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Julia Alvarez, author of Afterlife

Antonia Vega, the immigrant writer at the center of AFTERLIFE, has had the rug pulled out from under her. She has just retired from the college where she taught English when her beloved husband, Sam, suddenly dies. And then more jolts: her bighearted but unstable sister disappears, and Antonia returns home one evening to find a pregnant, undocumented teenager on her doorstep. Antonia has always sought direction in the literature she loves --- lines from her favorite authors play in her head like a soundtrack --- but now she finds that the world demands more of her than words.

Week of April 5, 2021

Paperback releases for the week of April 5th include BIG SUMMER by Jennifer Weiner, a deliciously funny and remarkably poignant novel about the power of friendship, the lure of frenemies, and the importance of making peace with yourself through all of life’s ups and downs; JACK, the fourth entry in Marilynne Robinson's now-classic series set in the world of Gilead, which tells the story of John Ames Boughton, the prodigal son of Gilead’s Presbyterian minister, and his romance with Della Miles, a high school teacher who is also the child of a preacher; A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA, Isabel Allende's masterful work of historical fiction that follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home; and PRETTY THINGS, a page-turner from Janelle Brown in which two wildly different women --- one a grifter, the other an heiress --- are brought together by the scam of a lifetime.