A Question Mark Is Half a Heart
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
On Sale: March 23, 2021
Hardcover / e-Book
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Women's Fiction Contemporary
How deeply can you love when your heart is full of secrets?
A sweeping, propulsive family story about a woman learning to love, from the bustle of New York’s fashion scene to a remote, windswept Swedish island, by the acclaimed author of The Red Address Book—“a love letter to the human heart.”
By age 50, Elin Boals has created for herself a perfect life: her wildly successful business as Manhattan’s preeminent fashion photographer is flourishing. Her handsome, patient husband is devoted to her; her teenaged daughter, Alice, has been accepted to the ballet academy of her dreams. But then Elin receives an innocuous looking envelope. Folded inside is a star-chart, with an address written by a familiar hand.
Shaken, Elin begins to have startling flashbacks, to a life very different from the childhood in a Paris bookstore that she has so lovingly recounted to Alice. In these images, a poverty-stricken little girl cares for her two ragged baby brothers, laughing with her family on the good days, sheltering them from her mother’s sadness and her father’s wrath on the bad days. Elin also remembers vivid walks with a young classmate, Fredrik, whose steadfast friendship and starlit confidences shaped her young life. As Elin becomes consumed by these memories, though, her New York life begins to crumble dramatically. Finally, her family’s troubling questions drive her to face, at last, the brutal secret from her past.
At once a heartwarming family story and a page-turning mystery, A Question Mark Is Half a Heart traces a surprising journey across continents to reconciliation, and toward finding a true sense of home.
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