Author(s): Frances de Pontes Peebles
Emilia and Luzia dos Santos, orphaned when they are children, grow up under the protection of their aunt in the hillside village of Taquaritinga, Brazil. Raised as seamstresses, the sisters learn how to cut, how to mend and how to conceal. Emilia treasures pretty, girlish things and longs to escape from the confines of the little town. Captivated by the romances she reads in magazines, she dreams of finding love in the bustle and glamour of the city. Luzia, scarred by a childhood accident that has left her with a deformed arm, knows that for her, real life can not be romantically embroidered, and so she finds solace in her sewing and in the secret prayers to the saints she believes once saved her life. But when Luzia is abducted by a gang of rebel bandits, the sisters' lives diverge in ways they never imagined.Whilst Luzia learns to survive in the unforgiving Brazilian outland, discovering love in the most unexpected of places, Emilia meets the son of a wealthy doctor who seems to offer her everything she has always desired. But for the innocent dreamer, the excitement of her escape to the city is soon overshadowed by disillusion and loneliness.
Winner of the Elle Grand Prix 2008 A huge summer lead title for HarperCollins US Rights have been sold in Italy, Holland, France and Germany For fans of Ann Patchett and Isabel Allende
'Lavishly detailed ... the leisurely pace and attention to detail immerse the reader in both gilded halls and unsavory bandit camps' Publishers Weekly 'This engrossing historical saga of Brazil in the 1920s and 1930s ... the novel's true beauty is the exquisitely realized relationship between Emilia and Luzia, two strong women who, despite the separate paths their lives take, remain connected and committed to each other' Library Journal 'Wonderfully descriptive, both of emotions and the wild interior of northern Brazil. But its success lies in the portrayal of sisterhood - the love, jealousy and earnest loyalty of sororal love' Psychologies 'Fans of Isabel Allende will find much to recommend in this saga, with its fully realized characters, gripping moral quandaries, tense drama, and lyrical descriptive prose' ELLE
Frances de Pontes Peebles was born in Pernambuco, Brazil. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she has received several awards and her short stories have appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, the Indiana Review, the Missouri Review and the O. Henry Prize Story Collection 2005.