"NAL Accent conversation guide included"--Spine.
From the acclaimed author of Pack Up the Moon comes a poignant and beautiful novel about love, loss, and the unbreakable bonds of family-particularly those between mothers, daughters, and sisters.
Ten years ago, Nora Glass started writing essays about being a single mother of a six-year-old daughter. Her weekly column made her a household name, and over the years, her fans have watched Ellie grow from a toddler to a teenager.
But now Nora is facing a problem that can't be overcome. Diagnosed with a devastating disease that will eventually take away who she is, she is scared for herself, but even more frightened about what this will mean for her sixteen-year-old daughter.
Now Nora has no choice but to let go of her hard-won image as a competent, self-assured woman, and turn to the one person who has always relied on her- her twin sister, Mariana. Nora and Mariana couldn't be more different from one another, and they've always had a complicated relationship. But now the two sisters will have to summon the strength to help them all get through a future none of them could have ever imagined, while uncovering the joy and beauty that was always underneath.
Rachael Herron has been knitting since she was five year
Rachael Herron has been knitting since she was five years old. She writes the popular website Yarnagogo.com and lives old. She writes the popular website Yarnagogo.com and lives in Oakland, California. s in Oakland, California.
"A poignant, profound ode to the enduring and redemptive power of love. Very much like Lisa Genova's Still Alice (although the writing here is better!), this title is sure to resonate with fans of...Jodi Picoult and Genova and will have the book clubs lining up."--Library Journal "Beautifully written and heartbreakingly real, Splinters of Light is a compelling examination of how the bonds between women--sisters, mothers, daughters--are tested by tragedy. The Glass family women will have you smiling in recognition and then grieving, laughing and (consider yourself warned) sobbing along with them right up to the heartfelt ending."--L. Alison Heller, author of The Never Never Sisters
"In Splinters of Light, Rachel Herron gives her audience an awesome book that grabs the reader by the heartstrings and wrings emotions from the soul in the form of tears as she expertly slices up the reality of life as seen through the eyes of a teenager, a mother and a sister."--Carolyn Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Long, Hot Texas Summer
"With this profoundly moving, compelling tale of a woman who is on the verge of losing everything, Rachael Herron will break your heart and then mend it again, leaving you stronger than before."--Holly Robinson, author of Beach Plum Island
Praise for Pack Up the Moon "Herron is an inexhaustible champion of the healing power of love."-Sophie Littlefield, National Bestselling Author "Filled with fiercely honest emotion, a celebration of the power of love to heal even the most broken of hearts."-Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author "Herron writes beautifully about the love between a parent and child...A wonderful...read about love, loss, forgiveness and family."- The Gazette "A heartbreaking story of loss and family that achieves an optimistic feel in the end....The language [is] poetic and moving at many points."- RT Book Reviews
PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF RACHAEL HERRON Written by today''s freshest new talents and selected by New American Library, NAL Accent novels touch on subjects close to a woman''s heart, from friendship to family to finding our place in the world. The Conversation Guides included in each book are intended to enrich the individual reading experience, as well as encourage us to explore these topics together--because books, and life, are meant for sharing. Also by Rachael Herron Acknowledgments While writing acknowledgments for any book, I''m always overwhelmed at how many people make a book. My deepest thanks go to my editor, Danielle Perez, for knowing what needed to be stripped away to make my characters truly come to life. Thanks as always to Susanna Einstein, one of my favorite people and the best agent in the world. I promise I''ll try not to make you cry like that again. Thanks to Dana Kaye, for being the best publicist ever. I thank the crew at Zocalo, who keep me going with coffee and grins: Evelyn, Tom, Winnie, Cathy, Kat, Buddy, Ed, and everyone else. Thanks go to A. J. Larrieu, who knows her epigenetics from her heritability (any errors in science are mine alone). Thanks to one of my favorite firefighters, Lucas Hirst, who gave me lots of info I chose not to use, and thanks to my coworkers/friends at the firehouse, who, when I have to go do writing business, cover my shifts for me without complaining (within my earshot, anyway). Huge thanks to Rebecca Beeson, who endured many twin questions and is a beautiful writer herself. To Sophie Littlefield, thank you for propping me up so much during the writing of this book that I should probably build you a flying buttress or something. To Cari Luna, thank you for loving me even after I stole your rocks. To Lala Hulse, always, my love and gratitude for everything--I couldn''t do any of this without you, not one single little bit. And to my sisters, Christy and Bethany Herron, who are and always will be my two best friends. You are the ones I will never let go. Chapter One EXCERPT, WHEN ELLIE WAS LITTLE: OUR LIFE IN HOLIDAYS, PUBLISHED 2011 BY NORA GLASS New Year''s Eve When Ellie was little, she and I changed all the rules. After my husband left, it was just me and my little girl (and my twin sister, but she''s implied in everything I do). The cozy insularity of our little nuclear family became something to be feared overnight. Members of the PTA looked at me as if my husband''s abandonment were something catching. If Paul had died, we would have received condolence calls, hamburger casseroles, and brownies made from scratch. But because he moved fifty miles east with Bettina the blond bookkeeper, because he started a new roofing company and a new family all at once, all we got were pitying looks in the school parking lot and small, halfhearted waves. So we changed all the rules, starting with the hardest part: the holidays. This is how we do New Year''s Eve at my house. We don''t go out. I''m scared of driving with all the drunks on the road after midnight, and besides, why would you start a New Year anywhere but in your own home, where you feel the safest, the most loved? (Once, when she was eight, Ellie begged to be allowed to spend New Year''s Eve at her friend Samantha''s house, but she didn''t even make it till nine p.m. before calling me to come get her. "Lemon and honey, Mama," she said. "They don''t do that here.") We get to do whatever we want on New Year''s Eve. There''s so very little left of the year to damage that we figure if we spend the evening watching the entire Die Hard series, no one will mind. We eat what we want, too. Sick of holiday candy and chocolate by that point, we choose things at the grocery store like fancy pickles and ham poked with rosemary sprigs. We like ropes of salty black licorice that we get at a candy store on Tiburon Boulevard. The girls behind the counter always wince when we ask for half a pound, and once one of them admitted we were the only ones she''d ever sold it to. I make a sweet, fruity bread similar to German stollen that''s supposed to be eaten for breakfast, but we eat it for dinner instead, sliced thinly, served cold, and slathered thickly with butter. I can eat six pieces before I start to feel sick, and Ellie, as small as she is, can pack away even more. We also get to wear whatever we want. One year Ellie wore a blue two-piece bathing suit with a pink tutu. I wouldn''t let her get too close to the fireplace for fear a spark would set her entire acrylic ensemble ablaze. When she got cold, she wrapped my black terry robe around her thin shoulders and trailed the length of it behind her like a vampire cloak. In more recent years, we''ve taken to having a pajama party. New pajamas are de rigueur, carefully bought with the New Year in mind. Last year mine were dark blue, covered with grumpy-looking sheep wearing sweaters. Ellie''s were green flannel with cowboys roping monkeys. When the time grows near, we don''t watch the prerecorded ball drop in New York. Even at a distance, it''s too much of a party for us homebodies, my daughter and me. Instead, we keep an anxious eye on the clock, as if it might not get all the way to midnight if we don''t watch it carefully. Both of us pretend no one else has slipped into the New Year yet. New Zealand hasn''t already celebrated. New Yorkers aren''t already in bed. In our snug home above Belvedere Cove, we are the first in the whole world to greet the early seconds of a newly minted year. Then my Ellie goes to the front door and, with great solemnity, opens it to let the year inside. We make our tea, and this is the most important step. It springs from a New Year''s Eve when Ellie was sick with the flu, sicker than she''d ever been. She was four. Paul had left us a month before. I''d hoped Ellie would sleep through the night so I could cry alone on the couch at midnight as I watched happy couples kiss in Times Square. But instead, she woke and came out of her room. She stumbled over the long feet of her favorite bunny-footed pajamas, coughing so hard she sounded like a dog barking. I had a cooling cup of mint tea in front of me, and I had an idea. I carried her onto the back porch, where, under a full moon, she picked a lemon off our tree. We squeezed the whole thing into the mug, and then I let her add a big spoonful of honey to it. "Lemon," I said, "because the New Year might be a little sad, like a lemon is sour." "Because of Papa?" Her eyes were wet with another coughing fit. They were Paul''s eyes, so bright green it hurt to look at her sometimes. "Because he doesn''t want to be with us?" "With me, honey. You know he wants to be with you. Papa loves you." Paul, though, was too busy then soothing his very pregnant new wife to have any real time for his daughter, something that made me mad enough to spit acid in the direction of Modesto. "But we add honey because the year will be sweet, too." She was asleep ten minutes after drinking the tea, her breathing easier in her chest. Mine was easier, too, knowing she hurt less. I didn''t think she''d remember it, but the next year, when she was five, she put on the same footed pajamas, even though they were by then too small, and tucked her body into her favorite corner of the couch. She looked up at me. "Lemon and honey?" When my daughter kissed me at midnight that year, I missed my old life a tiny bit less than I had the previous New Year''s. Paul was becoming more and more adept at dodging phone calls from his first daughter as he busied himself with his new family, but his leaving us meant I got this little girl all to myself. A girl with his blond eyebrows and my concern for wrongs to be righted. A little girl who liked to suck the rinds of our homegrown lemons (making faces all the while) as much as she liked to lick the honey spoon I handed her in the kitchen. So this year, I wish you more honey than lemon. And I wish it for all your years to come. Chapter Two "I''m not wearing those," said Ellie. She remained where she was, lying flat on her back on her bed, her cell phone held above her face with a hand that floated, the phone seemingly weightless. Nora said, "But these are the ones you asked for." Ellie blew out her breath in a whoosh. "I was kidding ." How was Nora possibly supposed to know that? "I gave you the catalog a month ago and that''s what you stuck your Post-it note on." Nora had thought the light pink pajamas with the ducklings had looked impossibly juvenile for her sixteen-year-old daughter, but she''d felt a warm glow as she''d clicked buy. It was proof that her little girl could still be just that--little. She''d even started a column: "Big Girls Still Like Footie PJs." "I picked the ugliest pair of pajamas in the whole catalog and you thought I was serious," Ellie said. It wasn''t a question. The hurt was shallow--like a sharp jab under the nail--but it stung, nonetheless. "Okay, I''ll wear them, then." They were almost the same size, a fact that surprised Nora every time Ellie raided her closet. The phone jerked in her daughter''s hand. Good. She''d gotten a reaction, at least. "You can''t." "I could. Would you really mind that much?" Ellie sat up, tucking the phone under her thigh. "Aunt Mariana is coming over." "Yep." "I bet she won''t be wearing dumb baby pajamas." Nora''s twin, Mariana, still seemed cool to Ellie. Nora herself had lost the ability to be anything but pathetic to her daughter this year. No, that wasn''t quite true, she acknowledged to herself. Ellie also thought her mother was naive, overly enthusiastic about too many things, a