OVERRIDE

Eva Moves the Furniture

A Novel

Margot Livesey

Picador

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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Eva Moves the Furniture
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
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REVIEWS

Praise for Eva Moves the Furniture

"Margot Livesey is a writer at the pinnacle of her craft. Eva Moves the Furniture is such a complete, sturdy yet graceful novel that it is difficult for a critic to wedge herself in between the writer and the reader." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Livesey is a writer of tremendous grace and precision.... [Her] wonderful new novel will haunt you in a sweet way, and leave you with a spark of hope for us all." --Chicago Tribune

"What is extraordinary about this novel is the fretwork of feeling among its unorthodox cast of characters.... Livesey has written a ghost story, of sorts...and, if it moves you, the end will send you back to the beginning." --The New Yorker

"Stunning...She limns her tale with beautiful evocations of the loneliness of childhood, the shimmery quality of ghostly spirits and the fear and excitement of wartime." --San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"In this fetching, ultimately moving novel, magic and danger are so inextricably bound that the palpable world seems slightly less trustworthy than the one you cannot see." --The Boston Globe

"Livesey writes with such restraint that the shock lies in events themselves, not her language. She uses metaphors beautiful in their precision....Simultaneously chilling and compassionate." --The Washington Post Book World

"This is a novel that enters the reader’s life in much the same way that the companions come to Eva. It looks harmless enough, like a child's fantasy, inhabiting a fairy tale in which powerful, other-worldly forces are at work, but reader beware. If you give Eva McEwen just a little space in your own imagination, she will start moving the furniture." --The New York Times Book Review

"Perfectly structured...In prose direct and precise she limns Eva's story with steady authority." --The Atlantic Monthly

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Margot Livesey

  • Margot Livesey is the award-winning author of a story collection, Learning by Heart, and the novels Homework, Criminals, and The Missing World. Born in Scotland, she currently lives in the Boston area, where she is writer-in-residence at Emerson College.
  • Margot Livesey
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Available Formats and Book Details

Eva Moves the Furniture

A Novel

Margot Livesey

Massachussetts Book Award - Honor Book

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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