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February 27, 2009 Edition
As the Rosecommon Regional Mental Hospital prepares to close its doors, doctors are assigned to discover which patients have been put there as punishment for social transgressions and which genuinely need mental care. One of those patients is 100 year-old Roseanne McNulty, whose records of admission to the hospital were destroyed. Her life comes to light as readers are shown pieces of her journal, which she is writing in secret and hiding under the floorboards in her room. Meanwhile, her doctor, Dr. Grene, intrigued by the contradictions between what Roseanne tells him and the story told by the fragments of documents he finds, has begun to keep a journal of his own, unintentionally documenting his own grief over his wife’s death as well as his growing sense of a mystery about Roseanne. Together, the two narratives weave a picture of an Ireland in which turn-of-the-century social mores continue to do battle with modern life.
Ren doesn’t remember how he came to live at St. Anthony’s, doesn’t remember his parents, or how he lost his hand. But one day his brother arrives at the orphanage, telling the priests about the homestead the boys’ parents farmed, the day both mother and father were attacked by Indians and killed, and Ren lost his hand, and Ren almost remembers. Released into Benjamin’s brotherly care and promised a new family and life, Ren soon discovers that Benjamin is an accomplished liar and a con artist, and the new life is as a thief’s assistant. Adjusting to life outside the orphanage takes a little time for Ren, brought up as he was by good Catholics, but in the end, it is Ren’s transparent and enduring wish for a family that allows him to create one in this swashbuckling and spirited New England adventure.
First the death of his wife and now a car accident have left 72 year-old August Brill reeling. Incapacitated, he is living with his daughter and adult granddaughter, all of whom are trying to pull themselves out of various depressions. He spends his days with his granddaughter Katya, reminiscing together about the dead, including Katya’s boyfriend, an American civilian killed in Iraq, trying to help each other out of their individual darknesses. But at night, chronically sleepless August retreats into literal and figurative darkness, keeping himself amused by creating a running bedtime story about an America dissolved into Civil War by the 2000 election. Ultimately a story of healing, this offers wit and imagination as aids to regrowth.
Fans of the other books in the Dark Hunter paranormal romance series will find much to love in this latest addition. Acheron, the leader of the Hunters has a dark past, but until now, readers haven’t known the details of his life as a half-mortal, half-god. Here we see his human life in tormenting detail, and the subsequent centuries after his death spent as a god, defending humanity from demons and demi-gods. The rules binding him to his duty allow an out, but he’s certain that he’ll never find anyone who will fulfill the necessary requirements. And then he meets Tory, an archaeologist whose research is bringing her close to discovering his secret, and who might just be the one to make him mortal again.