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The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses)
The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses): A Novel | Terri-Lynne DeFino
22 posts | 15 read | 60 to read
A whimsical, moving novel about a retirement home for literary legends who spar, conjure up new stories, and almost magically change the lives of the people around them. Alfonse Carducci was a literary giant who lived his life to excesslovers, alcohol, parties, and literary rivalries. But now he's come to the Bar Harbor Home for the Elderly to spend the remainder of his days among kindred spirits: the publishing industry's nearly gone but never forgotten greats. Only now, at the end of his life, does he comprehend the price of appeasing every desire, and the consequences of forsaking love to pursue greatness. For Alfonse has an unshakeable case of writer's block that distresses him much more than his precarious health. Set on the water in one of New England's most beautiful locales, the Bar Harbor Home was established specifically for elderly writers needing a place to live out their golden yearsor final daysin understated luxury and surrounded by congenial literary company. A faithful staff of nurses and orderlies surround the writers, and are drawn into their orbit, as they are forced to reckon with their own life stories. Among them are Cecibel Bringer, a young woman who knows first-hand the cost of chasing excess. A terrible accident destroyed her face and her sister in a split-second decision that Cecibel can never forgive, though she has tried to forget. Living quietly as an orderly, refusing to risk again the cost of love, Cecibel never anticipated the impact of meeting her favorite writer, Alfonse Carduccior the effect he would have on her existence. In Cecibel, Alfonse finds a muse who returns him to the passion he thought he lost. As the words flow from him, weaving a tale taken up by the other residents of the Pen, Cecibel is reawakened to the idea of love and forgiveness. As the edges between story and reality blur, a world within a world is created. Its a place where the old are made young, the damaged are made whole, and anything is possible.
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Librarybelle
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This has been on my radar for quite some time, and I just happened to happily discover it as a Kindle buy in the US today. Bought...for someone who prefers physical books, I‘ve been buying a lot of ebooks lately...
I blame Amazon‘s one-click!

BlameJennyJane Sold! 7mo
Ncostell The one click is dangerous! Thanks for the heads up-I just picked this up now. It was on my radar for awhile too. 7mo
See All 6 Comments
tpixie Lol I clicked away! 7mo
minkyb Going now!!!! 7mo
CouronneDhiver Absolutely adored this one - go for it! 7mo
86 likes6 stack adds6 comments
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TheBogwitch
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OMG! From today‘s NJ Star Ledger!! I might be crying a little. (3rd book)

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TheBogwitch
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It never gets old. Finding someone quoting you (on Instagram) because they‘re enjoying your work. Les sighs...

WanderingBookaneer I loved that book! It was one of those books where you get mad that things like work interfere with your reading experience. 11mo
TheBogwitch @WanderingBookaneer Dang work! 😊 so glad you enjoyed it. 11mo
12 likes1 stack add2 comments
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MelissaJCrispin
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Pickpick

I basically devoured this audiobook. Excellent narration! I found myself sneaking in minutes whenever I could because I had to know how it was going to end! Absolutely loved it.

I enjoyed the depth of the characters. I really did feel like each of the authors in the Pen lived full and interesting lives that made them into the colorful elderly people we get to know. They felt real to me and I truly wanted them to finish their last story together.

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thebluestocking
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Pickpick

I really needed this light but not insubstantial book. It takes place in a retirement home where famous old writers go to live out their days. And when some of them start writing again, it changes many lives. I liked the variety of ages of the characters and the story within a story.

#blameitonlitsy I picked this up because of your review @CouronneDhiver ❤️

CouronneDhiver Yay!!! That‘s a fantastic compliment. 😃 13mo
46 likes1 stack add1 comment
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dawnsworldblog
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Pickpick

Such a beautiful book. I‘m not sure where I came across the recommendation for this but I‘m so glad I did. I fell in love with the story, and the story within it. Beautifully written, not just likeable but lovable characters. Highly recommend!

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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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Pickpick

PICK! Loved this book. Two novels in one: one follows Alphonse, a dying writer, and his relationship with Cecibel, an orderly at the home. The other is the love story Alphonse writes in collaboration with other residents. Both explore the many forms of love, and how true love surpasses generations, mistakes, and crimes of lust. READ THIS! ❤️

61 likes5 stack adds
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Litpixie
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In June I won a copy of this book, and today it arrived. Two books in two days, I thought I'd gone back into a book mail drought. Love this cover and can't wait to read it.

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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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LOOK WHAT I WON! I won a giveaway of a latest Harper Collins release and didn‘t know what book was coming . . . And it was this! On my wishlist! I literally did a Happy Dance when I opened it. Thanks so much @WilliamMorrowBooks @HarperCollins 😀

Reviewsbylola Yay!!! 🎉🎉🎉 1y
irre 👏👏🎉🎉 1y
Soubhiville Congrats! I thought this was pretty good. 1y
See All 7 Comments
DivineDiana 👏🏻📚👏🏻 1y
JennyM Happy dance!!!! 1y
Meghan1 I got this one from that giveaway, also! 1y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @Meghan1 Sweet! It‘s next up in my TBR! 1y
63 likes7 comments
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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

I decided to listen to this one after not getting approved for the ARC a couple months ago 😁. Hoopla has it.

It‘s a bit more flowery and romancy than I usually read, but I came to really like the retirees and liked their writing process.

As my parents and in-laws are getting older, I find myself drawn more to stories of seniors. The last two books I read had elderly characters with great stories.

60 likes1 stack add
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WanderingBookaneer
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In our Florida Room listening to tagged book when I look to the side and catch #MiaCat napping! 😻#catsofLitsy

MinDea Ooohhhh kitty paws are the best! 1y
Nerdfins Beans! 😍 1y
StellarDoc Toe beans! 💜 1y
Mdargusch This photo 😻😻😻 1y
116 likes4 comments
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Lynnsoprano
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Pickpick

I just finished this, and it‘s been a while since I found myself so emotionally invested in a book. Truly a beautiful story that touches on so many of life‘s important moments. I didn‘t expect to be moved by this story that centers on a dying writer and the physically and emotionally scarred young caregiver. I will write a more complete review on LibraryThing, but for now all I can say is, read this book!

Soubhiville I‘m listening to this now. It‘s pretty good! I‘m at about 2 1/2 hrs in. 1y
Lynnsoprano @Soubhiville I hope you like it as much as I did. I think the fact that I‘m in my 60s made the discussions of aging and death more poignant. 1y
Texreader So glad to hear you liked it. I got an early review copy from LibraryThing but just before we left on vacation so won‘t have a chance to read it just yet. 1y
ValerieAndBooks Stacking 💖!! 1y
Lynnsoprano @Texreader Mine was waiting when we got home from vacation 😄 1y
79 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Lynnsoprano
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Day 4 of no internet, tv, or phone, thanks to AT&T. So I‘m reading to try and calm down after another go-around with their customer “service “😡 On the plus side, my current read is the perfect excuse to post a picture of one of the rocky beaches we visited last week in Maine.

megt That‘s so frustrating! Hope they‘re able to finally get things squared away for you soon! 1y
DrexEdit Hope you get connected again soon! ☺️ 1y
SilversReviews That happened with Verizon about a month ago. 1y
DivineDiana So sorry to learn of your situation. We were without our cable with Comcast for 3 days. It seems as though there was a national problem with all the major providers. Pretty photo! 1y
ValerieAndBooks My older son just spent a long weekend there (Bar Harbor) with friends! From his pics and yours I really want to visit. I‘ve only been to Portland ME (which I liked). 1y
71 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Lynnsoprano
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Well, got home from vacation to find a dead UVerse modem. No internet, tv, or phone. On the plus side, my LibraryThing early reader book was waiting for me! I‘m 3 for 3 with these, but this is the first that‘s actually shown up. Now that the laundry is caught up, it‘s reading time.

77 likes1 stack add
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Traci1
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This is my tbr for July. June was pretty much a disaster, so I'm hoping that I finish more of my planned reads this month. 🤞

phatsallylee Gunslinger girl was an interesting take on a dystopian future 1y
Traci1 @phatsallylee it's kind of silly but I picked that one because one of my challenges for the month was to read a book with pink on the cover. I was surprisingly lacking in pink books. 😁 1y
81 likes2 comments
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Texreader
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My LibraryThing early reader copy arrived today! And I‘ve been selected yet againto get another early reader book —Stones for my Father— from the most recent offerings! I‘m now 5 for 5!

RebelReader I just looked at this at B &N today, but I didn‘t buy it. I‘m anxious to hear what you think of it. 😃 1y
Texreader @RebelReader It has quite an intriguing title for us Littens doesn‘t it? Sadly it has such a low score on Litsy! Well, keep an eye out for my review. 1y
76 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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MelissaJCrispin
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Loving this story so far. There‘s even a story within the story that I find interesting too!

3 likes1 stack add
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DebinHawaii
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this book with the too-long title, finding it quirky, touching & engaging with a story-within-a-story the aging writers at the Pen (the unique retirement home they're ending their days in) write in a passed-around journal, inspired by an orderly who is hiding from the world & her past. Lots of secrets & stories made for a good good summer read, paired with this all-fruit, 3-ingredient Pineapple-Mango 'Nice' Cream. Review/Recipe link👇🏻

Cinfhen Im sooooo making this recipe!!! 🤩 1y
sudi I love this recipe and the fact that it combines two of my favourite fruits 😊🍨 1y
101 likes8 stack adds3 comments
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balletbookworm
Mehso-so

It starts out slow, picks up about 1/3 through when the Famous Writers are jolted into writing by orderly (w/very scarred face) Cecibel‘s fannish devotion to new resident Alphonse Carducci. The split timeline of the group novel contrasted against the lives of the residents and staff was interesting. I‘m not sure what the point of Cecibel only having half a normal face was when the larger point was her guilt over (spoiler) so it felt like Too Much.

balletbookworm But there was good (I think) on page bisexual rep with the Alphonse character so yay? 1y
balletbookworm Also, that title is the most unwieldy thing ever and hard to remember correctly 1y
21 likes2 comments
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DebinHawaii
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#ReadingResolutions #MostAnticipated

It's been a hard week & day. I'm incredibly sad & didn't really feel like cooking dinner but I had thawed shrimp & ingredients that needed to be used & I put Eric Ripert's curry vinaigrette & curried croutons with mixed greens & grilled curry shrimp. Had it and a glass of white wine & toasted Anthony Bourdain. 💔

I'm most anticipating this #ARC this weekend as 'whimsical and moving' sounds like what I need.

Louise Nourishment for body and soul. I hope things get easier for you in the coming days. 💕 (edited) 1y
Arcana I made a big pot of spaghetti and cried, then toasted him with a glass of Pinot💔 I‘m going to seek solace in my TBR pile. I hope you feel better soon 💖 1y
See All 9 Comments
Suet624 💕💕💕💕 1y
Chrissyreadit Feel better ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
MicheleinPhilly We made a shrimp salad too last night. And then we watched Girls Trip to try and get out of the funk. It worked for a couple of hours. 😔 1y
GlassAsDiamonds We had teriyaki salmon & toasted he and Eric Ripert. 💔 As always, thanks for the recipe. 1y
jfalkens Hope everything is ok xXxX 1y
114 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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DebinHawaii
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#ReadingResolutions #JuneTBR
OK, let's just call this 'mostly books that may be included in my #TBR this month' because this stack doesn't include a couple of review books I'm still waiting on, e-books & audiobooks, book club, & buddy reads. So the top 3 are for blog book tour reviews, the next 2 are library books I've started & will finish & any beyond those--it's anyone's quests whether they will be read. 📚📚😬📚
And of course there's 🐔🐔

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Texreader
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I just got notice from LibraryThing that I will receive this book as an Early Advance Reader. I‘m 3 for 3. I‘ve submitted my name 3 times and I‘ve received books all 3 times. Have you signed up yet?

Redwritinghood I tried for the first time this month and I also just got a notice that I won one today. 2y
Texreader @Redwritinghood That‘s fantastic!!! 2y
54 likes2 comments