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Four generations. One remarkable hotel. Countless secrets.
Nestled in the hills of West Virginia lies White Sulphur Springs, home to the Greenbrier Resort. Long a playground for presidents and film stars, the Greenbrier has its own gravitational pull. Over ten decades, four generations of the Zelner family must grapple with their place in its shadow . . . and within their own family.
In 1942, young mother Sylvia is desperate to escape her stifling marriage, especially when it means co-running Zelner’s general store with her husband. When the Greenbrier is commandeered for use as a luxury prison, Sylvia finds her fidelity strained and her heart on the line.
Seventeen years later, Sylvia’s daughter, Doree, struggles to fit in, eagerly awaiting the day she’ll leave for college and meet a nice Jewish boy. But when a handsome stranger comes to town and her brother Alan’s curiosity puts him and Sylvia at risk, Doree is torn between loyalty and desire.
An immersive family saga rich with historical detail, In the Shadow of the Greenbrier explores the inevitable clash between past and future and the extraordinary moments in ordinary lives.
About the Author
Emily Matchar has written for an array of publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Outside, Smithsonian, and the Atlantic. Originally from North Carolina, she lives with her husband and two sons. In the Shadow of the Greenbrier is her first novel.
"Matchar deftly weaves the four time lines together to reach a satisfying, emotionally resonant conclusion." —Booklist
"A stirring coming-of-age tale and gripping family saga set against the backdrop of the famous and historic West Virginia resort. Readers will eagerly follow and root for the generations of the Zelner family as they struggle with their places in a changing world and come face-to-face with dark secrets of the past in this memorable and moving book.” —Pam Jenoff, author of Code Name Sapphire
“Matchar’s debut novel is a richly layered and beautifully written tale that immerses the reader into a sweeping saga set in the picturesque backdrop of the lush West Virginia mountains’ legendary Greenbrier resort, and its fascinating, secret history. Utterly captivating, In The Shadow of The Greenbrier is unforgettable." —Kim Michele Richardson, author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
“Emily Matchar brings the iconic Greenbrier Hotel to vivid life through the engaging, heartbreaking, and often harrowing experiences of four generations.” —Diane Chamberlain, author of The Last House on the Street
“With meticulous research and an unerring eye for the nuances of family dynamics . . . In the Shadow of the Greenbrier is a triumph of storytelling and a must-read for lovers of rich, evocative historical fiction.” —Kelly Rimmer, author of The Paris Agent
“A richly detailed and beautifully written family saga, In the Shadow of the Greenbrier intimately explores the lives of characters caught between the past and the present, unsure of what to let go and what to hold fast. Matchar deftly steers us through time, unfolding long-held secrets and weaving them into a story that is at once poignant and a page-turner.” —Kelly Mustian, author of The Girls in the Stilt House
“Emily Matchar's gripping debut expertly weaves together the fascinating and fraught tale of four generations of a Jewish family. Told with lyrical prose, In the Shadow of the Greenbrier is a heart-rending story of what it means to belong and the impact of long-buried family secrets, at last, coming to light.” —Heather Webb, author of The Next Ship Home
“Careful research, vivid description and a solid historical basis are the scaffold on which this novel is built. But it’s the characters, with all their longings and disappointments, their flaws and their triumphs who will steal your heart and not give it back; they’ll stay with you long after the last page is turned.” —Kitty Zeldis, author of The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights