Nominated by:

Hartford Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Pantheon Books, USA

There Your Heart Lies

Mary Gordon    

At nineteen, Marian Taylor cut herself off from her wealthy, conservative Irish Catholic family and left America to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War—an experience she has always kept to herself. Now in her nineties and diagnosed with cancer, Marian finally shares what happened to her during those years with her granddaughter Amelia, a young woman of good heart but only a vague notion of life’s purpose.

Marian’s secret history—of personal and ethical challenges nearly unthinkable to Amelia’s generation, of the unexpected gifts of true love and true friendship—compels Amelia to make her own journey to Spain to reconcile her grandmother’s past with her own uncertain future. Moving and deeply felt, There Your Heart Lies explores how character is forged in a particular moment in history—and passed down through generations.

About the author

Mary Gordon is the author of eight novels, including Final Payments, Pearl, and The Love of My Youth; six works of nonfiction, including the memoirs The Shadow Man and Circling My Mother; and three collections of short fiction, including The Stories of Mary Gordon, which was awarded the Story Prize. She has received many other honors, including a Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Academy Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York City.

(from publisher)

Librarian’s comments:

There Your Heart Lies is a powerful novel about family secrets, and the crushing realities of war. With a deft hand and a sprawling narrative, Gordon adds to our understanding of the complexity of human bonds and the unpredictability of personal growth.

Related Entries