When the World Was Steady by Claire Messud

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In this highly acclaimed novel by the author of The Emperor’s Children, life isn’t all Emmy and Virginia Simpson might have hoped. When Emmy’s marriage to an Australian man ends, she flees her home in Sydney for the tropical paradise of Bali to “find herself”—only to become embroiled with an eclectic crew of international misfits and smugglers. Her sister Virginia, meanwhile, has never wandered far outside of London. Prim and pious, Virginia is struggling to find meaning in her life and her aging mother thinks a visit to the Isle of Skye is just what she needs. On these two islands halfway around the world, the middle-aged sisters confront their lives and their destinies with unexpected consequences.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs. 


About Claire Messud

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Claire Messud's most recent novel, The Emperor's Children, was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady, and her book of novellas, The Hunters, were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and her second novel, The Last Life, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Editor's Choice at The Village Voice. All four books were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Messud has been awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.
Published September 14, 2011 by Vintage. 274 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Two estranged sisters, their worlds turned upside-down, pursue separate quests for identity on exotic islands before being reunited in Messud's wonderfully observant debut novel. Emmy Simpson left Lon

Sep 04 1995 | Read Full Review of When the World Was Steady (Vi...

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