Steps and Exes

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9780006512974: Steps and Exes

For all fans of Carol Shields and Jane Smiley: a warm, wise and wonderful evocation of family love and redemption set on an island off Seattle.

No family is ordinary, but this family is less ordinary than most… When Sunny returns to her mother’s house on Isadora Island off the west coast of Seattle with her small daughter, Brio, in tow, she’s in retreat from her mad, difficult life in LA. Celia’s famous B&B, Henry’s House, a tranquil oasis, seems the perfect place to recover and give Brio a sense of real family life.

But Celia’s life has been anything but ordinary. Strong, beautiful and independent, with a tragedy in her past, Celia has always believed in unfettered love, and took many male lovers and partners, and had children by a number of them. Her three children, half-sisters Sunny, Victoria and Elizabeth, have followed different paths to their mother: Sunny, nursing her own secret; Victoria, secretly married to her husband years ago but too scared to tell the disapproving Celia; and Celia’s favourite, the free-spirited Bethie, who has just announced her engagement to Wade, an ex-drug addict survivor who now runs a personal development programme for other ‘Re-coverees’. The whole extended family gather on the Island at Henry’s House for Bethie’s engagement party, and there the true strength of family love is put to the test….

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From the Back Cover:

Celia Henry owns a famous B&B on Isadora Island, off the west coast of Seattle. Celia's professional expertise has turned Henry's House into a beautiful home and a wonderful testament to tradition. Her unconventional love life, however, has kept Isadora Island entertained for a generation. Married only once and widowed at twenty-two, Celia has spent a lifetime preaching and practicing unfettered love – and as the men in her life moved out and moved on, she acquired a large extended family of children, step-children, partners and ex-partners. Warm, generous but notoriously stubborn, Celia is mother to them all, but particularly her three girls – Bethie, Victoria and Sunny.

When Sunny returns from LA with her 6-year-old daughter in tow, coinciding with Bethie's announcement of her engagement to Wayne (much to Celia's dismay), Celia reluctantly agrees to throw a lavish celebration. To this party she must invite everyone in her over-extended family. Celia senses impending disaster, but nothing prepares her for the fallout when the family finally explodes. Somehow, she must come to terms with the past to reunite the family and transform the future.

Laura Kalpakian has written an elegant and moving story of an independent woman whose strength and humour forges a family out of an unruly tribe of steps and exes.

About the Author:

Laura Kalpakian is the author of Graced Land which was published by Flamingo. She lives in Washington State and is working on her next novel. Graced Land was praised as ‘An absorbing tale of hardship, love and the value of holding true to convictions. Kalpakian’s characters are a spirited lot who totally involve the reader’s interest and emotions.’ (Publishers Weekly)

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Kalpakian, Laura
ISBN 10: 0006512976 ISBN 13: 9780006512974
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