Author(s): Rebecca Miller
In eighteenth-century Paris, Jacob is a peddler of knives, salt cellars and snuffboxes. Despite a disastrous teenage marriage, Jacob is determined to raise himself up in life, by whatever means he can. In twenty-first-century America, Jacob's life has twisted in ways he could never have imagined. But even the tiniest of flies can influence the turning of the world. Reliable, true Leslie Senzatimore, a volunteer fireman, and Masha, a gravely ill young woman, are about to have their lives transformed. Through her wonderfully memorable protagonist, Rebecca Miller considers the hold of the past on the present, the power of private hopes and dreams, and the collision of fate and free will. In "Jacob's Folly", Miller's world - which is our own, transfigured by her clear gaze and by her sharp, surprising wit - comes brilliantly to life.
From the author of the Richard and Judy bestseller, THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE, comes a brilliantly original novel about love, family, and human folly
* Jacob's Folly is an extraordinary book. Miller's writing is vigorous, powerful and riveting. I was constantly surprised by the flights and dips of narrative, and its complexity, while from start to finish her wit and the clear, true characters kept the book grounded. A magnificent achievement -- Sadie Jones, Author Of The Outcast * In Jacob's Folly, Rebecca Miller has landed on a narrative voice that's antique, droll, racy and occasionally cutting...a delicately balanced triple narrative that jumps across centuries... this is an imaginative leap in new direction, yolking historical fiction to a contemporary drama Los Angeles Times 20130228 * Narratively speaking it's a remarkable feat how the author/filmaker [Rebecca Miller] agilely threads together three distinct narratives... Jacob's Folly is a rare book from a rare breed of artist Kirkus Reviews 20130301 * Jacob's Folly is lively and unpredictable, but its antic humour disguises what is at heart a chastening cautionary tale Wall Street Journal * The novel breathes sensuality... Readers will chuckle contentedly and without malice at a violent, life-affirming death. A deeply pleasurable, darkly comic, and original reinterpretation of Jewish history's "indestructible storyline" Booklist * Scads of narrative threads are sewn together with impressive and often lovely wordplay to form a vast historical fabric of Jacob's Jewish family... An unusual and absorbing read Publishers Weekly * As brilliant as it is bizarre. Miller explores themes of identity, religion, ambition, guilt, desire, all through the consciousness of a fly. And yes, she pulls it off Glamour * Like Rip Van Winkle rewritten by Franz Kafka... [Miller] writes... with humour and grace the New Yorker Observer * Thanks to Rebecca Miller's densely detailed prose, [Jacob's] transformation seems quite believable, propelling Jacob's Folly on its own strange and often wonderful flight Boston Globe * Miller is a brilliantly observant writer with a sharp eye ... In her hands, every emotion and state of mind are fully imagined and accurately realised Daily Mail on THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE * Like Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections without the bitterness, mixed with Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides without the eccentricity, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing read Sunday Telegraph on THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE * Rebecca Miller is a luminous writer Observer * There is on every page a glint of verbal beauty like a jewel, and Miller's characters are so keenly observed as to be almost painful to read about. The novel's wit and glamour make it one of the best debuts of the year so far Literary Review on THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE * Marvelous, deep and rich, sexy, transgressive, terrifying and tough, and very, very funny-a great ingathering as multifaceted as a gem, or the eye of a fly! -- Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Of Angels In America * Miller's prose is tight and compelling; it moves in its own fast rhythm, richly packed with images that slice open the text ... revealing the dark waters beneath The Times * An easy read of quality is exactly how Miller's poignant, funny and wise novel could be described Financial Times on THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE * Miller's writing style is sensuous, and her individual stories expand, opulently, in scope and emotional impact NPR * Fantastically original... Miller... is a writer whose graceful and original language make the challenge of Jacob's Folly a rewarding one. Her literary sensibility is vast and deep Moment Magazine
Rebecca Miller worked as a painter and actress before becoming a writer and director. She is the author of the short story collection Personal Velocity, her feature film adaptation of which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and the writer-director of Angela, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, and the most recently, the novel and film The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, which was selected for Richard and Judy's summer reading club.