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A family — a man and a woman, both documentarians working with sound (“We accumulated hours of tape of people speaking, telling stories, pausing, telling lies, praying, hesitating, confessing, breathing.”), and a boy, ten, and a girl, five — leave their New York apartment on a cross-country road trip.

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Before We Were Strangers is a stunning romantic thriller that questions the love and loyalty of parents, siblings, and friends.

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Many Texas ranchers have a special bond with their land: they grew up on it; inherited it from a parent or other relative; earned their livelihood from its huge acreage; and hope to pass it on, after their demise, as a loving legacy for their children or grandchildren.

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Julius Blüthner, a German piano maker in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was a legend in his time. He would take the train from Leipzig to the mountains of Romania to personally choose the spruce trees which would become, after a process involving many steps and many years, a piano. One of the Blüthner factory’s rare instruments, which would “open up and gather into itself a unique history,” is a main character in Chris Cander’s latest novel, The Weight of a Piano.

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