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Read This: The Valley of Amazement and The First Phone Call From Heaven

Amy Tan and Mitch Albom release their newest novels

Photo courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

November 28, 2013 | 12:00 a.m. CST

The Valley of Amazement
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Cost: $29.99
released: Nov. 5

Amy Tan, the best-selling author of the 1989 modern classic The Joy Luck Club, is releasing her first novel in eight years. Spanning more than 600 pages, The Valley of Amazement tells the story of a mother, Lucia, and her daughter, Violet, living in the early 1900s. Readers can anticipate similar themes found in this next book by Tan, who is known for her honest depiction of characters and prose that examines difficult and interesting family dynamics. Lucia and Violet battle the intense changes in society while toggling between China and the U.S. over a 50-year period. After Lucia moves from San Francisco to Shanghai, she finds herself working in a courtesan house. Meanwhile, Violet struggles with a mostly absent mother and the realities of growing up in China at the dawn of the new century. With a solid historical foundation and intricate characters, Tan takes readers on a turbulent journey across borders and generations.

The First Phone Call From Heaven
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Cost: $24.99
released: Nov. 12

You don’t recognize the number but pick up the phone anyway. There’s anticipation and hesitation in your voice as your “Hello?” echoes across the line. Maybe it is a wrong number or a telemarketer pushing credit cards. But imagine if the voice that answers your greeting comes from someone completely unexpected. Someone dead. Enter Mitch Albom’s new suspenseful novel, The First Phone Call From Heaven. It explores themes of hope and faith against the backdrop of a small Midwestern town, where phones start ringing off the hook with supposed voices of loved ones calling from beyond. Widower Sully Harding doesn’t know what to believe but feels having hope usually ends in disappointment. Even so, he can’t help investigate the potent power of belief of people looking for answers. With The New York Times bestsellers The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays with Morrie under his belt, Albom knows how to deliver a tender tug to your heartstrings.

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