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The Vines: A Novel by [Shelley Nolden]

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The Vines: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,184 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"THE VINES weaves beautifulwriting around an unsettling mystery: Who is the strange, scarred woman livingon a seemingly uninhabitable island? Shelley Nolden's debut seems not justprescient - given the world's current focus on virology and immunizations - butalso timeless, as it illustrates in painful detail how mankind seems destinedto repeat our cruelest mistakes. Luckily for us readers, there's a bright threadof hope running through this book - as well as the promise of a sequel."
--Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of You Are Not Alone

"Highly original and richly drawn, Shelley Nolden's THE VINES features one ofthe most fascinating central characters you'll ever meet. Drawing on both thedark history of North Brother Island
and today's painfully immediate worries about immunity and transmission ofdeadly disease, this debut transcends genre to combine history, thrills,obsession, medical ethics, and more into
the compelling story of three generations of doctors and one remarkable woman."
--Greer Macallister, bestselling authorof The Magician's Lie and The Arctic Fury

"Eerily timely and profoundly compelling, THE VINES is an unputdownable,unforgettable saga, the journey of a seemingly helpless, persecuted Americanwoman who survives and battles back, against all odds; this first in whatpromises to be an explosive series signals the arrival of Shelley Nolden'smasterful new voice in hybrid fiction."
--May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives

"Everycharacter in this book is incredibly unique...the history and science in thisbook is exceedingly well thought out, well researched and fabulously detailed.Where Ms. Nolden truly excels is the historical portions...For fans of real-lifehistory, science and mysteries alike, Shelley Nolden weaves a magical storywith an abundance of intrigue that will leave readers eager for a sequel."
"In a debut that is part horror novel, part thoughtexperiment, Nolden has accomplished the feat of getting readers toask themselves what horrors can be done to serve the greater good."
"ShellyNolden's first book -- with a promise of more -- is awonderful mix of science fiction, history, fantasy and some wishful thinking; aworthy read on so many levels."
"An original, deftly written and inherentlycompelling novel of love, betrayal, survival, and loss, THE VINES draws uponthe author's own emotionally charged medical history and experiences adroitlyintertwined with North Brother Island's horrific and elusive history in acompulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover."
--MidwestBook Review
"This is a dark medical/psychologicalthriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats... Fans of historicalor medical thrillers will be mesmerized by this novel."
--Historical Novels Review

From the Author

Like far too many COVID-19 patients, I've spent dozens of nights hospitalized. While in the ICU on oxygen therapy, repeatedly, I feared that my lungs would fail me before daybreak. I know the terror of struggling for air. But not because of the virus; in my case, it was an acute form of leukemia that caused pooling of blood in my lungs. My feelings heightened by my past trauma, I have deep empathy for those who've experienced severe and/or chronic complications from COVID-19 and for those who've lost loved ones.
The first symptom of my cancer was the death of our baby at twenty weeks gestation. For the over forty days I was inpatient, I lay awake each night, weeping over our loss and for our eighteen-month-old, whom I was forbidden to see because her germs could kill me. Frequently, I needed IV pain medication, which barely dented the emotional anguish. Daily, I received blood transfusions. Throughout, I experienced 105-degree fevers, dangerously high blood pressure, hemorrhaging of the eye, a full-body hive outbreak, migraines, vomiting, and severe bone pain. During this period, I spent a total of two hours with my toddler. Before I returned home, she'd stopped asking for me.
For the three years of treatment that followed my diagnosis, my writing focused on my cancer blog, highlighting the themes of disease, fear of death, isolation, loss of a child, infertility. But also survival, courage, healing, and hope. Through that therapeutic writing process, Cora--and her foil, Lily--were born. Before these two strong female characters, however, came the setting:  
In 2014, during a descent to LaGuardia Airport, my husband elbowed me in the side and directed my attention to a spit of land in the East River. "You should write a book about that island." Returning the elbow jab as I leaned across him, I gasped at the decaying buildings, visible in winter with the trees barren. Once we landed, I immediately consulted Google and was hooked.
So often people make that comment: "You should write a book about [x]." Typically, writers just smile and nod in response. But a novel set on such a fascinating, abandoned, forbidden place within plain sight of millions of New Yorkers was too tantalizing a concept to dismiss simply because I hadn't thought of it myself. 
Diving into research, I learned that North Brother's past is rife with misery. The haunting online images of Riverside Hospital provided gut-wrenching context to the grisly historical essays. 
I decided that a novel set there should incorporate Riverside's 125+ year evolution, its actual inhabitants, and the details captured by online photographs and Christopher Payne's stunning coffee table book, 
North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City, for which I attended a standing-room-only book signing. After meticulously cataloguing every map, image, and historical detail available, I took a deep breath and began structuring an epic tale that I believed I'd earned the right to tell. 
I hope you enjoy the end result--my debut novel, 
The Vines.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08WHS68GS
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Freiling Publishing (March 23, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ March 23, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2240 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 446 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 1,184 ratings

About the author

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Born and raised in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, Shelley Nolden headed east after matriculating from the University of Minnesota. After living in New York City for five years while working in finance, she and her husband decided they weren’t meant for city life and moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey.

In 2011, Shelley was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. The first sign of her disease was losing her baby during the nineteenth week of pregnancy. She spent the first forty days of her illness inpatient, simultaneously mourning the loss of her baby while missing her eighteen-month-old. Because this type of leukemia prevents platelets from maturing into functioning clotting cells, her daughter wasn’t allowed to visit because even a hug could have proved fatal. Throughout her ordeal, she kept a cancer blog and regularly contributed to cancer-related publications.

Stemming from her personal experience, Shelley developed a deep-rooted drive to help others affected by cancer, subsequently becoming a Co-founder of GRYT Health, whose mission is to improve quality of life and increase survival for people facing cancer through a relentless focus on patient experience. Additionally, resulting from her experience as a college athlete (as a swimmer and then rower), as well as her years as a woman on Wall Street, she acted on her passion for the advancement of women’s rights by becoming an Advisor to Goal Five, a women’s sports apparel company named after the United Nations’ Fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Shelley’s multiple award-winning debut novel, THE VINES, was released in March 2021. Her obsession with forbidden North Brother Island in New York City’s East River, as well as her personal health history and passion for equality, heavily influenced the creation of this historical fiction thriller.

Currently, Shelley lives in the Midwest with her family and their dog Storm, named after one of the most powerful and respected superheroes. Because, naturally, her commitment to female empowerment extends to the family dog.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
1,184 global ratings

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Ms. S. M. Power
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story
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Dawny Lou
3.0 out of 5 stars Gripped me to start with
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