Charles Darwin, whose 1859 masterpiece ‘On the Origin of Species’ shook society to its core, would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy over evolution still raging 150 years later.
‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ is a stunning counter-attack on creationists, followers of ‘Intelligent Design’ and all those who still question evolution as scientific fact. In this brilliant tour de force Richard Dawkins pulls together the incontrovertible evidence that underpins it: from living examples of natural selection to clues in the fossil record; from plate techtonics to molecular genetics.
‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ comes at a critical time as systematic opposition to the fact of evolution flourishes as never before in many schools worldwide. Dawkins wields a devastating argument against this ignorance whilst sharing with us his palpable love of science and the natural world. Written with elegance, wit and passion, it is hard-hitting, absorbing and totally convincing.
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?
Riley Gordon would not go as far as her best friend, Magda, who has decided to have the full wedding ceremony and celebrations. So far, so traditional. But in Magda′s case, the lucky person she will be saying I do to is herself. It is Magda′s statement for single women everywhere. This is Riley′s call to arms, her challenge to celebrate singleness, and to re-establish that much maligned, splendid word: spinster.
The life of Riley is an excellent one. She has no issues, no life crises. She is celebrating her life. Her mother is not so sure. Her marriage to Riley′s father may have been a mistake, but as a merry widow, at least she is allowed lovers. Her sister, happily married with two children, is certain that married life is the right choice. Riley′s extensive relations, including those in the more successful branch of the family, feel free to give their opinions, frequently and unasked. Her various friends, straight and gay, are delighted to have such available and lively companionship. And her lovers, all ex at present, simply wonder when they might be able to weight the balance from freedom towards themselves.
Rowena Crale and her family have moved from London.
They now live in a small English village in a cottage which seems to be resisting all attempts at renovation.
Walls ooze damp, stains come through layers of wallpaper, celings sag.
And strange noises – voices – emanate from empty rooms.
As Rowena struggles with the upheaval of builders while trying to be a dutiful wife and a good mother to her young children, her life starts to disintegrate.
And then, one by one, her daughters go missing …
Cecilia is obsessively in love with her teacher, the older, married Mr. Dahl. She plots and speculates, yet she never guesses that what she dreams of could actually happen. Is it her imagination, or is the high-minded Mr. Dahl responding to her?
Cecilia’s mother Dora wants the good life. She and her husband moved to Dartmoor so their children could run wild, free to make their own choices and mistakes. But Dora discovers that there is more to the countryside idyll, and indeed to her own marriage, than she assumed, when she finds herself fascinated by the very last, the very worst person she could fall for: the elegant and dangerous Elisabeth Dahl.
Now, after twenty years, Cecilia is coming home, to face Dora, and to face her past. But the excitement and pain she had thought were buried cannot be buried. The past is a dangerous place.
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby’s father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no “bad behavior,” no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.
Book 1 of the Waterfire Saga
Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation – and burden – that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother’s hopes.
The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
‘I was four when I killed my baby brother’. Two decades on and Rose is still haunted by the death of her brother. Her father grieved for the baby and for her, but her mother shuddered even at the sound of her name. Rose took a vow of silence and nothing has broken through.
Summer, 1939. The de Lacey family of Nayton Manor believe they are ready for the changes the war will bring. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, is due to return home from her grandparents’ farm in France and is expected to marry the dashing Captain Max Coburn. But when Grandpère suffers a stroke while driving Elizabeth to the station, her future is changed. Instead of returning home to Norfolk, Elizabeth chooses to stay and help her grandparents. Max is also stationed in France – but will this help their courtship, or will the war threaten to separate them for ever?
Meanwhile, in the village of Nayton, Lucy Storey dutifully cares for her father the stationmaster, running their home in the little cottage by the railway. Her long hard days are brightened by meetings with the handsome Jack de Lacey, who brings a brief escape from her daily routine. As their friendship grows, can they overcome the class prejudices set in their way, or will the jealous signalman Frank Lambert succeed in destroying their romance? For all at Nayton, war becomes a time of risk and danger, of secrets and betrayal, and of finding love in the most unexpected places.