Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday Freebie: The Darlings by Cristina Alger, This Will Be Difficult to Explain by Johanna Skibsrub, and All That I Am by Anna Funder

Congratulations to Jim Mastro, winner of last week's book giveaway: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

This week's Friday* Freebie is another triple treat.  One lucky reader will win a copy of all three of these books: The Darlings by Cristina Alger, This Will Be Difficult to Explain: And Other Stories by Johanna Skibsrub, and All That I Am by Anna Funder.

The Darlings is being called a Bonfire of the Vanities for our times.  Since he married Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to all the luxuries of Park Avenue. But a tragic event is about to catapult the Darling family into the middle of a massive financial investigation and a red-hot scandal. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties really lie. Debut novelist Cristina Alger is a former analyst at Goldman Sachs, an attorney, and the daughter of a Wall Street financier. Drawing on her unique insider's perspective, Alger gives us an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society—and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions that powerfully echoes Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children and reads like a fictional Too Big to Fail.

In This Will Be Difficult to Explain, nine loosely connected and hypnotic stories introduce an unforgettable cast of characters. A young maid at a hotel in France encounters a man who asks to paint her portrait, only later discovering that the man is someone other than who she thinks. A divorced father, fearing estrangement from his thirteen-year-old daughter, allows her to take the wheel of his car, realizing too late that he’s made a grave mistake. A Canadian girl and her French host stumble on the one story that transcends their language barrier. Youth confronted with the mutterings of old age, restlessness bounded by the muddy confines of a backyard garden, callow hope coming up against the exigencies of everyday life—these are life-defining moments that weave throughout the everyday lives of the remarkable characters in this book. Time and again they find themselves confronted with what they didn’t know they didn’t know, at the exact point of intersection between impossibility and desire. In This Will Be Difficult to Explain Skibsrud has created a series of masterful, perceptive tales.

In All That I Am, award-winning author Anna Funder delivers an affecting and beautifully evocative debut novel about a group of young German exiles who risk their lives to awaken the world to the terrifying threat of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Based on real-life events and people, All That I Am brings to light the heroic, tragic, and true story of a small group of left-wing German social activists who mounted a fierce and cunning resistance from their perilous London exile, in a novel that fans of Suite Francaise, The Piano Teacher, and Atonement will find irresistible and unforgettable.  Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin, praised the novel by calling it “an intimate exploration of human connection and our responsibility to one another.”

If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of The Darlings, This Will Be Difficult to Explain, and All That I Am, all you have to do is email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on March 28at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on March 29.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.

*No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you--this Friday Freebie is being posted on Saturday.  Chalk it up to my broken arm and the fact that I was on the road this week with readings at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, Powell's in Portland, and Elliott Bay in Seattle.  I got a little behind on blog maintenance.

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