By the #1 bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, Swan
is a haunting novel set in the deep South—a resonant tale of long-buried family
secrets and mysteries brought suddenly to light.
In her celebrated memoirs of life in Tuscany, Frances Mayes
writes masterfully about people in a powerful and shaping place. In Swan, her first novel, she has created
an equally intimate world, rich with striking characters and intriguing twists
of fate that hearkens back to her southern roots.
The Masons are a prominent but now fragmented family who
have lived for generations in Swan, an edenic, hidebound small town in Georgia.
As Swan opens, a bizarre crime pulls
Ginger Mason home from her life as an archeologist in Italy: the body of her
mother, Catherine—a suicide nineteen years before—has been mysteriously
exhumed. Reunited on new terms with her troubled, isolated brother J. J., who
has never ventured far from Swan, the Mason children grapple with the profound
effects of their mother’s life and death on their own lives. When a new
explanation for Catherine’s death emerges, and other closely guarded family
secrets rise to the surface as well, Ginger and J. J. are confronted with
startling truths about their family, a particular ordeal in a family and a town
that wants to keep the past buried.
Beautifully evoking the rhythms and idiosyncrasies of the deep South while telling an utterly compelling story of the complexity of family ties, Swan marks the remarkable fiction debut of one of America’s best-loved writers.
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