Cruel Beautiful World

Cruel Beautiful World

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"A seductive page-turner that ripples with an undercurrent of suspense." --The Boston Globe

"A seamless triumph of storytelling." --Gail Godwin, author of Flora

It's 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have frightening repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy's default caretaker for most of their lives, Charlotte has always been burdened by having to be the responsible one, but never more so than when Lucy's dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare.

With precise, haunting prose and indelible characters, Cruel Beautiful World examines the infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty, and most of all, tells a universal story of sisterhood and the complicated legacy of family.

"Absorbing." --The New York Times Book Review

"Captivating."--Los Angeles Times

"Engrossing." --People

"Page-turning suspense." --New York Journal of Books

"Riveting." --Marie Claire

"Marvelous."--The National Book Review

"Hauntingly brilliant." --Coastal Living

"Gripping and suspenseful." --BookPage

"Moving." --The Washington Post

Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781616203634
Branch Call Number: LEAVITT
Characteristics: 357 pages ; 22 cm


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ehbooklover Jul 18, 2017

This book was a customer recommendation. In short: It was amazing. I absolutely loved it and could not put it down. The characters, the story, the writing...just EVERYTHING. It will definitely make an appearance on my “Best of 2017” list.

Jan 07, 2017

I wouldn't recommend this novel. The time period doesn't really fit what is going on with the characters. Also this family has too many secrets which lead to a very predictable story.

Dec 19, 2016

Caroline Leavitt creates another slice-of-life story about three sisters in 1970s Pennsylvania who are bound by love, but separated by secrets. When Lucy, the youngest, runs off with her older, Sven Gali-esque high school teacher, sisters Iris and Charlotte are left behind to deal with the aftermath.

I enjoy Leavitt's clean, simple storytelling and real-life characters. If you are a fan of "domestic" fiction or books about regular people, Leavitt won't disappoint. She throws in some elements of intrigue and romance to satisfy a broad range of readers.

(I read this in hardcover, but also read parts of it using Hoopla's ebook and audiobook copies.)

Dec 15, 2016

Charlotte and Lucy are two teenage sisters at opposite ends of the traditional academic success curve, until the daring Lucy meets an encouraging rebellious teacher, starts writing, and runs away with him when she is sixteen. The novel turns innocent to dark to nostalgic, and keeps you turning the pages, even though too many parallel backstories break the artful story structure after midpoint, and leave 70s context dangling.


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