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It is the 1970s, and in a small town in Indiana, Anna, a young art student, works alone in her darkroom, mesmerised by the images emerging before her. Photography is her passion, her obsession, until one terrible miscalculation -Thousands of miles away in California, Cerise, a lonely teenager, battles with puberty. As her body betrays her, growing hair and sprouting breasts, which attract attention, she seeks comfort in the most desperate and risky of ways - Facing the same dilemma, Anna and Cerise make different choices. Choices which shape their lives forever and, many years later, bring them together - both now mothers, bound by a common bond. And when their lives intersect each woman emerges stronger, inspired by what she sees in the other, changed by what she learns. Utterly engrossing and profoundly moving, Windfalls explores the very essence and complexity of womanhood, and what it is to be a mother.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099256731
ISBN-10: 0099256738
Format: Paperback
(199mm x 130mm x 20mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 7-Apr-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A vivid, lightly fictionalized Motherhood 101 as two women, worlds apart, find common ground in facing the challenges of child-raising. The two women-Anna, a noted photographer married to Eliot, a fellow academic; and Cerise, a single mother and high-school drop-out-neatly reflect current anxieties about parenting in this story that's yet more about plight than plot. In graduate school, Anna had an abortion, and she's still troubled-and has never told Eliot about it. Her daughter, Lucy, was an easy baby and a delight, and life was good. Then Eliot failed to get tenure and, now, they have to leave their farmhouse home and move to urban California. There, in an unfamiliar hospital, Anna gives birth to Ellen. The second birth is difficult. Ellen spends time in intensive care, and Anna, tired and depressed, later finds it hard to work at her photography. She's also lonely, and the once easygoing Lucy is now nervous and troubled by nightmares, especially about a local little girl who has disappeared. Good day care is hard to find, too, and expensive. Cerise is even worse off; she got pregnant in high school, dropped out to raise daughter Melody, and has worked as a cleaning woman for a nursing home. She didn't mind while Melody was young and still happy to spend her time with Mom. But now an adolescent, Melody is critical, has odd friends, is drinking and having sex. Cerise finds some consolation in an affair that produces baby Travis, but, though he's adorable, she needs to work when her welfare payments end. Shortly after, Melody runs off with her friends, Travis dies in a fire, Cerise loses everything and must move into a shelter-in the same town where Anna now lives. The two meet when Anna is checking out day care for her daughters, and they're briefly able to help each other move on. Deftly rendered portraits of two "poster Moms" of today. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Jean Hegland

Jean Hegland was born in Washington State, but now lives near Healdsburg, California on 55 acres of second-growth forest with her husband and three children. As well as raising and home-schooling her children she teaches English and Creative Writing at Santa Rosa Junior College. Her highly-praised first novel, Into The Forest, was published in 1998.

Books By Author Jean Hegland

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