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Tully by Paullina Simons


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The astonishing debut novel from international number one bestselling author Paullina Simons, now beautifully repackaged Tully Makker is a tough young woman from the wrong side of the tracks and she is not always easy to like. But if Tully gives friendship and loyalty, she gives them for good, and she forms an enduring bond with Jennifer and Julie, schoolfriends from very different backgrounds. As they grow into the world of the seventies and eighties, the lives of the three best friends are changed forever by two young men, Robin and Jack, and a tragedy which engulfs them all. Against the odds, Tully emerges into young womanhood, marriage and a career. At last Tully Makker has life under control. And then life striles back in the most unexpected way of all... / Over one third of a milion copies sold of this timeless classic / Now in striking new package / Paullina Simons is an international bestseller. Her most recent novel, ROAD TO PARADISE, reached number three in Australia and number one in New Zealand / Competition: Jodi Picoult

About the Author

Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad and emigrated to the United States in 1973. She lives close to New York with her husband and four children. Go to her website,, to find out more about her bestselling novels.


Esteemed editor Bob Wyatt's initial book for his new imprint, this much ballyhooed first novel is not notable for literary merit but for the melodramatic story it tells. Set during the last two decades in Topeka, Kans., and centering on a tough kid named Tully who oddly resembles skater Tonya Harding in looks and deportment, the narrative chronicles Tully's wild struggle against her lower-class origins, circumstances and fate (not to mention her genes) without any redeeming growth or insights achieved by any of the central characters until at the end Tully belatedly realizes the error of her ways. It's an emotionally crude coming-of-age story in which Tully, her two best girlfriends and the two men she loves never seem to rise above adolescent emotions and behavior. The story has the no-holds-barred, cranked-out quality of 19th-century penny novels, with an abundance of cheap thrills and hair-raising scenes. We tag along as Tully endures abandonment, incest, abortion, child and spousal abuse, passion, promiscuity, marriage, motherhood, infidelity, terrible nightmares, midnight graveyard scenes, tortured partings with lovers and more. The most interesting character is the villain, Hedda Makker, Tully's mother, whose chief pleasure in life is beating the living daylights out of Tully. Though billed as ``a big Russian novel'' about mothers and daughters, much of the narrative has a breathless, awkward oral texture, although long patches of exposition have an evenness and clarity that suggest Simons's potential. Despite all the wailing, sighing and bloodletting--or perhaps because of it--the story is engrossing as tabloid features often are: not believeable or artful, but fascinating in a macabre way. 165,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; BOMC selection . (May)

In this beautifully written first novel, Simons captures the lives and loves of Tully and her friends Julie and Jennifer in Topeka, Kansas. After her father and brother disappear, Tully's childhood is shaped by an abusive mother. Her wild adolescence culminates when Jennifer commits suicide. Unable to accept the death or admit to grief, Tully seeks consolation at the gravesite, where years later she meets Jack, a former lover of Jennifer. Although married to Robin, she begins an affair with Jack, despite the warnings of her friend Shakee, also one of his former lovers. When Jack wants her to move to California, a lifelong dream of both Jennifer and Tully, this survivor in life must come to grips with past griefs to make a decision. A strong story line with great characterization makes this book hard to put down. A potential best seller, it is highly recommended for public libraries. [BOMC and Quality Paperback selections.]-Heather Blenkinsopp, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

'You'll never look at life in the same way again. Pick up this book and prepare to have your emotions wrung so completely you'll be sobbing your heart out one minute and laughing through your tears the next. Tully could be any one of us -- a young woman who is strong, full of hope and carrying a lot of childhood baggage. Her experiences of pain, despair and betrayal are offset by moments of dazzling joy, love and, above all, friendship. Read it and weep -- literally' Company 'A lovely and resonant evocation of that first great bond between woman...It's deeply moving' Anne Rivers Siddons 'As a first novel this is quite astonishing' Bookseller

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