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THE GILDED CHAMBER

For centuries her name has been a byword for feminine beauty, guile, and wisdom. This sweeping, meticulously researched novel restores Esther to her full, complex humanity while reanimating the glit­tering Persian Empire in which her story unfolded. Esther comes to that land as a terrified Jewish orphan betrothed to her cousin, a well-connected courtier. She finds a world racked by intrigue and unfathomable hatreds and realizes that the only way to survive is to win the heart of its king. Pas­sionate, suspenseful, and historically authentic, The Gilded Chamber illu­minates the dilemma of a woman torn between her heart and her sense of duty,

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POPE JOAN

For more than a millennium, her existence has been hidden and denied. But hers is the legend that will not die—Pope Joan, the woman who, disguised as a man, rose to rule Christianity in the ninth century as the one and only woman ever to sit on the Throne of St. Peter.

In this stirring international bestseller, Donna Woolfolk Cross brings the Dark Ages to life in all their brutal splendor, and shares the dramatic story of a woman who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept—a woman whose courage makes her a heroine for every age.

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MEAN GIRLS GROWN UP

Most women have experienced female aggression in one way or another, either as victim, aggressor, or bystander. In Mean Girls Grown Up, Cheryl Dellasega explores why women are often their own worst enemies, offering practical advice for dealing with aggressive behaviors in a variety of situations and for building healthy, positive relationships with other women.

Drawing upon extensive research and interviews, Dellasega shares stories from women around the world who have experienced relational aggression as well as the knowledge of experts have helped women over­come the bullying dynamic. From the PTA clique to the neighborhood carpool,

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THE SOUND OF BLUE

Sara Foster has left America for the adventure of lifetime— teaching English to the sons and daughters of statesmen in Hungary—but her idyllic adventure instead reveals a dark world of pain and redemption when she ends up teaching in a refugee camp. Sara discovers that one of her students is a celebrated composer and soon finds herself crossing the border to his war-torn homeland, determined to exonerate him for the death of his brother.

In a journey that takes her to Dubrovnik, a magnificent stone city on the Croatian Riviera, Sara contemplates her own identity, struggling to under­stand why the region’s ancient and extraordinary beauty belies a history of grief.

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GILEAD

Told through the eyes of a Midwestern minister nearing the end of his life, Gilead unfolds in the form of a letter. As Reverend Ames writes to his young son, we learn of the family’s legacy, a heritage steeped in abolition, economic hardship, and conflicting views on religion and war as each generation comes of age. The 1950s find John Ames comparing his grandfather, a fiery Union Army chaplain, to his devoutly pacifist father while a gentle turn of events poses the question of racial equality in new terms. Throughout the novel, he recalls a life shaped by love—for his faith,

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ONE LAST DANCE

Despite their disastrous first meeting, complete with a ruined birthday cake and insulting remarks, it was obvious to bystanders, even then, that Morgan, aged 89, and Dixie, 79, were fated for each other. The two begin to date and ultimately move in together—for economic reasons, they agree. But the business-only relationship changes and strengthens as the couple unite to combat illness, scandal, and a near-fatal accident.

The story is about finding love at any age, but also reveals how past in­securities, humiliations, and fears can haunt a person throughout his days. Dixie fears intimacy. Morgan has concealed important details about his divorce,

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