ANGRY WOMAN SUITE
in a crumbling New England mansion by four women with personalities as split as
a cracked mirror, young Francis Grayson has an obsessive need to fix them all.
There’s his mother, distant and beautiful Magdalene; his disfigured,
suffocating Aunt Stella; his odious grandmother; and the bane of his existence,
his abusive and delusional Aunt Lothian.
years, Francis plays a tricky game of duck and cover with the women, turning to
music to stay sane. He finds a friend and mentor in Aidan Madsen, schoolmaster,
local Revolutionary War historian, musician and keeper of the Grayson women’s
darkest secrets. In a skillful move by Fullbright, those secrets are revealed
through the viewpoints of three different people–Aidan, Francis and
Francis’stepdaughter, Elyse–adding layers of eloquent complexity to a story as
powerful as it is troubling.
Francis realizes his dream of forming his own big band in the 1940s, his
success is tempered by the inner monster of his childhood, one that roars to
life when he marries Elyse’s mother. Elyse becomes her stepfather’s favorite
target, and her bitterness becomes entwined with a desire to know the real
Aidan’s part, his involvement with the Grayson family only deepens, and secrets
carried for a lifetime begin to coalesce as he seeks to enlighten Francis–and
subsequently Elyse–of why the events of so many years ago matter now. The
ugliness of deceit, betrayal and resentment permeates the narrative, yet
there are shining moments of hope, especially in the relationship between Elyse
and her grandfather.
as more of the past filters into the present, the question becomes: What is the
truth, and whose version of the truth is correct? Fullbright never untangles
this conundrum, and it only adds to the richness of this exemplary novel.—Kirkus Reviews
I’m ready for, Aidan. I’m ready for the top floor.” His eyebrows shot up.
Grayson House. I’m ready for it. I’m really ready.”
emphasized each word: “I’m ready to meet Jamie.”
out of that parlor then, and into the foyer and up the ten steps to the landing
where the grand staircase turned direction. I ran up the first flight, then
paused at the second landing, waiting for Aidan. When I glimpsed him behind me,
I turned and ran up the next flight, to the third floor, straight for the door
at the end of the hallway, next to the door that opened onto the outside
pinpoint this door as the one by the soft thumps I’d heard when I’d sneaked
into Papa’s room on the second floor—things nobody thought I’d hear—and by
watching from my spot across the road: the quick deliveries and arrivals, the
things and people nobody thought I’d see.
feeling anything, I was now so empty. No more
anger. Instead I was in tune with senses: the steady tick-tock of
the clock at the end of the otherwise soundless hallway, the wallpaper’s perfectly
vertical stripe, even an aromatic odor reminiscent of the appendectomy I’d had
when I was six—was it ether? And then, finally, Aidan’s ragged breathing when
he caught up with me. We were ready, in
position—and it was understood I’d assumed leadership: I’d go first.
doorknob. My opponent had just run through his resources.
family . . . in a skillful move by Fullbright, those secrets are
revealed through the viewpoints of three very different people . .
. a superb debut that exposes the consequences of the choices we make and
legacy’s sometimes excruciating embrace.”
2012 DISCOVERY AWARD
GLOBAL E-BOOK AWARD NOMINEE
From Midwest Book Review
“A very human story . . . a fine read
focusing on the long lasting dysfunction of family.”
“There is something fascinating in
labyrinthine plot twists, which is what we have here, and I must applaud
Fullbright for her keen and magical ability to pull it off with such
aplomb.”-Norm Goldman, Montreal Books Examiner and Bookpleasures.com
5 Stars ***** Reviewed by Joana James for
Readers Favorite: “The
Angry Woman Suite is quite a ride . . . very cleverly written . . . an
Rating: 5.0 stars Reviewed by Anne B. for
Readers Favorite: Lee Fullbright is master of
Rating: 5.0 stars Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite:“The Angry Woman Suite is a brilliant, complex,
complicated story about talented, complicated people . . . this is a story
Fullbright, a medical practice consultant in her non-writing life, lives on San
Diego’s beautiful peninsula with her writing partner, Baby Rae, a 12-year-old
rescued Australian cattle dog with attitude.
pick, 5-starred Readers Favorite, and a Discovery Aware winner, is her first