleine's molester. Horrified at the error, Madeleine takes the stage herself and tries to wow the villagers with the acrobatics and pornographic tricks she learned from the traveling group of outcasts. The villagers see Madeleine's mutilated hands and are stunned by pity and guilt. Madeleine, however, is unwilling to play the part of the woman wronged. She scorns their pity and guilt and humiliates herself on the stage in her attempts to win their approval. Madeleine has rejected the stern morals of the village, but without proper parental guidance, has replaced them with no morals at all. In her increasingly pathetic attempts to gain the audience's approval, she commits the most flagrantly hideous acts on stage, including spanking M. Jouy's naked backside in front of the Mayor and her parents. Finally, overcome by humiliation, Madeleine swoons to the ground and sleeps. The stage manager comes onto the stage and begins to explain Madeleine's story to the enraptured crowd.
Man's_Search_for_Meaning Summary - The final section, "The Case for a Tragic Optimism," makes the case that people will benefit from an optimistic perspective of life no matter what their hardships. According to logotherapy, meaning is a tangible down to earth concept. Frankl reiterates the three ways for people to arrive at meaning: accomplishing something, experiencing something or encountering someone, or turning a personal tragedy into triumph. It is noted that the third way is the most important avenue to meaning. Suicide often occurs when people find a lack of hope and meaning in their lives, Frankl discusses how to use logotherapy to help suicidal individuals find a sense of purpose even in their suffering. Tragic optimism is the concept that a person is naturally optimistic even in the face of extremely negative circumstances. In logotherapy, this is represented with the "tragic triad" which consists of pain, guilt and death. He concludes the book by emphasizing the benefits of tragic optimism in managing the difficult moments in life, but more importantly as a means of finding the true meaning of one's existence.
Master_of_the_Senate:_The_Years_of_Lyndon_Johnson Summary - Master of the Senate is also a study of how legislative power works in America and how Johnson mastered the Senate as no political leader had before him. Caro describes the ups and downs of Senate history, particularly in relation to the power of the Executive Branch, showing that in 1949 it was a tradition-rich, decentralized, inefficient body. He examines how LBJ carefully studied the institution in order to make himself useful to his colleagues and then turn this usefulness into a means of attaining his short-term goal of wielding real power somewhere (the House had not afforded this). Solidarity with the powerful "Southern Bloc" of senators was invaluable in this process, but because LBJ's ultimate goal was the presidency, he could not afford to be seen as merely a regional candidate, particularly a region whose primary goal was to resist granting civil rights to its black population. Much of the book deals with LBJ building national fame and maneuvering to balance all the conflicting forces that made it doubtful that he would ever sit in the Oval Office.
Mating Summary - The narrator cannot, however, forget Nelson or find anyone or anything that begins to fill the space in her heart where he resides. When she receives a mysterious message indicating there may be someone in Tsau who thinks she should return she finds herself with a difficult decision to make. Should she remain in the United States and continue her life as she always planned or return to the scene of the most important - and disastrous - love of her life? Given the sketchiness of the information she has to go on the narrator is tormented by not knowing what has become of Nelson or whether there is still a chance for their relationship. In the last lines of the book she decides to return to Africa although to what neither she nor the reader has any idea. The only thing certain is that the love she feels for Nelson is stronger than any distance or obstacle she can put between them.
Memoirs_of_a_Geisha Summary - The rags-to-riches story of Sayuri, the novel's heroine, is a first-person account, as if she is relating her life story to an American professor. The novel addresses themes such as freedom, beauty, metamorphosis, and gender relationships. Upon publication in 1997, Memoirs of a Geisha quickly became a bestseller, an impressive showing for a first-time author. Memoirs of a Geisha has been translated into more than twenty languages and has sold more than four million copies in English. Critics and readers alike have embraced the novel, and in the first few years after publication, it was a popular book club selection.
Middle_Passage Summary - Rutherford is rescued by the crew of a nearby ship, along with Squibb and a few Allmuseri children. Rutherford soon realizes Isadora is also aboard the new ship and that one of the ship's owners is Papa Zeringue. Zeringue has proposed to Isadora and intends to marry her, but Rutherford intervenes by blackmailing him just as Zeringue had done to Rutherford a few months prior. Rutherford returns to Isadora a changed man and they remain happily together.
Middlesex_(novel) Summary - Cal hitchhikes to San Francisco, lives on the street for a while, and ends up living with another hermaphrodite and working in a peep show. Even in his destructive work environment, Cal is able to find his own identity and learn to become comfortable with himself. Cal comes of age in San Francisco before returning home to Middlesex after Milton is killed in a car accident while trying to pay ransom to Father Mike for his daughter's safe return. On the day of his father's funeral, he finds out from his grandmother Desdemona that the reason he was born the way he was is because she and Lefty were brother and sister.
The_Moor's_Last_Sigh Summary - Moreas flies to Spain, to search for four of his mother's paintings that survived the conflagration. Three, he was certain, had been stolen by Vasco Miranda, the artist whom Aurora had dismissed from her household fourteen years earlier. Miranda's painting, which Aurora had mocked as commercial fluff, had earned him a vast fortune and international fame. He used his riches to construct a hideous fortress on a hillside in Benengeli. We follow him, wandering the city, taken in by half-sisters who claim to be the aging recluse's housekeepers. When they bring Moraes word that a parcel has been delivered to the fortress, he convinces them to smuggle him inside. There, he is taken prisoner and locked up in the tower with a Japanese art conservator, Aoi Ué, kidnapped to remove Miranda's pedestrian over-painting of The Moor's Last Sigh in order to reveal the original portrait of a bare-breasted, young Aurora Zogoiby. Miranda orders his new companion to record his life story in full detail, promising that, like Scheherazade, he will be allowed to live so long as his tales amused his master. When both tasks are complete, Miranda turns his gun on them. Aoi perishes, but Moor is spared when the drug-crazed, bloated gunman's heart explodes as he had long ago predicted it would. Moor flees, nailing sheets of his story to trees and fences across the countryside, coming to rest in the overgrown cemetery where we first met him, hoping he will, in death, find peace.
Morality_Play Summary - Overall, Morality Play can be described as engaging, suspenseful, and carefully crafted. It is a novel that can easily be compared with other contemporary literature classics. Unsworth's attention to detail and plot development, as well as his extraordinarily beautiful writing style, distinguishes him from less talented writers.
Mornings_on_Horseback Summary - Roosevelt's life also brought him to the West, a place that would inspire him and be a focus of his later writing. He first went west in 1883 and, over the next several years, he would spend extended periods of time there, particularly after Alice's death. He bought several thousand head of cattle and built a house on a river in the Bad Lands.
MS._Found_in_a_Bottle Summary - MS. Found in a Bottle is one of Poe's most celebrated stories of science fiction. Poe was very interested in the South Pole, and of a hole in the South Pole that emptied out to the other side of the world. For Poe, the idea of a whirlpool served as one more element that, due to the lack of knowledge on the part of most people, could be used as a mysterious aspect in a story. The unexplainable elements of the story, such as the whirlpool, the strange storm, and the ancient crew, are all made more fantastic because of the narrator's early emphasis on realism.
Murder_List Summary - Alec finally gets a chance to tell Regan he loves her. Obviously, she returns his feelings. She turns her Chicago office over to her assistant and begins working out of her family's Boston hotel so Alec can begin his career with the FBI.
My_Sister's_Keeper Summary - Anna and Campbell get in a wreck after leaving the courthouse, and Brian is one of the rescue workers called to the scene. Despite their best efforts to save Anna, the doctor says she is brain dead, so her parents take her off life support. Not knowing about the case, the doctor suggests organ donation. Campbell says her kidney should go to Kate. Kate gets the kidney and makes a recovery, living a normal life as a dance teacher and grateful for her sister's gift.
Never_Cry_Wolf_(book) Summary - Mowat's lessons in survival and his revolutionary discoveries about wolf behavior and diet make this an enlightening and pleasing book.
Night_Fall Summary - John whisks Jill to the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, where Jill puts the videotape in the hotel safe. John and Jill hide out in the Plaza Hotel while waiting for Kate to return from Tanzania. John sets up a meeting with Liam Griffith and the other agents for the morning at the Windows on the World restaurant in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. On that morning, John, Kate and Jill all go in separate cars to the Trade Center. John is just walking into the plaza of the North Tower when the first plane hits the North Tower. John wanders through the rest of the day looking for Kate and finally stumbles back to his apartment, where he finds her alive. The next day, they go to the Plaza Hotel to retrieve the videotape, but they are told that there is nothing in the safe.
Nights_of_Rain_and_Stars Summary - As light rain falls on Andreas's tavern, and his recently returned son, Adonis, dances his native Greek dance, Vonni, Andreas, and the remaining group are hopeful that Vonni's son will also one day return.
No_Ordinary_Time Summary - Roosevelt grew very sick and doctors knew that he had about a year to live when he ran for his fourth-term. He did not live to see victory in Europe or the defeat of Japan.
The_Noonday_Demon:_An_Atlas_of_Depression Summary - In the tenth section, on politics, Solomon discusses the subject of depression as it is discussed in the government and by lawmakers and the public. The views on depression vary and the issue of coverage by insurance companies is an essential one that has continued to grow as it has been pushed by the wayside in Congress. The eleventh section, on evolution, discusses the role of depression in evolution. Evolutionists have studied the question of "why?" in regard to depression and Solomon introduces their findings and theories on the subject. In the final section, on hope, Solomon conveys the idea that there is a great deal of hope for those suffering with depression, bringing the subject to his own life, where he has managed to continue treatment and live a productive life after his depression, therefore giving others the hope to do the same.
O_Pioneers! Summary - Soon afterwards Carl returns to the Divide. He realizes that Alexandra needs him and the novel ends with their union.
Old_Possum's_Book_of_Practical_Cats Summary - Finally, these poems serve as an excellent introduction to Eliot's poetry, preparing the reader to understand his humor, his poetic techniques, and even some of his more serious themes, which are here presented in a relatively light tone.
Oscar_and_Lucinda Summary - Lucinda is a feminist ahead of her time in the Victorian era. She is shunned by society for her independent views and refusal to wear dresses with corsets. The rich heiress owns a glassworks factory in Sydney, which her male employees will not let her enter without permission. Lucinda is returning to Sydney from a year-long sojourn in London, where she had hoped to find a husband. However, London society shuns her more cruelly than Sydney society. She returns home, where her weakness for gambling and cards destroys the reputations of the only two men who dare to befriend her, Oscar and Reverend Dennis Hasset, a fellow glass enthusiast. Hasset is sent up-river to a parish in the wilderness by the Bishop of Sydney as punishment for his friendship with Lucinda. Oscar is kicked out of the church entirely by the Bishop when the local press discovers his late night card games with Lucinda. Lucinda feels responsible for Oscar's downfall and takes him into her home. There, the two misfits eventually become friends, and he learns to share her love for glass. Their unmarried, though chaste, cohabitation causes an even bigger scandal in society, but they take refuge in their growing love for one another. Their lack of social skills prevents them from acknowledging that they are in love, but their shared love of glass and gambling spurs them to bet their entire fortunes on a venture to build a glass church. Oscar nobly agrees to deliver the church to Hasset's wilderness parish in an act of love for Lucinda, whom he imagines to be in love with Hasset. This adventure threatens to destroy both Oscar and Lucinda, and in the end, their glass house comes crashing down, but with a surprising twist.
Oscar_Wilde_(book) Summary - A destructive love affair enters Oscar's life with Lord Alfred Douglas, spoiled young son of the Marquis of Queensberry, a man who becomes enraged with the relationship. Douglas costs Oscar his career, his money, his family, and two years of his life in prison. After prison, Wilde writes a successfully published poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, his last significant work of art before his death. He dies of the tertiary complications that accompany syphilis, a broken and humiliated man, yet respected and honored both in life and death.
Our_Fathers Summary - The story closes with Jamie helping Gran sort through a lifetime of personal effects and the discovery of framed pictures that were special to Hugh. Upon turning one over, Jamie discovers his own handwriting from his early years, scrawled across the back of a print that Hugh saved. "There are ruined buildings in the world," it says, "but no ruined stones."
Our_Kind:_A_Novel_in_Stories Summary - Most of them meet in the 1950s after marriage when they move to town with their husbands. They bear children in their twenties, daughters who they raise just like Dr. Spock says. They share OBGYNs, baby photo shoots, teen craft classes, racquets and golf at the Club. They share stories of their lovers and have bursts of second chance creativity. They divorce in the 1970s, live through the malaise and memories in the 80s, maladies, memory loss and wheelchairs in the 90s. They share dreams now of what might have been.
Paddy_Clarke_Ha_Ha_Ha Summary - Paddy resorts to various tactics such as staying up all night and listening at his parent's bedroom door to try to keep the peace. His realizes that his efforts are all for naught when he witnesses his da hitting his ma one night when he goes to get a drink of water in the kitchen. From that point on, he knows that they will live without their da, but things should be better around the house, or he can only hope.
Pascali's_Island Summary - This novel, filled with political strife, social commentary, and a vast historical presence, tells the tale of five individuals whose greed, duality, violence, political stance, and deceit result in their own demise. Further, through Pascali's vivid descriptions and through Bowles and Gesing's discussions, the novel tells of the downfall of a vast Empire and its society, and the dangers of deceit.
Patriot_Reign Summary - The Patriots approach Super Bowl XXXVIII against the underdog Carolina Panthers with a twelve game winning streak. The Panthers are considered a clever team; and conventional wisdom predicts a low scoring game. This appears to be the case going into halftime; with the score putting the Patriots ahead 14-10. The third quarter is scoreless, but the Panthers come back in the fourth and the lead changes several times before Vinatieri kicks a field goal with nine seconds remaining to win.
Personal_History Summary - Kay is thrust into the position of managing a massive operation demanding years of learning to master and great efforts to overcome the inferiority her mother and husband have implanted in her. Under Kay's direction, the Post frees itself from toady support of Johnson's Vietnam policy, inciting the Texan's wrath, and risks the Washington Post Company's very existence by taking on the paranoid and vindictive Nixon administration over the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate Affair in the early 1970s. The Post becomes a nationally and internationally recognized publication, and its publisher is cast ever more into the uncomfortable public spotlight. Kay establishes a coterie of famous and influential friends. Billionaire friend Warren Buffet provides Kay a hands-on education in business, helping her see the Post through a long wildcat strike in 1976. Thereafter, Kay concentrates on strategic growth for the company and begins gradually turning over the paper and later the company to son Don Graham, who has been groomed for the task of keeping the paper in the family. Freed of day-to-day responsibilities, Kay concentrates on travel, educating the underprivileged and writing her memoirs, which serve to free her of the past and look forward to whatever old age brings. Throughout the book, Kay gives credit to the talented people who work for her and underplays the role of pioneering businesswoman for which she is repeatedly, and appropriately, honored.
The_Pit_and_the_Pendulum Summary - Finally, Poe should be remembered as an artist who had the uncanny psychological understanding of the most powerful, deep-seated fears and anxieties of human beings, as well as the technical skill to write stories which unerringly focused on those fears. "The Pit and the Pendulum," with its emphasis on the terror of absolute darkness, on the fear of falling into a bottomless pit, and on the panic of helplessness, is a singular example of Poe's expertise at creating stories which capture universal human anxieties.
Plan_of_Attack Summary - With limited international support (Britain, Australia, Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, and - covertly, Saudi Arabia) and massive opposition (France, Germany, and Russia), Bush gives Saddam an ultimatum to leave Iraq or face war. Tim's resources pinpoint Saddam's location and Bush orders an air strike to decapitate the regime, moving the launch of war up. Saddam survives the attack, but the campaign advances swiftly with Iraqi forces melting away, and he is eventually captured. No WMD are found in Iraq and the postwar insurgency is far more determined than expected. As the reasons for going to war are questioned, Bush "circles the wagons" to prevent the truth from ruining his chances of re-election in 2004.
Poems_of_Edgar_Allan_Poe Summary - It is believed that Poe wrote this poem in honor of Jane Stith Stanard, the mother of one of his school friends; she went mad and died not long after Poe met her. His use of Greek imagery, especially his references to Helen of Troy, sets the subject of his poetic affection up on a romantic pedestal, making her untouchable.
Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban Summary - Manipulating time, Harry and Hermione intervene to rescue Hagrid's Hippogriff, Buckbeak, from execution in an eerie subplot that parallels the Dementors' vengeful search for Black. At the book's climax in the Shrieking Shack, Harry is confronted by truths and falsehoods, forcing him to react morally instead of emotionally and to be self-sacrificing instead of selfish. He learns the dangers of false accusations and the fleeting nature of freedom, both physical and mental. Although some of his innocence is lost, Harry continues to have faith in himself and his decisions and acknowledges that some of his mentors, especially Dumbledore, are fallible and cannot always protect him.
Proof_(play) Summary - The plot moves into high gear when Hal discovers in one of the notebooks that Robert left behind a proof of a mathematical theorem that mathematicians had thought impossible. It is a sensational discovery, but Catherine stuns Hal by claiming she wrote the proof. But did she? The handwriting in the notebook looks very like her father's. As the mystery develops and resolves, the playwright explores issues such as what the link may be between genius and madness and whether either or both can be inherited. But Proof is also a story about human relationships, suggesting that developing trust and love can be as difficult, and just as uncertain, as establishing the truth of a mathematical proof.
The_Quiet_American Summary - When Fowler returns to Saigon, he goes to Pyle's office to confront him but Pyle is out. Pyle comes over later for drinks and they talk about his upcoming marriage to Phuong. Later that week there is a terrible explosion and many innocents are killed. Fowler puts the pieces together and realizes that Pyle is behind the bombing. Fowler decides that Pyle must be eliminated. His naïve theories and interference are causing innocent people to die. Fowler takes part in a murder plot against Pyle. Although the police believe that Fowler is involved, they cannot prove anything. Fowler goes back to Phuong as if nothing had ever happened.
Rabbit_Is_Rich Summary - Rabbit and Janice are in their new home. It is Super Bowl Sunday. Bessie and Pru have come over to see the new place and watch the game. While Janice is showing Bessie the upstairs, Pru finds Harry sitting in a wing chair in his den. She puts the new baby, his granddaughter, into his lap.
The_Radicalism_of_the_American_Revolution Summary - Enfeebled by republicanism, the traditional social structure bursts, and equality proves far more revolutionary than the founders expect. Still, they plan a new federal government to be a "disinterested and dispassionate umpire." It proves too much, and political parties form, exercise iron discipline and bind members to them through patronage. The Jacksonian revolution legitimizes, restrains and controls democracy. It reconciles Americans to it, while infusing more elements of monarchy than the Federalists dared try. Jackson introduces the "spoils system," along with safeguards to counter corruption. Protecting private property and minority rights is the great problem of democratic politics. Ordinary Americans grow absorbed in the individual pursuit of money. Voluntary associations fill the social void. The rationalism and skepticism most revolutionaries share are swept away in the "Second Great Awakening," but religion fails to bring social adhesion. Pecuniary ties join family, law and associations as ligatures of society. Labor becomes a commodity to be bought and sold. "Middling sorts" gain a moral hegemony over society by absorbing the gentility of the aristocracy and the work of the working class. Democratic society is not what the revolutionary leaders want or expect, but their revolution has succeeded too well. The founders are elevated into mythic figures, but their views give way to a new generation's own experience.
Reading_in_the_Dark Summary - The events of the novel and the actions of the main characters are strongly influenced not only by the very strict religious beliefs that dominated so many aspects of life in Northern Ireland at that time, but also by the co-existence of strong traditional beliefs about the supernatural. The boy is told many stories of people in his own community being haunted by evil spirits and demons and even these stories are intertwined with his family history and with events in his own day-to-day life.
Reading_Lolita_in_Tehran Summary - Much has been written about Iran. But this work gives a rare insight on a "street level" into what the personal lives of Iranians, especially women, are really like. The crushing impact on the young due to the repression of knowledge is moving.
Really,_Doesn't_Crime_Pay Summary - It is after Myrna's breakdown and failed attempt to kill her husband and oppressor that Myrna finds her own way to be her husband's oppressor. Myrna outwardly becomes everything he wants. Myrna especially enjoys her "Helena Rubenstein hands," hands that no serious writer would have. Knowing Ruel's desire to have a child, Myrna secretly takes birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. In this way, she is getting revenge by denying his creation as he has denied hers.
Reef Summary - In 1983, there was another major uprising, but news of Nili's mental breakdown sent Mister Salgado back to find her. Triton stayed in London, realizing that deep down he had always wanted to be on his own. Without Mister Salgado by his side, he was finally free to pursue success as a restaurateur and find his own place in the world.
Remembering_Babylon Summary - Years later, Janet and Lachlan reminisce about their times in the settlement and reflect how much Gemmy brought to their lives.
Restoration_(1989_novel) Summary - However, Merivel ultimately commits the mortal sin. He falls in love with Celia, and as a result the King banished him from the palace and royal courts. Merivel ends up joining his best friend, Pearce, a Quaker, at an isolated and primitive Mental Health Hospital, run by other Quakers. During his stay there, his friend Pearce dies. He makes love with and impregnates a patient, whom he has no feelings for, and he is banished from the facility with Katherine, the patient, in tow. She ultimately has his baby and dies in childbirth. The female baby is named Margaret and left with a wet-nurse. Lost again, Merivel bounces aimlessly around London during the waning days of the London plague, all the time longing to be with the King again, whom he considers like a God. He becomes progressively more and more frustrated and then he becomes ill. After his collapse and coma, he is restored by the King to a room in his former mansion. His future and his health are left up in the air.
Riddley_Walker Summary - The action of the story seems to occur over a long time but in fact lasts only a few days. It ends on a heavy, paradoxical note: The only power is no power.
Roselily Summary - The prospects for Roselily finding happiness in her loveless marriage seem dim; she is one of the many female characters in In Love and Trouble who suffer not only from financial hardship but also from the imbalance of power between men and women. In part because of her own disillusionment with the inequalities that she faced when the Civil Rights Movement did not lead to a significant increase in equality for African-American women, Walker's work is frequently concerned with women's struggles and misguided loyalties. In an interview published in the prose collection In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens, Walker described the central characters in In Love and Trouble: "thirteen women— mad, raging, loving, resentful, hateful, strong, ugly, weak, pitiful, and magnificent—try to live with the loyalty to black men that characterizes all of their lives. For me, black women are the most fascinating creations in the world."
The_Runaway_Jury Summary - The jury returns with a decision for the plaintiff to the tune of four hundred two million dollars, a landmark verdict that opens the tobacco companies up for what could be thousands of other lawsuits. Flush with their ten million, Nicholas and Marlee meet up in the Cayman Islands, where Marlee uses the money to buy and trade tobacco shares, taking advantage of the blow that has just hit the industry. She makes an additional eight million dollars, and in a surprise meeting with Fitch, gives the ten million back. For them, the verdict was all that they were looking for.
Sabbath's_Theater Summary - With Morty's personal effects in the car, Sabbath reluctantly returns to Roseanna and the only home he knows. When he arrives home, he sees that he has been displaced in his own bed by Christa, a young blonde woman whom Sabbath and his mistress had once manipulated into their bed. Now she seems to have found love with Roseanna and Sabbath is out in the cold. He flees to his last refuge, Drenka's grave, where he pisses on her grave in loving memory of the kind of woman she had been. He is caught in the act by police officer Matthew Balich, Drenka's son. Gleefully, Sabbath thinks his life will end in suicide by cop, but Sabbath lacks the guts to resist arrest to carry out that plan. Instead, he ends the story along in the woods after Matthew releases him and drives away.
The_Satanic_Verses_(novel) Summary - Although The Satanic Verses does address the religious beliefs and practices of Islam, this is only one aspect of a complex and highly allusive novel that produces a broad and ambitious commentary about the philosophical and religious problem of good and evil. In fact, Rushdie's novel is steeped in commentary about British and South Asian politics and culture; it takes on a diverse variety of themes involving cultural and racial identities (particularly Asian and African immigrant identities), and it is concerned with literary aesthetics and the nature of truth. All of these ideas are incorporated into an eventful storyline involving Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, two characters with complex British/Indian identities caught in an epic battle that takes place between London and Bombay in the 1980s. Both of the main characters begin to take on supernatural qualities and visit alternate worlds, such as that of Gibreel's extended dreams about the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Satanic Verses has been widely misunderstood and defamed, but it has also fascinated its readers, opened up an international debate about censorship and the function of literature, and confirmed Rushdie's status as one of the most important contemporary writers in the English language.
Saville Summary - It isn't until the very end that Colin finally escapes the bondage of his hometown. Nearly everyone with whom he grew up has left and now it is his turn. Although his mother is deeply disappointed in him, she is the only family member to accompany him to the train station.
Shame_(novel) Summary - Omar and Raza Hyder realize the truth and drug and imprison Sufiya Zinobia, unable to kill her. Raza Hyder, who was placed in charge of the army by Prime Minister Iskander Harappa, has overthrown him, instituted Islamic law and allowed Isky to be tried, brutally imprisoned and executed. Raza is himself overthrown by a military coup and flees with Bilquìs and Omar, to supposed safety in fortress-like Nishapur, disguised shamefully in women's burqas. There, Omar's three mothers rejoice to find Raza, the murderer of their second son Babar, in their hands. After the visitors endure the wild ravings of malaria, the three sisters dispatch Raza Hyder with great gore in the dumbwaiter they had specially customized to serve as their means of limited communications with the outside world. The Beast that has taken over Sufiya Zinobia hunts Omar in the bed where his grandfather died and after a last eye-to-eye confrontation, beheads him. The shell of Sufiya Zinobia is cast off, set free and the spouse-protagonists are consumed in a great fire.
Ship_Fever_and_Other_Stories Summary - Barrett also includes several pieces set in contemporary times, although each also draws heavily on the past and the characters' memories. In "The Behavior of the Hawkweeds," Gregor Mendel's failure in hybridizing hawkweeds haunts a contemporary couple who are attached to Mendel's story. In "The Littoral Zone," two marine biologists examine their life-changing affair and skirt the issue of whether it was worth it. In "Soroche," a woman loses her husband and her wealth, which reminds her of the unborn child she lost years before. Finally, in "The Marburg Sisters," two sisters reflect on their shared past and have a conversation about their dying father with their already dead mother.
The_Siege_of_Krishnapur Summary - Throughout the siege, the enemy attacks many times and the defending community members survive by luck or various military tactics. Eventually, a large attack occurs, and the British retreat to their final stand, the banqueting hall. Every possible object is used as ammunition-from stones to statue heads-and a relieving army finally arrives to save the besieged group. Fleury and the Collector meet many years later in Pall Mall as they go about their business in London. The Collector's attitudes about culture and progress have been drastically changed by his time in Krishnapur.
Skeleton_Man Summary - The slot canyon floods as the storm builds. Joanna and Bernie escape the deluge by climbing on to the ledge the old shaman used for a sleeping place. Chandler, however, cannot tear himself from his task of harvesting the diamonds and is swept away. Sergeant Chee tries to save Chandler as he is washed out of the narrow slot canyon, but he won't let go of his diamonds and perishes. Everyone else survives, and as the flood subsides, they return to the surface. Joanna has clung to the arm bones and can now destroy Plymale and claim her fortune.
Small_World:_An_Academic_Romance Summary - In December, the whole world of English scholarship gathers in New York for the MLA convention. There Persse finds and makes passionate love with Angelica, before discovering it is her prostitute twin, sent to break the news to him that Angelica is engaged to someone else. Venerable Arthur Kingfisher, who has been evaluating contenders for a UNESCO chair, surprises everyone by emerging from retirement to accept the post himself. He announces he will marry his beautiful young Korean assistant and is then confronted by the fact that he is the Pabst twins' biological father by a retired spinster teacher who has been appearing throughout the novel. Persse flies back to Heathrow on New Years Eve to find the British Airways employee who has several times been a nexus of the novel's action and whom he last time saw weeping over his devotion to Angelica. Cheryl has been fired and disappeared somewhere in the small, narrow world, and Persse is determined to find her.
Sophie's_Choice_(novel) Summary - At the same time Nathan's temper finally rounds the bend to complete insanity, Sophie feels her death is near, and makes what amounts to a death-bed confession to Stingo. She reveals that on the day she arrived at Auschwitz, the SS officer made her choose which one of her two children would live. She gave up her daughter to the gas chambers, and that is why she feels she does not deserve to live. By now, Nathan has threatened both Stingo and Sophie's lives with a gun, and Stingo flees with his beloved Sophie, intending to return to the South and marry her. His dreams seem fulfilled in their hotel room that night, when Sophie makes passionate love to him. When he awakes, she has gone back to Nathan, a choice that ensures her death. By the time Stingo returns to Brooklyn, he finds them together, dead, in the room they shared. This novel is Stingo's attempt to increase human awareness of tragedy by sharing his story of friendship-gone-bad and love undone.
Speak_(novel) Summary - Melinda Sordino suffers through her freshman year at Merryweather High School in silence. Her transition from middle school to high school is complicated by a misunderstanding which sends Shockwaves throughout her existence. Gradually, readers become aware that Melinda is spiraling out of control as she becomes mute and loses interest in herself, her family, and school. Abandoned by her friends, she yearns to confide in them. Her voice is presented through a subdued inner monologue which becomes stronger and louder as Melinda struggles to reveal the truth behind her action to call for help at a summer party. Ostracized because her classmates believe she betrayed their trust, Melinda expresses herself through an art project and gardening. She ultimately confronts her antagonist and begins to heal.
The_Adventure_of_the_Speckled_Band Summary - The next day, he and Watson see Helen safely off to her aunt's house to continue her life and her wedding plans. The coroner's inquiry officially lists Roylott's death as an accident; he was careless with his tropical pet. Holmes explains, for Watson's benefit, the scientific method which led him to suspect the murder weapon was a swamp adder, and he fills in all the details we might have missed about Dr. Roylott's wicked plan. As usual with a Sherlock Holmes story, the villain is apparent from the beginning. The pleasure in reading Conan Doyle's work comes from following Holmes as he unravels the puzzle. Through Watson's eyes, the reader is able to get inside the mind of the great Holmes and to learn to think like a master detective.
Stargirl_(novel) Summary - When Leo visits Mica he always drives by Stargirl's house. When he reads the newspaper he looks for the fillers, the articles about random acts of kindness. He thinks of Stargirl often, of her acts of kindness. Then out of the blue, just one day before his birthday, he received a gift-wrapped package in the mail with a porcupine necktie in it, and he knows she is still out there.
State_of_Fear Summary - The novel climaxes in the Solomon Islands, where cannibals eat Ted Bradley, an obnoxious TV actor who hooks up with the group to spy on Evans. State of Fear ends with the bad guy subdued, but the promise remains of a continuing battle between the forces of legitimate science and the evil forces of politicized, legal media hyperbole about the imaginary dangers of man's misuse of the environment. In one conversation with a do-gooder environmentalist, Kenner sums up the danger by saying that misinformed good intentions are a deadly combination. The book closes with George Morton promising to continue the fight with a new foundation dedicated to legitimate atmospheric research. He expects Sarah and Evans to help him and carry on his work after he dies.
Jack:_Straight_from_the_Gut Summary - Jack contends that finding his own successor is the most difficult thing he has had to do. He alters the business-centric process as a result of 20 years of GE evolution. The final three candidates do not undermine each other at any time, making a team Jack is proud of. Their individual businesses operate as part of the review process and generate record margins, market shares, and exceptional employee morale. As a result, Jack's choice for his successor is one he can live with for a long time.
Strong_Horse_Tea Summary - In Strong Horse Tea, Alice Walker introduces a new theme: the white man's medicine versus the black woman's home remedies. Rannie Toomer is a young black mother desperately seeking a way to make her sick baby well. Abandoned by the mailman and white doctor, the young mother Rannie is denied the opportunity to see if Sarah's home remedy would have worked. The author demonstrates the total belief that the young black mother had in the benevolence of white doctors, and the heavy price she ended up paying for that belief.
Such_a_Long_Journey_(novel) Summary - The novel's climax comes when the denizens of an especially depressed neighborhood, march to the municipal buildings to demand essential services. On the way, they pause at the wall outside Gustad's business, which a street artist has covered with depictions of the gods and holy people of all the religions of India. The municipality has decreed it will be demolished to widen the road. In a violent street fight, Tehmul, the tragic cripple into whom Dilnavaz drew her son's evil demons, dies while trying to catch a brick. Gustad's lifetime of frustrations and anger melts as he prays over the victim's body. Sohrab and Gustad embrace. Although the sacred wall is demolished, so too is the limiting, bleak past.
Summer_for_the_Gods:_The_Scopes_Trial_and_America's_Continuing_Debate_Over_Science_and_Religion Summary - While neither side was able to claim a clear victory in the immediate aftermath of the trial, the next several decades would create a different legacy for the issue. From the 1930s to 1960s, books and films about the trial argued the defense had won a decisive victory over the anti-evolution campaign, despite their actual loss. Authors wrote about the decline of the anti-evolution movement after the trial, but Larson argues that there was not so much a decline as a fundamentalist turn inward ; where fundamentalism did not actually disappear. Rather, many fundamentalists set out to create separate religiously based educational and social institutions. In the 1960s, anti-evolution statutes were overturned and advocates turned toward trying to pass laws that required the teaching of creationism rather than banning evolution theories.
The_Tell-Tale_Heart Summary - "The Tell-Tale Heart" is simultaneously a horror story and psychological thriller told from a first-person perspective. It is admired as an excellent example of how a short story can produce an effect on the reader. Poe believed that all good literature must create a unity of effect on the reader and this effect must reveal truth or evoke emotions. "The Tell-Tale Heart" exemplifies Poe's ability to expose the dark side of humankind and is a harbinger of novels and films dealing with psychological realism. Poe's work has influenced genres as diverse as French symbolist poetry and Hollywood horror films, and writers as diverse as Ambrose Bierce and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
9/11_Commission_Report Summary - Finally, the Commission recommends a plan for the reorganization of the U.S. government to address past mistakes and to better prepare for the challenges posed by terrorism.
The_Alchemist_(book) Summary - Santiago leaves his sheep to embark on a long journey across foreign territory in search of a hidden treasure, his destiny. The journey is a universal analogy to the journey of life itself. Though Santiago travels far, learns much and faces mortal danger to get to his treasure, in the end he finds that treasure, his destiny, back at home in the very place where he started. From the start, as in life, the journey is filled with difficulties and unanticipated challenges. Through the challenges of loss and hard work, Santiago learns to recognize and respond to omens. He meets and interacts with several characters along the way from whom he learns something important about himself. Whether they intend to or not, the characters along the way help guide him to his treasure.
The_Ants Summary - The large-format text contains 732 pages, is divided into twenty chapters, and also includes a glossary and an extensive annotated bibliography. The text is fully indexed, and includes nearly one thousand illustrations, photographs, charts, graphs, and also offers twenty-four, full-color plates. It is generally considered to be the definitive source of introductory scientific knowledge on ants, and is an authoritative encyclopedic reference for all myrmecologists. It has been extensively cited in biological and entomological literature and is frequently used as the text for graduate-level seminars in biology.
The_Austere_Academy Summary - However, the Quagmires come up with a plan to help their friends. Will it be successful, or will Count Olaf finally gain the upper hand over the Baudelaires? The Quagmires have just gotten themselves into more trouble than they ever could have imagined.
The_Bad_Beginning Summary - The Baudelaire children must concoct a solution that will get them out of this predicament and save Sunny at the same time. Violet and Klaus team up, using their unique skills to think up a solution as the curtain goes up on The Marvelous Marriage. Just as Count Olaf thinks he has succeeded, Violet drops a bombshell that reveals the one weakness in his plan. Sunny is rescued, and Count Olaf's true designs are revealed.
The_Blind_Assassin Summary - In the main novel, Iris is now in her 80s and is writing the Chase family history for the benefit of her estranged granddaughter Sabrina. She pines for the comfort of that relationship but blames Richard's evil sister, Winifred, for turning her against Iris. It is not until the end of the novel that readers "meet" Sabrina as an adult at the end of the novel while she travels to Port Ticonderoga to handle her late grandmother's affairs. This journey is an unrealized dream for Iris.
The_Book_and_the_Brotherhood Summary - Jenkin's death leaves the Brotherhood in disarray. Jenkin's friend, Gerard Hernshaw, who proposed that they live together in a homosexual relationship, enters into a prolonged mourning. Only when he reads Crimond's book does he gain a renewed sense of purpose and direction. He talks to Rose, an aristocratic member of the Oxford set who has loved him for many years, and suggests that they live together as friends and pay homage to the memory of Jenkin Riderhood by writing a response to Crimond's unorthodox Marxist philosophy. David Crimond himself is almost forgotten except by Lily Boyne, a young wealthy widow who has been obsessively and secretly in love with him for many years. Although she plans to marry the youthful and engaging Gulliver Ashe, a penniless actor, she still pleads with Crimond to love her in return. He rejects Lily's plea, and she returns to Gulliver. The author provides a conventional ending for the novel but only for two of the secondary characters. The lives of the central characters, and their relationships to each other, have undergone changes, but there is no "happily ever after."
The_Book_of_Evidence Summary - Montgomery's interviews with police officers lead the reader to understand that they don't believe his stories. They question his relationship with Charlie French and Charlie's sexuality. The story ends with the detective inspector asking Montgomery how much of it was true. He replies, "All of it, none of it, only the shame." The reader is left with a work of fiction within a work of fiction.
The_Book_Shop Summary - Naively, Florence Green does not recognize the underhanded ways in which Violet Gamart is setting about to secure the Old House. The Bill put up by Violet's nephew allows the council to take over the Old House with almost no compensation and Florence is left with no choice but to leave Hardborough with nothing.
The_Bottle_Factory_Outing Summary - There is some confusion as the group tries to figure out who killed Freda - was it Patrick, Vittorio, or Rossi? Patrick thinks he has evidence to implicate Rossi, Vittorio thinks that Patrick is the killer and Rossi is quiet and is withdrawn. They load Freda's dead body into the car and continue on to the African safari that they had planned to visit. They leave the body slumped inside the car as they take a bus tour through the safari. Upon returning to the factory in the evening, the men take Freda's body up to the top floor and leave it among some old furniture. The next day all of the workers, except for Mr. Paganotti, know that Freda is dead. They decide to stuff her body into an empty wine barrel and sent it back to Spain, where it will be discarded. They hold a small, awkward ceremony for Freda on the top floor and then her body is shipped away. Rossi confesses to being responsible for Freda's death. He had been making advances to her in the bushes and she fell backwards as she pushed him away. The next day, Brenda packs up her things and goes back to live with her parents, to try to put this experience behind her.
The_Chant_of_Jimmie_Blacksmith Summary - In further retribution, Jimmie then enacts revenge on the Healy family, who he also worked for and was cheated by. He and Mort are almost caught on several occasions but manage to evade their pursuers, who include Miss Graf's fiancé, Dowie Stead. They take a schoolteacher hostage and force him to continue on with them. The schoolteacher, McCreadie, manages to convince Jimmie that he should go on without them as he is damaging Mort's native soul. Mort, who carries McCreadie to a farmer's house and sets him free, is later killed. Still on the run, Jimmie is shot trying to cross a river. He eventually takes refuge in a convent, where he hides in the guest room, coming out only when the nuns go to pray, but he is eventually captured and sentenced to death. As the novel ends, Tabidgi is hanged and Jimmie is awaiting the same fate.
The_Child_Who_Favored_Daughter Summary - His wife leaves behind a daughter, who reminds him of his sister (whose nickname was "Daughter"). His real daughter resembles "Daughter" in appearance and now in her actions. Due to the circumstances being similar and both being referred to as "Daughter," the father confuses the two and ends up punishing his daughter not only for her own betrayal but of "Daughter's" betrayal as well. The father comes to his senses and realizes that his child is not his sister and pleads with her to deny the letter. His daughter refuses, for she is in love, and tells her father she is leaving. The refusal and her intent to leave help seal the young girls' fate. The father strikes her down and sees her bare breasts, then is overcome with desire, not for her, but for what she represents: the black woman. However, his deeply rooted mistrust for black women causes him to cut off her breasts and feed them to the dogs, thereby destroying her femininity and her womanliness. In the end, the father is alone with only his memories and fantasies.
The_Conservationist Summary - Jacobus leads a procession for the dead man across the hilltop. They are reburying the unknown man, and many of the workers are present. The man is laid to rest. He is now part of them all, and at peace.
The_Crystal_Cave Summary - When the child, Arthur, is born, he is given to Merlin. He will to become the King, who unites Britain in peace and stability. This has been Merlin's goal all along.
The_Da_Vinci_Code Summary - The final clue within the keystone leads Langdon and Sophie to the Rosslyn Chapel in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Sophie is reunited with the grandmother and brother, which, for most of her life, she thought were dead. Sophie's grandmother helps Langdon decipher some final clues and he finds the resting place of the Holy Grail under the Louvre museum in Paris. Of course, he swore to Sophie's family to keep it a secret.
The_Dark_Room Summary - Through the eyes of these individual characters, this novel presents a rare perspective on the Holocaust and the tragedy of World War II: that of the next generation of German citizens. Too young to participate in the war, these brave characters struggle to accept the truth of their county's heritage, as well as their own family's involvement in the atrocities of the war, and are able to find the courage and strength to accept themselves and their role in the aftermath of World War II.
The_Devil_in_the_White_City Summary - Before the Exposition opened, Holmes began his killing. He would seduce the women before he killed them and their children. He continued this hobby until just before the close of the Exposition. It was said that he killed approximately 200 men, women and children; however, the courts could only prove nine actual killings. Holmes had been incarcerated on insurance fraud charges when the Pinkerton Detective Agency started probing into the disappearance of three children and linked their deaths to him.
The_Dharma_Bums Summary - After several wild and tumultuous parties, Japhy sails away to Japan to study, and Ray hitchhikes, walks and hikes north to Washington State, where he spends several weeks isolated on the top of Desolation Peak, working as a fire lookout. His time alone becomes an incredible personal experience full of happiness and enlightenment.
The_Diary_of_an_African_Nun Summary - The African nun longs to know Christ as a lover and give birth to children. However, her desire is in direct conflict with the vows of chastity she has taken as a nun. Her passions are "stifled beneath this voluminous rustling snow!"-a reference to the white robe she wears as a nun. It symbolizes the confinement she feels in her role, while the snow represents barrenness. She comes to believe that barrenness is equivalent to waste and death. The mountains by the village are covered in snow, except in the spring when they are used to bear fruit. The African nun views herself as a mountain perpetually covered in snow. She longs for her own "spring" to come when the snow will melt and she can have children, the renewal of life. In the end, the African nun denies her desire to join the "dance of life," which represents the earthly pleasures of making love and having babies, and resigns herself to a life of self-sacrifice in what she feels is her duty to her God and the church.
The_Ersatz_Elevator Summary - The Baudelaires have the responsibility to figure out how Count Olaf plans to smuggle the Quagmires out of the city and the "In Auction" seems to be their best bet. The children will have to decipher two red herrings and escape from a surprise set up for them by someone they thought they could trust. Time is running out for the Quagmires and The Baudelaires will need all of their combined resources to get their friends and themselves out of danger before it is too late.
The_Famished_Road Summary - Azaro's father had a final fight at Madame Koto's with a spirit man in a white suit. Again, he had Azaro make a huge bet and the thugs lined up to bet against him. The fight was brutal; Azaro's father was beaten to within an inch of his life. A man in the crowd kept distracting him until Azaro and Ade pushed him away. Then Azaro's father pulled the suit off the "man" and the crowd recoiled when they saw how inhuman he looked. The Black Tyger knocked his opponent out of the ring and made it back to his home to collapse. Azaro's father went on to fight the forces of evil in his dreams and eventually he defeated them. He awoke three days later and spoke of a new day beginning. Azaro felt peace for the first time in months. The spirits were quiet.
The_Gate_of_Angels Summary - Like his Cambridge peers, he is horrified both by the idea of Pett's Hotel and Daisy having lied under oath (he thinks though his anguish will be ended if she will only say she does it to spare him embarrassment). Daisy responds indignantly to his inquisition--and the two part, her telling him not to return and closing the hospital door behind her. Fred makes it back to Cambridge in time to have sherry with Dr. Matthews at seven, after which he attends a lecture about how Rutherford came to disagree with his mentors about the nature of the atom. Daisy, after saying goodbye to Mrs. Wrayburn, heads towards Guestingley Road on her route back to London and the unknown of no job and no money. She is given a ride part way, misses the last bus, begins walking, meanders--and finds herself back in Cambridge, outside the gate of St Angelicus, which stands open, for the third time in its history. She starts to walk by but enters, hearing someone's cry of distress. After she lifts the old blind Master of the college back into his chair, she leaves, closing the door behind her, the entire event having lasted no more than 5 minutes. This is just long enough that she will encounter Fred Fairly walking back from attending an obligatory lecture about observable disagreements.
The_Ghost_Road Summary - The title of the book speaks to the ghosts, both seen and unseen, in all of us.
Harry_Potter_and_the_Goblet_of_Fire Summary - With the Triwizard Tournament comes the adult magic world (yet another challenge for Harry, who, despite being underage, is chosen as a competitor), the usual adjustments of a 14-year-old boy (namely friendship, romance, and puberty), and the political intrigues and devastating gravity surrounding the evil Lord Voldemort's use of the Triwizard Tournament to "rebirth" himself.
The_Godfather_Returns Summary - Caught up in his machinations is his brother, Fredo Corleone, who is the family black sheep, and ultimately the weak link that Nick Geraci will use to attack Michael. Geraci is an up and comer in Michael's organization who Michael, unwisely, steps on in his bid for power. Geraci, a man very similar to Michael, becomes the Don's most formidable rival. But Michael doesn't intend to let his enemies stop him from achieving enough power to control both the Mafia and the government. With the help of talented men like Pete Clemenza and Tom Hagen, most of Michael's plans succeed. But he's willing to sacrifice everything, including his family, to achieve his dreams. By the end of the book, Michael has come full circle. His attempts to go legitimate have only involved him more heavily in organized crime. The reader leaves the story with the realization that Michael enjoys the planning and the scheming more than he wants to reach his goal of going legitimate. One wonders if Michael will continue to fight his destiny, or if he and his last surviving brother, Tom Hagen, will embrace their roles in the Corleone legacy.
The_Good_Doctor Summary - In the end; Dr. Ngema gets her transfer to the big hospital; Frank takes over her post; Claudia Santander leaves her husband and returns to Cuba; Tehogo and Laurence are kidnapped by hostile forces and are presumed dead which fulfills Frank's prophecy. As The Good Doctor comes to an end, people have come and gone, but nothing has changed, nor do we feel that it will. Laurence's idealism has been swallowed up in reality and once again, it is Frank who survives.
The_Great_Bridge Summary - The Great Bridge is a triumph of engineering, an inspiring work of architecture perfectly fitted to its environment and task. It becomes part of American folklore. It lives up to all its founders' visions, even as Brooklyn and Manhattan changed radically.
The_Great_Fire Summary - Aldred returns to London to settle his father's estate. It is here that Aldred resolves his conflicted relationship with his mother, Iris. He also becomes reacquainted with Aurora Searle, a friend and former romantic liaison who had been the mistress of Aldred's father for a number of years. It is while Aldred is in London, and Helen in New Zealand, that word of Benedict's death comes. Helen's parents board a ship to America to claim his body, and Aldred travels to New Zealand to join Helen, who has remained behind.
The_Hiding_Place_(novel) Summary - Rose, Celesta and Luca come to the funeral with Dolores. Dolores tries to talk to them about the past, but the other girls do not want to remember their childhoods. Finally, Dolores manages to get Luca to tell her a few things about their parents, and Dolores realizes how hard her sisters have tried to protect her all these years. All Dolores wants now is to see Fran again. Louis, Celesta's youngest son, brings Fran to Dolores.
The_Hot_Zone Summary - Some of the people who were infected first in the story were visiting a site in Kenya called Kitum Cave. A U.S. scientific expedition goes there in hopes of finding the origins of these viruses. Unfortunately for the U.S. scientists and military, the mission is unsuccessful, but the doctor who put the expedition together was able to stow the equipment used when the cave was treated as a Hot Zone. This experience and equipment made the eventual decontamination project at Reston possible. The story ends with the book's author visiting Kitum Cave to explore the place that is still suspected to be home to Ebola's host. Through all his research and writing on the book, he has learned how to keep himself as safe as possible during his explorations. Rather than searching for the actual origin of the virus, however, he is searching for the origin of the story.
The_Imp_of_the_Perverse Summary - In this tale, Poe again uses the unreliable narrator technique, much like in The Tell-Tale Heart. Here, however, his focus is not so much on the crime itself, but on the urges that compel him to confess. Though this is a story of murder, Poe seems to use it as a sort of essay about his theories on the mind; the plot is almost an afterthought. The story does not even seem like a story until 3/4 of the way through. Poe seems intent on examining the idea of what he calls "perverseness," which is the compulsion of man to do exactly the opposite of what he knows he should do. He accomplishes this by devising a plot in which the narrator is compelled to confess to murder.
The_Keepers_of_Truth Summary - Teri gets her hair done at the place of Ed's wife's, Darlene. It turns out that she has confided in Darlene that Ronny's father had raped her, and she is not sure if her child is Ronny's or his father's. We learn that Darlene has a connection with Karl, Teri's boyfriend, and it becomes obvious that Ronny may not have killed his father after all. Bill is convinced of this. Once the father's head is found, the police try to arrest Ronny, but not before he is able to barricade himself in his house taking Teri and their child hostage. He kills Karl in the meantime, and we learn that this is out of desperation. Ronny realizes that there is no way he can stay a free man after this, and he does not want Karl raising his child. In the end, Bill leaves town with Teri and the child, and Ronny sets fire to the house and to himself. Everybody in town, including the police and the FBI, is sure that Ronny was the killer and the case is closed. In fact, the case is never solved, since Bill and Darlene are the only two people who know what really happened.
The_Known_World Summary - Robbins's white and black daughters meet after he suffers a stroke. Winifred and Minerva move to Philadelphia, but there they become parted. Caldonia remarries and remains with Robbins's black son, Louis Cartwright, on the plantation. Caldonia also learns from her brother Calvin, who has moved to Washington, D.C., that Celeste, Jamie, and Alice did not perish in the Manchester woods as many people thought, but are flourishing in the big city on the eve of the Civil War. Alice, no longer a crazy woman, has created two magnificent pieces of art depicting life in Manchester County and on the Townsend plantation.
The_Last_Juror Summary - After covering this last dramatic story, Willie sells the newspaper and becomes a millionaire, after having bought it just ten years earlier for fifty thousand dollars. Before he's able to share the news with Calia, however, she dies of a massive heart attack.
Lost_Horizon Summary - The story returns to Rutherford and his friends. Rutherford relates his search for Conway, who disappeared on a banana boat to Fiji. He and the narrator are certain that Mallinson died and Conway went back to Shangri-La. One point is that an elderly Chinese woman brought Conway to the hospital. Could this mean that the story of Shangri-La is true?
The_Lovely_Bones Summary - Over time, Susie watches, and she begins to let go of her family so they can move on. Susie sees her killer die, and Lindsey's baby is born.
The_Map_of_Love Summary - Part of the treasures in the trunk is one panel of a tapestry depicting Isis, Osiris, and Horus, ancient Egyptian deities. Anna finishes weaving the panels just before Sharif is assassinated. One panel goes to Anna and Nur, and thus into Isabel's trunk. A second goes to Layla and reaches 'Omar through his and Amal's father, Ahmad. A third panel is never accounted for. Isabel discovers it in her camera bag when she returns to Cairo after a long visit to the U.S. She claims it was put there by a mysterious woman, Umm Aya, whom she claims to have met in al-Baroudi's old cell. Conservators of the museum that once was Anna and Sharif's old house deny anyone could have gotten inside the cell and any knowledge of an Umm Aya. Amal cannot accept Isabel's explanation, but finds no other.
The_Masque_of_the_Red_Death Summary - This allegory seems to be serving two purposes at once. In the first, Poe uses the Red Death (perhaps a symbol itself of the tuberculosis that had struck his beloved Virginia) to represent all death, and the fact that no matter what we do death will find a way in and claim us all in the end. Also, however, he seems to be mocking Prince Prospero and those like him who believe that their wealth, money, and power will somehow render them safe from the fate of those who lack those things.
The_Master_(novel) Summary - Finally, coming to some degree of resolution with Constance's suicide, Henry meets the young sculptor Hendrik Andersen in Rome, and they begin a flirtation. While Henry does not manage to advance the relationship before Andersen travels to America, he does make some progress and gains confidence in his abilities as a suitor. Later, William visits Henry at Rye, and they resolve much of their bickering. Henry attends to his ailing brother, taking him to the best heart surgeon in London. William and his wife Alice also tell Henry that their psychic has given them a message: Henry's mother is watching over him, and he is not alone. Henry is not normally given to accepting the word of mediums, but this woman had specifically mentioned two significant objects in his home, a painting from Constance Fenimore Woolson's apartment and a bust sculpted by Hendrik Andersen. Once William retires for the night, Alice gives Henry another message from the psychic: he will be the last of the James brothers, and Alice will be by his side when he dies.
The_Metaphysical_Club:_A_Story_of_Ideas_in_America Summary - Part 1 is an analysis of the life of Oliver Wendell Holmes. It gives detailed background into his life and the decisions he makes that will influence his career until his death. Part 2 is an analysis of the life of William James. It discusses his mental problems, his feelings of inadequacy and how even with obstacles placed in his path by his father, he became one of the most revered philosophers and thinkers in the years after the Civil War. Part 3 introduces Charles S. Pierce. It shows his brilliance and his faults. It explains how both of these factors destroyed him academically and physically, and how he died in almost complete obscurity with no credibility. Part 4 gives us the story of the youngest of this group, John Dewey. It shows how each of the other people influenced Dewey and put him on the path to achieving the goals of his mentors. Part 5 discusses the achievements of each of these men. It explains how these achievements influenced all facets of society from the Civil War until the beginning of the Cold War, when fear took over rational thought. The Epilogue closes the story of each of the men. It tells of their final days and their continued belief in the pragmatism to which they had devoted their lives.
The_Miserable_Mill Summary - Will the Baudelaire children be able to surmount this latest obstacle from Count Olaf, or has he finally found a way to beat them and steal their fortune?
The_Murders_in_the_Rue_Morgue Summary - The narrator makes great notice of the powers of analysis, especially those of his friend Dupin. Dupin serves as a template for great deductive minds of literature, from Sherlock Holmes to Christie's Poirot. It is his ability to observe his surroundings and then deduce what everything means that sets him apart. Though this story is quite gory, and Poe does have the friends set up house in a Gothic mansion, this is less a tale of horror and more a meditation on the powers of the mind.
The_News_from_Paraguay Summary - Ella and her sons travel to Paris, and finding war with Prussia imminent, they go on to England. Ella uses much of her money to put her kids in school. The man she sent material to "just in case" suddenly refuses to help her. She returns to Paris after the war. Two of her sons return to Paraguay several years later to try and reclaim the family land, but they are ordered to leave. Ella becomes confused in her old age and looks in the streets of Paris for people from her past who are long since dead. She looks especially for Franco, but she never does find him.
The_Nice_and_the_Good Summary - As the characters' secrets begin to unravel, Pierce swims into Gunnar's Cave, followed by Ducane, who tries to save him from the high tide. The two spend a harrowing night in the cave, but survive. In the aftermath, Ducane reunites Paula and Richard after she receives a letter from her former lover that he is not coming after all. Jessica and Kate both end their relationships with Ducane, and Jessica begins to pursue Willy. Pierce and Barbara are united, and Theo receives a letter that makes him think about going back to India. Ducane and Mary realize that they love each other and they marry.
The_Path_Between_the_Seas Summary - The locked canal opens to traffic ahead of schedule and under budget, but just as the guns of August are being fired in Europe. After the wars, the Panama Canal becomes the useful, peaceful waterway of commerce envisioned for a century and a half.
The_Pillars_of_the_Earth Summary - Yet darker forces are working in the land, personified by the evil Hamleigh family and the unscrupulous Bishop Waleran of Kingsbridge. Prior Philip holds his ground as a defender of truth and justice in Kingsbridge despite Waleran's many evil plots and schemes to steal the wealth and dignity of the people in Philip's charge. William Hamleigh provides a more physical threat. Rebuked by the beautiful Aliena, Hamleigh takes revenge on her father and succeeds in creating the downfall of Earl Bartholomew. Sworn to vengeance, Aliena raises herself from poverty and disgrace to a position of prominence unprecedented for a woman in this era. William makes her homeless, rapes her, destroys her wool business, and conspires with Bishop Waleran to prevent Aliena from marrying the love of her life, Jack Jackson. Yet despite all that William does, Aliena, like Philip, perseveres and somehow always manages to prosper. By the end of the novel she has restored her father's earldom to her ungrateful brother, Richard, and created a family with Jack. After William kills Tom Builder, the supremely talented Jack takes over as master builder and ultimately builds a cathedral that exceeds even the wildest imaginations of his late stepfather, Tom. The restoration of order to Kingsbridge Priory dovetails with the historical victory of the Church over King Henry II in the wake of the martyrdom of Thomas Beckett, the archbishop of Canterbury.
The_Prize:_The_Epic_Quest_for_Oil,_Money,_and_Power Summary - The Prize tells the story of how a natural resource, known worldwide from antiquity to possess useful properties, came to dominate the world's economy and steer its political fate as technology made possible the transformation of crude oil into commercial products. Few areas of the earth are excluded from treatment in this vast saga, but even these (Antarctica and Greenland, for instance) are surely touched by oil's effects. The book describes the way the relentless advance of technology brought out the best and worst in human nature. The early chapters show the establishment of the great oil companies and the adaptation of governments and societies to booms and busts, benefits and threats. Yergin carefully details how access to oil largely determined the outcome of two world wars, before turning attention to regions of marginal international importance that took center stage during the Cold War. He analyzes competition and conflict in the Middle East at length. The Prize is a vast panorama of world history since the 1860s, held together by focus on a commodity that everyone needs and wants to control.
The_Prophet_(book) Summary - As evening falls, Almitra signals that the interchange has ended by blessing the day, the city and Almustafa's sage words. He objects that he has drawn from them more than he has provided. The crowd follows Almustafa tearfully to the docks, where he delivers a moving and lengthy farewell oration, thanking and encouraging the people he has loved and tried to serve, justifying his methods and urging them to seek excellence in all things and wait patiently for the hidden things in life to be fully revealed. Almustafa remains encouraging, challenging, hopeful and - above all - enigmatic to the end, promising, "A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me," words Almitra takes to heart as she alone remains to watch the empty sea.
The_Public_Image Summary - At a public inquest into the circumstances of Frederick's death, Annabel foils Billy's attempt to blackmail her by unexpectedly exposing the suicide letters herself. In doing so, she effectively allows her public image to be destroyed according to Frederick's plan. She gives up her acting career and her life in the public eye. Instead, she chooses a life of anonymity. She begins her new life by moving with her baby, Carl, to Greece where she is unrecognized and hopes to remain so.
The_Reptile_Room Summary - Just when the children seem to have bested their nemesis, Olaf manages to escape, and Mr. Poe refuses to follow him. Once again, the children will be transferred to a new guardian, always fearing that Count Olaf will be lurking in the shadows, following their every move.
The_Revenge_of_Hannah_Kemhuff Summary - Mrs. Holley ended up paying for her mistreatment of Hannah Kemhuff by living out her last months in fear and paranoia. The reader gets the impression that perhaps Mrs. Holley subconsciously knows that what she did to Hannah was wrong and by her fear of the curse this becomes evident. Unfortunately, Hannah Kemhuff ends up dying before Mrs. Holley and never gets the satisfaction of seeing this part of her wish/curse come true. Walker makes a statement by showing the power both women allowed each other to have over their lives and the ultimate devastating result of their bitterness and hatred.
The_Sea,_the_Sea Summary - Eventually Charles learns that he was pushed into the sea by the angry ex-husband of one of his ex-lovers, that Hartley and her husband are emigrating to Australia, and that several of his friends whom he once believed he could absolutely control and manipulate are getting on with their lives. He also discovers, following James' sudden and slightly mysterious death, that he's been left heir to his estate. He sells Shruff End, moves to London, and as he sorts through his feelings and impressions and experiences, begins to move back into the life he left behind.
The_Search:_How_Google_and_Its_Rivals_Rewrote_the_Rules_of_Business_and_Transformed_Our_Culture Summary - The upside is that search brings us more relevant results, and since new devices - not just your computer - may access the Web, search has the potential of making life easier. The author envisions a Database of Intentions, an integral part of determining a searcher's intent while clicking through the Web. Searchers leave click trails that show where they have been and what they have looked for. These can be included in the Database. If the user's intent can be determined, then marketing efforts that follow the user around the Web will have greater chances of generating sales.
The_Secret_Life_of_Bees Summary - A truly believable tale that provides an inspirational insight into life in the 60s, The Secret Life of Bees is a story of discovering your heritage, uncovering hidden secrets and maturing to become a caring, considerate and compassionate individual, despite adversity. It is about understanding your weaknesses, improving and developing yourself to make weaknesses become strengths and knowing the truth about who to trust in life.
The_Shipping_News Summary - Quoyle, his Aunt, and his two daughters make friends, become a part of the community and for the first time in his life Quoyle feels acceptance, contentment, and even small periods of joy. He learns to fish, drive a boat, and various other new things that help him become more and more a Newfoundlander. After the departure of the managing editor at the paper, Quoyle is promoted to the position, much to his surprise. However, he is haunted by the past, both by his heartbreaking personal one and by the generations of Quoyle's who lived in Killick-Claw before him, who pillaged all they could until they were driven from the town. Not until Quoyle confronts his past and his heritage is he truly able to make a future for himself and his daughters. Once he sees the past and his relationship with Petal for what it really was, he is able to move on and declare his love to Wavey and marry her. He discovers that loving again is possible and that it does not have to include pain and destruction.
The_Story_of_Lucy_Gault Summary - After her father's death, she starts to visit Horahan, the boy her father had wounded so many years ago. After being tormented by guilt and the delusion that he killed Lucy as a child, Horahan has been committed to a mental asylum where he lives for 17 years. Upon his death, Lucy marches in his funeral procession. Witnessing this, two nuns visit Lucy, enthralled by her amazing peace. The book aptly ends with the description of the scenery she sees from her window, "The avenue has gone shadowy, the outline of its trees stark against the sky. The rooks come down to scrabble in the grass as every evening at this time they do, her companions while she watches the fading of the day."
The_System_of_the_World_(novel) Summary - The System of the World is a tale of deception, political propaganda, ill-gotten gains and a struggle for recognition and power. It contrasts historical data with that of fictitious science fiction, making it a believable yet quirky tale.
The_Time_Traveler's_Wife Summary - The story tells of Henry and Clare's meeting, how they evolve as a couple, their desperate hope of conceiving children and failing repeatedly before they encounter success. The Time Traveler's Wife puts a new perspective on time travel and in effect sheds a different light on the subject. Henry may exist in the past or future without altering the time continuum. He may also exist in perfect harmony with himself whether that is younger Henry or older; therefore he is able to educate himself on the skills he will need for the events and outcomes he will encounter. Henry experiences times of beauty, heartache, desperation, embarrassment and physical torment; he is bashed, raped and eventually killed through the traveling. His daughter Alba is born on Thursday, September 6, 2001 and is the product of Dr. Kendrick and Dr. Montague's determination to aid the couple in keeping a baby. She grows up to be just like her father, Henry, a Chrono-Displaced Person; she too travels through time though she has more control over where she goes and when. After Henry's death Clare waits until she will see him again, this occurs when she is 82 years old.
The_Underground_Man Summary - On one fateful winter night, while the Duke is out wandering on his estate naked, he mistaken by a local hunter for a wild animal. The hunter shoots him and the Duke is found dead.
The_Welcome_Table Summary - Although the old woman dies at the end of the story and an argument could be made that she was walking alone, this story has a different feeling to it than the other stories in Walker's collection. Whereas the other stories highlight tragedy, despair, hopelessness, and a life of some type of bondage or death, this story contains hope and leaves the reader with a good feeling. The story gives hope that people who have lived a life of servitude and poor treatment will, in the end, find kindness, acceptance, and joy.
The_Wide_Window Summary - The Baudelaires rush to find their Aunt Josephine to prove that they are not to be left in the care of Count Olaf, but the storm may outwit them. It will be up to the Baudelaire children to combat the forces of nature, the fears of an adult and the wiles of Count Olaf if they are to escape his nefarious plot this time.
Time's_Arrow_(novel) Summary - Odilo works at "lesser" facilities which "process" unwanted people like the insane and blind. The narrator is upset by the decline in "great work." His relationship with Herta grows more intense as they move towards their marriage, then fades as they get to know each other. Odilo then is back at medical school, where he meets Herta. He moves home with his family and becomes a child. The narrator is upset knowing his life will end at Odilo's birth.
To_Hell_With_Dying Summary - The time eventually comes when the narrator, now a grown woman, is called back to the bedside of Mr. Sweet for one last revival. As they gaze at one another for the last time, the narrator closes her eyes and opens them again to find Mr. Sweet has passed. Even though one of the main characters dies in this story, the reader is left with a feeling of love and understanding. Through the relationship between Mr. Sweet and the narrator, Walker proves that love can bridge the gap between old and young.
Trace Summary - Eventually, Scarpetta and Marino identify the killer as Edgar Allan Pogue and all the pieces fall into place. Scarpetta is able to track her killer through the microscopic trace evidence found at the scene of the Paulsson case. The evidence is identical to traces lifted from the body of a construction worker in an unrelated accidental death case and Dr. Marcus accuses Scarpetta of contaminating the evidence. Before Marcus can hang her out to dry, however, Scarpetta is able to prove that the evidence is a valid link between the two cases and it points directly to the involvement of Edgar Allan Pogue. All ends well for the major characters of Trace. By the end of the novel, Marino's reputation is secure, Lucy is safe from her stalker, the detestable Dr. Paulsson has been driven from his medical practice and Scarpetta has redeemed herself in Richmond.
Harry_S._Truman Summary - Truman retired to Independence, Missouri, and worked on his memoirs and the Truman Library. Neither Eisenhower nor Kennedy asked him for advice. Lyndon Johnson ignored him after Truman refused to endorse the Viet Nam war. Truman died in 1972. Only now are historians beginning to appreciate Truman. Many now rate him as either a "great" or a "near great" President.
Tuck_Everlasting Summary - His death at Mae Tuck's hands and her impending execution on a charge of murder add the final components to what is already a difficult and compelling moral problem.
Tuesdays_With_Morrie Summary - After a couple of visits, Albom begins recording their talks, with Schwartz's permission and his encouragement. He wants to share this journey with the world and knows that Albom can help him reach beyond the walls to which his disease has confined him. For the next fourteen weeks, Schwartz and Albom discuss everything from regrets and death to money and marriage, from family to forgiveness. Their conversations and the insights they give into the way Schwartz has lived his life and accepts his death become the foundation around which Tuesdays with Morrie is written.
Twenty_Thousand_Leagues_Under_the_Sea Summary - Eventually, Aronnax's fascination with Nemo declines, as the Captain attacks passing ships, apparently for revenge or for greed. The Nautilus heads into northern waters, and the three captives plot their escape from Nemo's clutches, even as the ship blunders into a giant whirlpool.
Twilight_in_the_Desert Summary - With Saudi Arabia's aging fields and no new significant reserve discoveries in recent history, what will happen when Saudi Arabia's key reserves decline and there are no new reserves to replace them? How will the world, which is clearly not prepared for the coming Saudi oil shock, deal with this global energy crisis?
Swift_Vets_and_POWs_for_Truth Summary - In Section 2, O'Neill recounts his outrage at Kerry's testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by outspoken anti-war Senator Fulbright. The committee was charged with exploring possible scenarios for a U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. It was before this committee on April 22, 1971 that Kerry made his now famousand debunkedcharges of intentional war crimes committed with the full complicity of the entire chain of command of the U.S. Military. Author O'Neill wrote to the Fulbright Committee prior to Kerry's testimony asking to be heard, but the committee responded that they had no room for another speaker. Incensed by Kerry's testimony, O'Neill eventually took on Kerry in a one-on-one debate on the Dick Cavett Show. Kerry could not substantiate his charges, and by all accounts plainly lost the debate. In the book, the authors continue to detail Kerry's political career, which changed with public opinion from war-protester to war-hero based on what they claim is a false record.
Unless Summary - As a result of this style of narration, the book is a series of apparently unconnected events, circling above the actual lives of Reta and her family, now and then touching base with the real world, but quickly taking flight as Reta's inner dialogue wanders from one speculative thought to another. For Reta, reality does not appear to be a solid and real entity, but one that fluid and process-driven. She attempts to solve her grief by indulging in an open-ended dialogue with herself which is at once complex and ambiguous. Divergent impulses constantly rise to the surface. Psychologically isolated from Tom, her daughters, her mother-in-law, and her friends, she attempts to find her way through a chaotic, grief-stricken world back to normalcy.
Utz Summary - The narrator follows some clues while in Prague. He imagines that when Utz and Marta leave the church, husband and wife, Utz finally knows that he holds a real life and real love in his arms. He has no more need of his collection, recognizing it for the mere crockery it has always been, and, with Marta, destroys it. The narrator cannot convince even himself, however, and the story ends with an old peasant woman answering her door, saying that yes, she is the Baroness Utz.
Vernon_God_Little Summary - Lally has expanded his multi-media empire to include the ultimate reality show - an execution lottery. An axe murderer turned popular preacher helps Vernon figure out his feelings towards Mom, advises him to watch animal and human behavior and to realize Vernon is God. Vernon struggles to do this as he survives several votes, but eventually his turn comes. He thinks about what presents he can give the various people in his life. He makes kind phone calls to people calculated able to pull together an operation that destroys Lally and proves Vernon's innocence. A pardon comes seconds before the deadly chemicals are to flow into his arm. The den also yields up Jesus' suicide note, condemning Goosens and Nuckles to prison for pedophilia. Vernon and Ella prepare for a vacation in Mexico, Mom's fridge finally arrives, and everything in Martirio returns to normal.
Voyagers_to_the_West Summary - In the last sections of the book, Bailyn uses particular situations and people to show the second migration, which consisted of mostly families from northern England and Scotland. The experiences of these individuals, listed in the Register, are fleshed out and expanded on from additional sources. The narratives illustrate how the emigrants came to leave the British Isles and their experiences in reaching and settling in the North American colonies.
Waiting_(book) Summary - Surprisingly, Lin achieves his goal only to begin finding Shuyu suddenly much more attractive and his relationship with Manna much more stifling. By the end of the book, Shuyu is happily certain he will one day return to her and Lin is once again wavering between two women; his own heart's desire is still an unsolved mystery.
Walk_Two_Moons Summary - The story ends on a positive note as Sal, her dad, and Gramps return to their farm in Bybanks. Sal reflects and understands the reasons she didn't get to go to Lewiston at the time of her mother's death, why her dad had to leave the farm, and what bravery really is.
Watchmen Summary - By 1985, nuclear war with Russia seems unavoidable. The world is deeply divided, the cold war is raising international tensions, and armies are being deployed. One retired costumed hero, now fabulously wealthy, decides he must intervene to deter nuclear annihilation and unite the world in a common cause. His amoral plan is to play an enormous practical joke on the world. He fakes an alien invasion by an extra-terrestrial being with hostile intent. The attack results in the deaths of millions of people, but does halt the seemingly unstoppable march to international nuclear war.
We_Drink_the_Wine_in_France Summary - The story ends with both of them denying themselves the joy, solace, and kinship they would find with each other. The ending finds Harriet still feeling rejected and inferior due to her ignorance, and the French professor hiding himself and running away from the beauty and joy life still has to offer him.
The_Westing_Game Summary - In The Westing Game, the last novel she published in her lifetime, Raskin summarizes and resolves some of her recurring themes with an emphasis on hope and forgiveness. As in all her novels, the happy ending is surprising and wildly original, and the wit is honest and tough.
When_We_Were_Orphans Summary - The book ends with Christopher being content that he had pursued his mission to the end. His vocation, however, has made his life a lonely one. Jennifer and the anticipation that she might one day marry and have children, is his one consolation.
White_Oleander Summary - Another three years have passed. Astrid now lives in Berlin with Paul Trout, who has become popular with European art students for his graphic novels. She and her mother write a couple of times a month, and she's even met her father, Klaus Anders. One day, she finds a headline trumpeting her mother's freedom. Ingrid has numerous offers, and Astrid can feel her beckoning back to the States. Paul wants to stay in Europe, but California will always call out to her.
Who's_Looking_Out_For_You? Summary - The book ends with a recap of lessons learned. The people who are happiest in life are generally the ones who make the fewest mistakes. However, mistakes will be made and it is also important to learn to forgive oneself. People must be judged on their merit, there are some who lie and they will be encountered from time to time and avoided. Live life to the best of your ability, that's the best you can do.
The_Wind_in_the_Willows Summary - The principle characters in the novel, though they all have their faults, are idealized in many ways. Several virtues are epitomized in Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad, so much so that they become themes. There are numerous examples of hospitality, forgiveness, compassion, generosity, and humility. Even the arrogant Toad is able to humble himself and put aside his conceited ways in the end, having matured though a succession of trying circumstances with the guidance and help of loyal friends.