Alabaster Houses by Lara McLaughlin

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The story is perhaps Alabaster Houses‘ greatest strength: it’s surprising at almost every turn, but the plot twists never feel gratuitous or forced, as surprising as some of them may be.
-IndieReader

Synopsis

Sometimes, the least likely encounter changes everything... Jane Pepper is a thirty six year old editor in a small Baltimore press. Until the past year her life has been comfortable and enviable, but when her daughter develops leukemia, then accidentally dies, only Jane knows the reason for the accident. Keeping the secret may cost her her family, her career, and her sanity. Human rights photographer, Riva Hakim, the only child of multi-racial, multi-faith parents, has survived a volatile, itinerant childhood and loveless marriage to gain international acclaim for her work. Now, at fifty-two, and under contract to write her memoirs, she must put away her camera and find a way to frame the past before she can face the future. But that future is turned upside down the morning she finds a stranger named Jane Pepper on her doorstep. Spanning both sides of the Atlantic from Washington D.C. to the Canary Islands to Sudan, Alabaster Houses is the story of an unlikely friendship between two women who are both at a critical crossroad in life. Book Club discussion questions are included, and a link to videos featuring the author discussing her work.
 

About Lara McLaughlin

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Lara McLaughlin is currently winner of the 2011 Book of the Year Award for Multicultural Fiction and the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book award for her debut novel, Alabaster Houses. She is a past recipient of the Best Short Fiction award by Baltimore Sun Magazine, and has published short stories and non-fiction articles in various magazines, journals and collections. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Master in Writing Program, and former founder, administrator, and teacher at the Odyssey School in Stevenson, Maryland. She lives with her husband and family outside of Baltimore, and is working on her second novel.
 
Published May 7, 2011 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 344 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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IndieReader

Above average
Reviewed by Various on Jun 05 2013

The story is perhaps Alabaster Houses‘ greatest strength: it’s surprising at almost every turn, but the plot twists never feel gratuitous or forced, as surprising as some of them may be.

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