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   A Way from Home

A Way from Home

Author: Clark, Nancy Set In . . .
 Europe, Czech Republic, Prague, Africa, Libya
Genre: Fiction
Time Frame: 1990s
Published: 2005
Description: “Jane Austen is alive,” proclaimed The Christian Science Monitor upon the publication of Nancy Clark’s first novel, The Hills at Home, about a beleaguered WASP family. “Complex and extraordinary . . . The book succeeds brilliantly,” The New York Times Book Review announced. Clark’s new novel, a tale of Americans in and out of love abroad, confirms her dazzling storytelling gifts, taking up the adventures of a vexed and charming branch of the beloved Hill clan.

It is the summer of 1992, and the Lowes are living in a castle in Prague. While Alden manages a staff at the Czech Ministry of Finance and his increasingly disaffected wife, Becky, advises local woman entrepreneurs, their precocious daughter, Julie, is busy not learning Czech at Prague’s International Youth school–intent, instead, on pursuing her father’s right-hand man. This already precarious family life is suddenly upended when Becky flees south to Gaddafi’s Libya; there, at long last, she reunites with her mysterious William, the man who held her heart even as she married Alden twenty-one years ago.

Clark delights us not only with an unexpected middle-aged romance, but also with a dazzling canvas of place and history. She illustrates, from the crooked streets of Prague to the harsh Libyan desert, the myriad ways in which history–both global and personal––can shape our lives. How can the love-struck couple in Libya cope with the social implications of Becky’s flight? What happens to the doting husband and venturesome daughter in the mother’s sudden absence? Clark’s captivating answer is a witty, exuberant comedy about the waywardness of devotion and the elusive meaning of home.
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