The House on Fortune Street: A Novel

( 13 )

Overview

It seems like mutual good luck for Abigail Taylor and Dara MacLeod when they meet at university and, despite their differences, become fast friends. Years later they remain inseparable: Abigail, the actress, allegedly immune to romance, and Dara, a therapist, throwing herself into relationships with frightening intensity. Now both believe they've found "true love." But luck seems to run out when Dara moves into Abigail's downstairs apartment. Suddenly both their friendship and their relationships are in peril, ...

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Overview

It seems like mutual good luck for Abigail Taylor and Dara MacLeod when they meet at university and, despite their differences, become fast friends. Years later they remain inseparable: Abigail, the actress, allegedly immune to romance, and Dara, a therapist, throwing herself into relationships with frightening intensity. Now both believe they've found "true love." But luck seems to run out when Dara moves into Abigail's downstairs apartment. Suddenly both their friendship and their relationships are in peril, for tragedy is waiting to strike the house on Fortune Street.

Told through four ingeniously interlocking narratives, Margot Livesey's The House on Fortune Street is a provocative tale of lives shaped equally by chance and choice.

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Editorial Reviews

Ann Patchett
“I loved this book. The House on Fortune Street pulled me in and kept me rapt from start to finish. Margot Livesey is writing at her very best.”
Geraldine Brooks
“Structurally daring and compulsively readable, THE HOUSE ON FORTUNE STREET illuminates the complexities of love in some of its most difficult guises, and of loss in all of its immensity. ”
Ann Patchett
"I loved this book. The House on Fortune Street pulled me in and kept me rapt from start to finish. Margot Livesey is writing at her very best."
Geraldine Brooks
"Structurally daring and compulsively readable, THE HOUSE ON FORTUNE STREET illuminates the complexities of love in some of its most difficult guises, and of loss in all of its immensity. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061451546
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 784,353
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Margot Livesey

Margot Livesey's acclaimed novels include The House on Fortune Street (winner of the L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award) and Eva Moves the Furniture. She lives in the Boston area and is a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College.

Biography

Margot Livesey is the award-winning author of a story collection, Learning by Heart, and of the novels Homework, Criminals, The Missing World, and Eva Moves the Furniture, which was a New York Times Notable Book, an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year, and a PEN/Winship finalist. Born in Scotland, she currently lives in the Boston area, where she is writer in residence at Emerson College.

Author biography courtesy of Henry Holt and Company.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Livesey:

"My worst job was a very brief stint at a Hare Krishna factory in Toronto, packing incense. The combination of compulsory prayers and of having my friends get out their handkerchiefs whenever I entered a room soon made me give notice. My favorite job was working as a cleaner at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. We managed to do the work in half the time we were paid for and I loved pushing my broom around the galleries, getting to look at the art day after day."

"The first Americans I ever met were a family who came to teach for a year at the boys' school where my father taught. They invited us over for New Year's Eve and instead of the usual festivities spent the evening showing us slides of their very extensive holidays in Yosemite. Ever since I've had a mild aversion to slide shows and I still haven't been to Yosemite."

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    1. Hometown:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 24, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Perth, Scotland
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and philosophy from the University of York, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 18, 2009

    The House on Fortune Street

    Livesey is excellent at telling a "small" story about people attampting to find themselves--mired in, and made by, past events of their lives. Passing the narrative back and forth from one character to another is done seamlessly. Small story or not, the author makes the reader care about the characters. The style is blessedly English, which means it is lucid and uncluttered. Great read! Too bad the book cover makes it look like chick lit. It isn't. I also highly recommend Livesey's Eva Moves the Furniture.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an intriguing character study

    Thirtyish Abigail Taylor and Dara MacLeod met while attending St. Andrews University. They became friends and years later remain BFFs. Abigail became an actress while Dara became a social counselor. They disagree on love and how to pursue it until each suddenly finds true love; Abigail with academic Sean and Dara with violinist Edward.-------------

    Soon after they meet the men in their lives, Dara moves into Abigail's house renting the downstairs apartment. Abigail receives an anonymous letter addressed to Sean insisting she is cheating; Dara reconciles with her father, who abandoned the family when she was ten. The letter and the father impact each relationship including that of the BFFs.--------------

    This is an intriguing character study as four people rotate with each telling their back story and their perspective of what is going on. The key to the story line is how each person's past long before they met one another and forged ties impacts on how each of them interpret the various relationships. Although the action is limited, readers who relish a 360 degree look at four relationships especially the same baggage an individual brings to each will want to read THE HOUSE ON FORTUNE STREET.-------------

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    Anne NJ

    I must not have read the same story!
    A difficult read, but I persevered and finished it.
    Depressing and confusing, as if the chapters were out of order.
    Too often, I had to re read pages, having lost track.
    This was not my cup of tea, either.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Not my cup of tea

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2011

    Very enjoyable

    An enjoyable read with twists and turns.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    Four lives unfold in a web of love, friendship and chance encounters.

    Perhaps this is a love story. Perhaps it is a story of wanting to be in love. Either way, it is a gentle look at how searching for love--for oneself and from someone else--is fractured by misplaced trust, raw emotion and sheer chance. Four characters tell each other's life stories as reflections of their own in a shared experience of living in The House On Fortune Street. The author, Margot Livesey, establishes the backstories for each of the characters then turns the main intersecting part of the plot four times so that each character relates his or her perspective. The four stories are blended making actions and reactions from each character thoroughly reasonable for the reader. The story itself is simple--it is the character development and interplay which maintains the strength of the novel.Ultimately it is the resolution of what one needs from love that drives the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2008

    Maybe the website should moniter reviews

    Just as the last person said thanks for spoiling the ending I will now not buy this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2008

    Don't read the other review

    Thanks for spoiling the book's ending, anonymous...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2011

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    Posted July 20, 2010

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    Posted November 4, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2008

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 13 Customer Reviews

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