September 2010

What makes someone extraordinary?

By Nancy Werlin
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Phoebe is the youngest in a long line of Rothschilds, the eminent Jewish family that, over the course of more than 200 years, has attained wealth, power and a degree of protection even as the world has been in turmoil around them. Everyone agrees that the Rothschilds are an extraordinary family, filled with those, like Phoebe’s mother Catherine, who hold positions of power and prestige.

But what if Phoebe is nothing special? Just ordinary? Would she still be worthy of her family’s name? These questions haunt her, especially once she meets Mallory, an odd new girl at school who seems desperately in need of Phoebe’s friendship and support. By the time the girls are juniors in high school, they are more like sisters than friends. Phoebe is sure nothing could separate them—that is, until Mallory’s aloof, alluring brother Ryland moves to town. Phoebe falls under his spell, and Mallory must stand by, helpless, as Ryland not only drives the best friends apart but does his best to destroy Phoebe’s self-confidence.

For Mallory, too, is complicit in Ryland’s devious plans, as the otherworldly siblings intend to use Phoebe to fulfill a longstanding debt owed to the inhabitants of Faerie by one of Phoebe’s Rothschild ancestors. When faced with a horrific choice, will Phoebe prove herself extraordinary? And can the girls’ friendship endure through the lies and betrayal?

With Extraordinary, Nancy Werlin, long known for her Edgar Award-winning suspense novels, returns to the faerie realm she first began to explore in her last novel, Impossible. Both books stand alone but share thematic interests in human responsibility, loyalty and the persistence of history. Werlin adeptly explores the interconnections between the realms of humans and faeries, creating not only a rich fantasy world but also an examination of family, religious heritage and friendship that transcends genre. Werlin’s faerie novels are haunting, suspenseful and provocative; readers are sure to hope for another opportunity to venture with her into the faerie realm.

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By Nancy Werlin
ISBN 9780803733725

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