Tourmaline by Joanna Scott
A Novel

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A vividly imagined new novel from award-winning Scott. In the mid-1950s, an American family travels to an island off the coast of Italy to make a fortune in gemstones.

About Joanna Scott

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Joanna Scott is the author of nine books, including The Manikin, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Various Antidotes and Arrogance, which were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and the critically acclaimed Make Believe, Tourmaline, and Liberation. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Lannan Award, she lives with her family in upstate New York.
Published September 3, 2007 by Back Bay Books. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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The parallels that emerge between the great Napoleon and the muddling American father, Murray, fail disastrously to pull the story ahead, and the melodrama intended to help—an aristocratic local girl disappears, Murray coming under suspicion—does as much to freeze the tale as free it.

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A few of Scott's departures from traditional narrative are tiresome, especially the pages devoted to the inner thoughts of an elderly British historian as he dies, but details of Elba's rich history, and particularly of Napoleon's exile there, are artfully woven into the narrative.

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