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End-of-the-Year Contest 2021

Congratulations to the winners of our 2021 End-of-the-Year Contest! One Grand Prize winner received all 44 of Carol Fitzgerald's Bets On picks from 2021, while 11 others won a selection of four of these titles. You can see all the winners below, along with 2021's Bets On books.

What Could Be Saved by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz

January 2021

I had heard about WHAT COULD BE SAVED by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz from bookseller friends since the summer --- and I had the pleasure of hearing Liese talk about it a few months ago.

The book opens in 2019. Laura Preston is an artist who has found some success, but also clearly is drifting. She is very different from her older sister, Bea, and her mother, who is being swept into dementia. Laura is contacted by someone claiming to know the whereabouts of her brother, Philip, who had disappeared when her family lived in Bangkok in the '70s. He was eight at the time. Against the wishes of her sister and her fiancé, Laura heads to Thailand to see what she will learn. And yes, she locates her brother. But the brother she finds is an adult, and there are lost decades between them. Just what happened to him?

Week of August 30, 2021

Paperback releases for the week of August 30th include HOME BEFORE DARK by Riley Sager, the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them --- even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting; Liese O’Halloran Schwarz's WHAT COULD BE SAVED, in which a woman must confront her family’s closely guarded secrets when a mysterious man claims to be her long-missing brother; ELI'S PROMISE, a masterful work of historical fiction from Ronald H. Balson that spans three eras --- Nazi-occupied Poland, the American Zone of post-war Germany, and Chicago at the height of the Vietnam War; and THE MYSTERY OF CHARLES DICKENS by A. N. Wilson, a lively and insightful biographical celebration of the imaginative genius of Charles Dickens, published in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of his death.

Liese O'Halloran Schwarz, author of What Could Be Saved

Washington, DC, 2019: Laura Preston is a reclusive artist at odds with her older sister, Bea, as their elegant, formidable mother slowly slides into dementia. When a stranger contacts Laura claiming to be her brother who disappeared 40 years earlier when the family lived in Bangkok, Laura ignores Bea’s warnings of a scam and flies to Thailand to see if it can be true. But meeting him in person leads to more questions than answers. Bangkok, 1972: Genevieve and Robert Preston raise their three children with the help of a cadre of servants. Robert works for American intelligence, Genevieve finds herself drawn into a passionate affair with her husband’s boss, and their serene household is vulnerable to unseen dangers in a rapidly changing world and a country they don’t really understand.