Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Freebie: Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg

Congratulations to Ben Brody, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter and The Great War by Joe Sacco.

This week's book giveaway is Isle of Youth, the new short story collection by Laura van den Berg.  I've already waxed enthusiastic about Laura's new book here at the blog, so I'll just add a few words about Isle of Youth from her publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux:
Laura van den Berg’s gorgeous new book, The Isle of Youth, explores the lives of women mired in secrecy and deception. From a newlywed caught in an inscrutable marriage, to private eyes working a baffling case in South Florida, to a teenager who assists her magician mother and steals from the audience, the characters in these bewitching stories are at once vulnerable and dangerous, bighearted and ruthless, and they will do what it takes to survive. Each tale is spun with elegant urgency, and the reader grows attached to the marginalized young women in these stories—women grappling with the choices they’ve made and searching for the clues to unlock their inner worlds. This is the work of a fearless writer whose stories feel both magical and mystical, earning her the title of “sorceress” from her readers. Be prepared to fall under her spell.
And check out this great blurb from Kathryn Schulz at New York Magazine: "The Isle of Youth, is a smart, fun, noir-y treasure map of where families hide their secrets and lost souls hide themselves.  Van den Berg somehow packs a duffel bag of plot into carry-on-size stories.  She also has the right kind of range: from brutal to moving to funny, South America to Paris to Antarctica, really great to freaking outstanding."  Whether you win the contest or not, trust me when I say:
You.  Need.  This.  Book.

If you'd like a chance at winning both Isle of Youth, simply 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 Nov. 14, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Nov. 15.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week 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.

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