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The best-selling author of "Hunting Unicorns" returns with a stirring and suspenseful tale of love and the quest for freedom, vividly set in the wild lands between Arizona and the Mexican border. On the run from her claustrophobic marriage in London, Alice Coleman moves her two small children to the American desert hoping to find the solitude she craves but hadn't thought possible. But the vast and unruly southwest has room for the dreams of more than one fugitive--from Benjamin, an abandoned mining town's Mexican caretaker, to the immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border, to the laconic cowboy Duval, who Alice finds herself falling for. What seemed idyllic turns deadly as Alice must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to preserve not only her freedom, but Benjamin and Duvall's as well. Building to a blistering climax, "Midnight Cactus "is both a perilous love story and a compelling exploration of the tension between unrealized dreams and the pull of family.
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Bella Pollen, a best-selling British author who lives part-time in the American Southwest, is the author of Hunting Unicorns, which was a smash success in the UK, where it was selected as a Best Summer Read by the Richard and Judy Show (the Oprah of England). In that novel she took an American journalist to London with romantic and comedic results. In her new book, Pollen places a British mother of two in a tiny abandoned mining town on the Mexican border of Arizona and spins a romantic and dangerous story about betrayal and freedom against the backdrop of immigration politics. Needing a respite from her claustrophobic marriage in London, Alice Coleman moves her two small children to the Arizona desert with the intention of renovating the abandoned village her husband acquired in a failed business scheme--and there escapes to a solitude she craves and hadn't thought possible. But the vast and unruly Southwest has room for the dreams of more than one fugitive. In this dusty, alien atmosphere everyone has something to hide--from Benjamin, the town's Mexican caretaker, to the immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border, to the laconic cowboy Duval, whom Alice finds herself falling for. As winter moves to scorching summer, what seemed idyllic turns deadly as Alice is drawn deeper into an obsessive quest for revenge until finally she must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice in order to preserve not only her freedom, but Benjamin and Duval's as well. A compelling and perilous love story, Midnight Cactus explores the tensions between unrealized dreams and the pull of family. In a blistering climax, Alice discovers it is only by risking everything that one learns what is reallyworth living for.
1. "A sensitive tale of decamping to Arizona, getting caught up in an illegal immigrant run and needing to face reality. Highly recommended."
2. "Unexpectedly warm and witty while depicting the tough life of illegal immigrants and the ruthlessness of those out to expose them." -- Sarah Broadhurst
3. "Gripping and a good story ... Has all the best things about cowboy books. [Pollen] has a way with words--specifically children's words, which is really rare."
4. "A wittily written story ... As author Bella Pollen adds unforeseen twists and turns, Alice is forced to the very edge of reason. You can be assured of a sophisticated yet gripping page-turner."
5. "Effortlessly readable, this is an engrossing novel about love, alienation, and political intrigue.... Pollen perfectly captures the emotional turbulence of her heroine and the unforgiving beauty of this arid territory." -- Simon Humphreys
6. "A delightful and rewarding novel, with moments of startling beauty ... Pollen is entirely in control of her material, perfectly pacing the book to tantalizingly unravel secrets. The setting is as enigmatic as the eccentric characters.... Successfully marries literary and commercial fiction ... compelling ... intelligent and provocative." -- Kim Aikman
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