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October 29 , 2008

The Carriage House


Jane Austen's Persuasion is brought into the twenty-first century by Louisa Hall in The Carriage House, a stunning novel of family and forgiveness, set in contemporary suburban America.

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Elizabeth, Diana and Izzy, three sisters who have lived a privileged life in suburban America are the pride and joy of their father William. All three were tennis prodigies as children, popular, and successful at school: they seemed destined for greatness.

But the idyllic façade masks a family who is in turmoil - their mother is suffering with early onset Alzheimer's which is making Izzy spiral out of control, Diana is failing her career, Elizabeth feels trapped by her domesticity and their father is still in love with his old sweetheart, Adelia.

When William is suddenly taken ill, he reveals that he has lost faith in the things he had once held closest to his heart: the promise of his gifted daughters and his grandfather's beautiful carriage house, now lost to the family.

Devastated by his disappointment in them and desperate to make their father proud, the sisters band together to restore his beloved carriage house which is now dilapidated, unloved and under threat of demolition by the neighbourhood association, and to re-build a family in disarray.

Touching, intelligent and compassionate, The Carriage House is a drama about family, relationships and forgiveness - and, most importantly, that it is never too late to make amends.

'Louisa Hall writes about the wars waged between neighbours and family members with extraordinary sympathy and a keen sense of humour. Part Jane Austen, part John Cheever, this tale of upheaval in a suburban Philadelphia household marks the debut of a stunning new writer' Philipp Meyer, author of American Rust

'Every sentence in The Carriage House is full of clarity, attention, and grace. Louisa Hall is a writer to be admired' Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

'The Carriage House is gorgeously detailed and rife with betrayal, heartbreak, nostalgia, lost love, and possibilities for redemption. You will ache for the Adair family, cringe at their mistakes, and plead with them to make peace with each other before it's too late. In her smart and insightful debut, Louisa Hall examines the ways in which we fail and forgive others-and ourselves' Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise

Louisa Hall was born in Philadelphia in 1982 and grew up in the nearby suburb of Haverford. She graduated from Harvard in 2004 and went on to play squash professionally for three years. She is now completing her Ph.D. in literature at the University of Texas at Austin, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her poems have been published in journals such as The New Republic, The Southwest Review, and Ellipsis. The Carriage House is her first novel.

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