A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year
A Pen/Winship Finalist
On the morning of Eva McEwen's birth, six magpies congregate in the apple tree outside the window—a bad omen, according to legend. That night Eva's mother dies, leaving her to be raised by her aunt and widowed father in the small town of Troon, Scotland.
Eva's peaceful childhood is disrupted the day a woman and a girl mysteriously appear in her garden. Over the years, the two make frequent visits; invisible to everyone else at first they seem benevolent, helping to tidy her room and collect the hen's eggs. But as Eva grows older, her visitor's intentions become increasingly unclear: Do they wish to protect or harm her? Is their meddling in her best interests or prompted by darker motivations?
In the shadow of World War II, Eva studies nursing in Glasgow, tending to the injured soldiers. But when she falls in love with a young plastic surgeon, her companions seem to have a very different idea as to her fate, and once again she finds herself unable to resist their pull.
Margot Livesey has been praised for her intelligent, suspenseful plotting, her astringent moral sensibility, her profound insight into character, and her spare, luminous prose. With Eva Moves the Furniture, Livesey has written her most compelling work yet: a magical novel about loneliness, love, and the profound connection between mother and daughter, one that fuses the simplicity of a fairy tale with the complexity of adult passions.
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Eva Moves the Furniture
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Part IBALLINTYRE1In 1551 the Italian surgeon Fiorovanti was travelling in Africa when he came upon two men fighting a duel. The cause is unrecorded: a camel? a woman? While Fiorovanti stood watching, one man sliced off the other's nose. The fight continued, but the surgeon's attention was elsewhere. He retrieved the flesh from the sandy ground and rinsed it in urine. As soon as the fight ended, he accosted the owner--winner or loser, again we don't know--sewed the nose back on, applied balsam and bandages. The patient, convinced only that absurdity was being heaped upon