Louise Shaffer follows her beloved novels The Three Miss Margarets and The Ladies of Garrison Gardens with an unforgettable tale of poignancy, wit, and high drama.
Katie Harder and Randa Jennings live on opposite coasts, have never met, and have almost nothing in common–except that they’re both named after Shakespearean characters. Everything Katie has ever done or possessed–her New York City co-op, her career as a writer for a daytime drama–was given to her by her late mother, in her day a flamboyant soap opera queen. Randa, on the other hand, has escaped the trappings of a difficult past and forged a life as a single mom, juggling her work as a Hollywood business manager with the needs of her precocious eleven-year-old daughter.
Life takes an unpredictable turn for these two strangers when they jointly inherit the century-old Venable Opera House, a stately but run-down theater in small-town Georgia. Puzzled at this peculiar legacy, Katie and Randa are at first eager to unload their white elephant. But as they spend more time in the old theater, they come to realize that a rich heritage is at stake. A line of strong women–starting with Juliet Venable in the late nineteenth century–has been responsible for keeping the grand old place up and running. In the face of huge obstacles, including a dying theater culture and their own personal struggles, these singular women have gone to drastic measures to keep the opera house in the family–including burying a devastating family secret that could destroy the carefully cultivated Venable legend forever.
Now, as a local contractor seeks to tear down the landmark, Katie and Randa must decide not only if they want to unravel their mysterious connection to the theater and maintain its tradition but if they have what it takes to keep the Venable family legacy alive.
A sprawling page-turner about maintaining family honor and lifelong dreams, Family Acts is Louise Shaffer’s most powerful and assured novel to date.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Family Acts|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Ballantine Books|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Family Acts|
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New York City 2006
Some genius at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences decided that that they should do a tribute to Katie’s mother at the daytime Emmy Awards ceremony that spring. At first, the timing was a mystery to Katie. Her mother, Rosalind Harder, had died four years earlier, and she’d retired three years before that. In the world of television, seven years was a lifetime. But when she thought about it, Katie understood. Daytime television was in trouble, audiences were shrinking, and two shows teetered on the brink of cancellation. There wasn’t a hell of a lot for the academy to celebrate, so why not take a few minutes to remind everyone of the good old days when Rosalind Harder had over forty million loyal fans tuning in to watch her play Tess Jones on the massively popular soap opera All Our Lives?
They asked Katie, who worked as a writer for All Our Lives, to speak at the tribute. Katie dutifully penned a ten-minute speech that captured the charismatic woman who had been her mother, while not dwelling on the fact that the late Rosalind Harder could also be, in the words of one of her harried producers, “the diva from the dark side.” When she finished writing the speech, even Katie realized it was one of her best efforts. Which meant it was damn good—her standards for her own work tended to be pretty brutal.
In honor of the great event, Katie had her nails done, renewed her prescription for her contact lenses so she wouldn’t have to wear her glasses, and, in a moment of wild abandon, bought a new evening dress. The saleswoman admitted it was an “unusual” shade of green, but she assured Katie that the skirt was...