Sumac Lottery is the fifth of seven kids in her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. With four parents, a parrot, a dog, a rat and two cats, the sprawling Victorian house they call Camelottery is already quite full (in the best sense). But then one day, Sumac gets the news that one of their grandfathers will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather—a long-dormant one who fell out with his son so long ago that he hasn’t been part of any of their lives.
Suddenly, everything changes. Sumac has to give up her room to make the newcomer feel at home. She tries to be nice, but the prickly old man clearly disapproves of how the Lotterys live: whole grains and strange vegetables, odd pets, a multicultural household. . . . He’s worse than just tough to get along with—Grumps has got to go! But can Sumac help him find a home where he belongs?
Born in Dublin in 1969, EMMA DONOGHUE is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge, England, before moving to Canada’s London, Ontario. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (The Wonder, Slammerkin, Life Mask, The Sealed Letter) to the contemporary (Akin, Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing). Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and was a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes; her screen adaptation, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, was nominated for four Academy Awards.
London, England and Ontario, Canada
Date of Birth:
October 24, 1969
Place of Birth:
B.A. in English and French, University College Dublin, 1990; Ph.D. in English, University of Cambridge, 1998
At seven the next evening, PopCorn pushes open the front door of Camelottery. "Greetings, earthlings!"Sumac's behind the grandfather, looking at the worn-down heels of his boots.Limbs flailing, knocking a long mirror askew, Aspen gets to PopCorn first and jumps to hang around his neck."You brung presents?" asks Brian, behind her.PopCorn says, "Ah..."Sumac's face falls. They completely forgot."Where the presents?" demands Brian."I've got half a candy necklace," Sumac offers."We've brought my dad," says PopCorn, too brightly, gesturing toward the old man in a ta-dah way. "Everybody, this is Iain. Your fourth grandfather."Brian stares balefully. "That not a present. Where his eyebrows?"Sumac tries to distract her with the candy necklace.Brian scowls but puts it around her neck. "Where is they?" she asks again."They got burned off in the fire," Sumac whispers in her ear, because it's a family rule that there are no stupid questions.PopCorn grabs Aspen's hands and examines them."Dare I ask why your index fingers are stuck to your thumbs?""They're finger-thumbs," Aspen tells him. "Thingers. No, fumbs!""We're in the middle of an experiment," explains MaxiMum as she comes into the hall. "Sorry I can't shake hands, Iain. It takes an hour or two for the oils in the skin to loosen the superglue.""Welcome, welcome," cries CardaMom, hurrying downstairs wearing Oak on her shoulders. "PapaDum," she calls toward the Mess, "stop chopping onions, they're here."The grandfather looks from one face to the next, and suddenly Sumac is glad the three eldest kids are still away at camp, because compared with Faro, Yukon, the Lotterys are looking like a crowd already.
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