The Beginners

By Rebecca Wolff
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594487996, 304pp.)

Publication Date: June 30, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description

The chilling, hypnotically beautiful story of a girl whose coming of age is darkened by the secret history of her small New England town.

Theo and Raquel Motherwell are the only newcomers to the sleepy town of Wick in fifteen-year-old Ginger Pritt's memory. Hampered by a lingering innocence while her best friend, Cherry, grows more and more embroiled with boys, Ginger is instantly attracted to the worldliness and sophistication of this dashing couple.

But the Motherwells may be more than they seem. As Ginger's keen imagination takes up the seductive mystery of their past, she also draws closer to her town's darker history-back to the days of the Salem witch trials-and every new bit of information she thinks she understands leads only to more questions. Who-or what-exactly, are the Motherwells? And what is it they want with her?

Both a lyrical coming-of-age story and a spine-tingling tale of ghostly menace, The Beginners introduces Rebecca Wolff as an exciting new talent in fiction.




About the Author

Rebecca Wolff is an award-winning poet and the founding editor of Fence and Fence Books. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and is the author of three books of poems. She has published in The Nation, The Paris Review, and A Public Space. Wolff lives in Athens, New York.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. The Beginners is filled with emotionally messy and seemingly prophetic dreams. Are these early dreams hints at what’s to come, or warnings? How do these dreams, especially those concerning death and friendship, play a role in the story?




Praise For The Beginners

"A meticulous and pitch-perfect fever dream of adolescence, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson remixed by Mary Gaitskill."
-Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude and Chronic City

"Original, electric, and fearless . . . Every page of The Beginners shimmers with the intensity of language shaped around, aimed at, what can't be said or explained within the convention of a haunted New England town and its teenage antiheroine."
-Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man and Trouble

"What a marvel, what a wonder, is this novel. It made me think of Rilke in collaboration with Emily Brontë. . . . Ravishing."
-Peter Straub, author of Shadowland and A Dark Matter

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