A House Among the Trees: A Novel (Paperback)
"This is a book about family, fame, and loyalty, but not in any sort of overly sacrificial way, though sacrifices are made. Tomasina Daulair has been the personal assistant to famous children’s author Mort Lear for most of her adult life, living with him and protecting him. After he dies, she finds herself the executor of his estate, including his literary canon. Before Mort died, a movie about his life was in the works. The actor slated to play him comes to stay with Tomasina to learn more about him. Together, along with other characters important to them—and Mort—they make discoveries about themselves and the choices they’ve made. Beautifully written."— From Julie's Staff Picks
Julia Glass’s richly imagined novel begins just after the sudden death of world-renowned children’s book author Mort Lear, who leaves behind a wholly unexpected will, an idyllic country house, and difficult secrets about a childhood far darker than those of the beloved characters he created for young readers of all ages. Left to grapple with the consequences of his final wishes are Tommy Daulair, his longtime live-in assistant; Merry Galarza, a museum curator betrayed by those wishes; and Nick Greene, a beguiling actor preparing to play Lear in a movie.
When Nick pays a visit to Lear’s home, he and Tommy confront what it means to be entrusted with the great writer’s legacy and reputation. Tommy realizes that despite his generous bequest, the man to whom she devoted decades of her life has left her with grave doubts about her past as well as her future. Vivid and gripping, filled with insight and humor, A House Among the Trees is an unforgettable story about friendship and love, artistic ambition, the perils of fame, and the sacrifices made by those who serve the demands of a creative genius.
About the Author
Julia Glass is the author of five previous books of fiction, including the best-selling Three Junes, winner of the National Book Award, and I See You Everywhere, winner of the Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Other published works include the Kindle Single Chairs in the Rafters and essays in several anthologies. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
“Thoughtful, warm-hearted. . . . It’s a pleasure to be in the hands of a consummate storyteller.” —The Boston Globe
“Spell-binding. . . . Elegant and character-driven.” —Chicago Tribune
“Show[s] off Glass’s signature talent for rendering characters as full as any you’d actually meet.” —New York
“Glass [is] an astute observer of relationships and master of dialogue.” —The Seattle Times
“A House Among the Trees shows [Glass] at her tender, compassionate, thoughtful, best, thinking about art, about life, and the way they intertwine so beautifully to make us, finally, fully human.” —The New Orleans Advocate
“Gripping and evocative. Glass is a formidable storyteller.” —The Washington Book Review
“Enthralling. . . . Glass is a master at withholding information until just the right moment.” —The National Book Review
“Glass is a pro.” —The Washington Post
“A fascinating look at a world in which a creative artist becomes a hot property to be both honored and exploited. . . . A compelling story with fully realized characters.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Radiant. . . . Warmhearted. . . . Grippingly readable. . . . [Glass’s] conclusion finds room for compromise and mutual fulfillment among her full-bodied, compassionately rendered characters.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Excellent. . . . [Glass] excels at bringing her many characters to life and at imagining vivid scenes from the rarified world of art and entertainment.” —Library Journal