THE WRITE STUFF
Christopher Rice returns to New Orleans in his first-ever supernatural novel The Heavens Rise (Gallery Books, $26), featuring a group of teenagers who find themselves with mysterious and dangerous powers. Deep in the swamps outside of town, Niquette Delongpre and her family uncover a well on their property—a well that has roots all the way down into the soils of the Mississippi River. A well that brings ancient things to surface, things that should have stayed buried. When Niquette is exposed to a small parasite, it triggers in her mysterious and dangerous powers. As she tries to come to grips with these new abilities and what they might mean for her future, she realizes that she is not alone. Someone else, someone who was exposed to the same parasite during a clandestine visit to the swamp Niquette would rather keep secret, also is discovering his new talents, and he’s not as nice as she is. A treat, not a trick.
FOR THE RECORD
The story of Noël Coward's life told through song and biographical snippets, Cowardy Custard (Arkiv Music) started as part of the City of London Festival in 1972 running for more than a year. Featuring songs and scenes from Coward's works of the ‘20s through the ‘60s, the disc includes “You Were There,” "Mad About the Boy," "The Stately Homes of England," "I Wonder What Happened to Him?" and–perhaps most memorably–"Marvelous Party," sung by Patricia Routledge. Recorded by the original cast of the Mermaid Theatre production, this double-disc set has been released exclusively for purchase via MasterworksBroadway.com in a limited quantity of Manufacture-on-Demand CDs as well as digital download.
DVD QUICK PICK
A sweeping saga that will resonate with Anglophiles everywhere, Parade's End is brilliant in its exploration of a bygone England, spanning from the Edwardian era to the chaos and destruction of World War I. Based on four related novels by Ford Madox Ford published in the 1920s, the 5-part HBO miniseries was adapted for the small screen by acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard who vividly captures the devastation of war and the end of Edwardian ideals, bridging the gap between feudal England and the dawn of modernism.
Set over a tumultuous ten-year period 100 years ago, Parade's End centers around honorable English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Golden Globe nominee Benedict Cumberbatch), who puts principles first by marrying Sylvia (Golden Globe nominee Rebecca Hall), a pretty, manipulative socialite who gives birth to a child who may not be his. While enduring his new wife's whims and overt indiscretions, Tietjens finds himself captivated by a fearless young suffragette, Valentine Wannop (Adelaide Clemens), but refuses to give in to their mutual passion or end his marriage to Sylvia. Experiencing war and the far-reaching changes to the English class system as well as being drawn to the possibility of a future where honor and passion might co-exist, Tietjens gradually lets go of the ties that bind him to the traditions of his privileged past.