Constance: A Novel

Constance: A Novel

by Rosie Thomas
     
 

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Over the course of three decades of writing, bestselling novelist Rosie Thomas has earned an untold number of awards and critical praise.
Her latest novel, Constance, is a powerful story of a woman’s anguished reckoning with her past. Constance Thorne was a foundling, left by her mother within days of her birth. Decades later, she leads a happy,

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Overview

Over the course of three decades of writing, bestselling novelist Rosie Thomas has earned an untold number of awards and critical praise.
Her latest novel, Constance, is a powerful story of a woman’s anguished reckoning with her past. Constance Thorne was a foundling, left by her mother within days of her birth. Decades later, she leads a happy, independent life in Bali, but when she hears the news that her sister Jeanette is dying, the last thing she wants is to return to London. As a child, Connie was aware only of the differences between herself and her sister, yet they both fell in love with the same man. With the bitterness of betrayal still between them, Connie and Jeanette have to learn to forgive each other. Do the bonds of shared childhood lie deeper than they had believed? And, surrounded by family, can Connie make her peace with who she really is—and who she loves?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"From the idyllic paradise of Bali, to the fast-paced bustle of London and finally to the gritty streets of Uzbekistan, Thomas’ second novel maps out a resonating, touching story that most readers are unlikely to forget. Constance is a strong, beautiful character who’s been shaped by her mysterious and lonely past, which makes her all the more fascinating as the novel’s focal point. This particular saga is rich in both plot and setting, and is an addictive, well-written masterpiece featuring lovely and original characters." —Romantic Times Book Reviews

"A resonant and insightful novel" —Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Now that she is confronted with losing them, a middle-aged woman strives to finally reconcile her conflicting emotions toward her adoptive family. Constance was named after the London street where she was found, a newborn hours old, under a hedge with only an earring as a memento of the mother who abandoned her. Both her looks (dark and wiry) and musical talent make her feel out of place in her family of plump, blue-eyed blonds. But she has no inkling of her origins until a callous cousin reveals them at the funeral of her beloved parent, Tony. Constance was, it appears, adopted by Tony and Hilda because they feared a second biological child might be deaf, like Constance's older sister, Jeanette. The relationship between the two sisters has always been prickly, not merely due to sibling rivalry, but also to Constance's tenacious attraction (requited as we shall see) to Jeanette's husband, Bill. Weaving between past and present instances of family alienation, we learn that Constance has prospered as a composer for advertising and television and that she fled London for Bali years before after a brief, intense affair with Bill was exposed. The sisters have been definitively estranged since a wrenching encounter at the time of Hilda's death. But now Jeanette emails Constance to inform her that she is dying of cancer and that it is time for a final reckoning. In a subplot that meshes gracefully, Roxana, newly arrived in London from Uzbekistan, is fleeing political unrest that has claimed the life of her brother. She's determined to become an "English girl" even if right now her sole source of income is lap dancing. When she meets Noah, Bill and Jeanette's 20-something son, Roxana's life will intertwine with Constance's in ways that shed light on the dislocation of both women. Constance's belated investigation into her birth circumstances adds suspense to an otherwise meandering and leisurely narrative. Despite rather superficial characters and some long-winded window dressing, a resonant and insightful novel.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781468302646
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
08/29/2013
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.08(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Mystery, intrigue, a great love, passion, and a terrible sorrow all come together to make The Kashmir Shawl a very touching and satisfying read.” —Barbara Taylor Bradford, bestselling author of Letter From A Stranger
 
“Thomas writes with a sharp nib, not a dull computer key. She is neither mawkish nor squeamish, but full of fresh images.”  —Washington Post Book World

Meet the Author

Rosie Thomas is the author of numerous critically acclaimed, bestselling novels, and has twice won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Born in a small village in northern Wales, Thomas discovered a love of traveling and mountaineering when her children were grown. In the years since, she has climbed in the Alps and the Himalayas, competed in the Peking to Paris car rally, and trekked in the footsteps of Shackleton on South Georgia Island.

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