Oct 09

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin

I’ve mentioned before that Mark Helprin’s “Winter’s Tale” is my favorite novel of all time (and also the best novel I’ve ever read).  Every year, once the weather starts getting cold and the days shorter, I reread it, and it’s about that time.

This year, I want to share my love/obsession with the world (or at least the regular visitors of this blog).  I’m going to read two chapters a week, and post my thoughts and feelings about them.  And I’m encouraging any and all of my visitors to join me, both in reading the book, and in discussing it.

I’ll kick things off right here, talking about the very brief prologue.  Even before that, Helprin starts us off with a quote that sets the tone for all that’s to follow:

“I have been to another world, and come back.  Listen to me.”

That sentiment could apply to many of the characters in the story about to unfold, and it prepares us to jump across both worlds and eras (and different times ARE other worlds; as the famous quote has it, “the past is another country.”).

The prologue showcases Helprin’s gift of prose; it’s gorgeous from the very first word.  As he opens things:

A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan.

He goes on to talk about New York City specifically, where our story is set, and, really, the book is one long love letter to the greatest city in the world.  We’re told about the mass of white clouds that surround the city, about which we’ll learn much more as the novel progresses.  We  also get our first reference to the the city as one great machine, about which, again, much more later.

And then we are told:

…our swift unobserved descent will bring us to life that is blooming in the quiet of another time.

This is important, as we’ll see very shortly in chapter one.  The prologue ends with an invitation:

As we float down in utter silence, into a frame again unfreezing we are confronted by a tableau of winter colors.  These are very strong, and they call us in.

Colors, both wintry and otherwise, play a large role not only symbolically, but very literally in the story, as we’ll discover early on.

So the stage is set.  We’re about to embark on a journey that will span worlds and centuries.  I hope you’ll come along with me; our first steps will be onto the snow-covered streets of pre-World War I Manhattan, which is where chapter one begins…

 

Chapter Index

I’ll keep an updated list of links to the individual chapter discussions here, so it’ll all be easy to find…

Part 1, Chapter 1 (“A White Horse Escapes”)

Part 1, Chapter 2 (“The Ferry Burns in Morning Cold”)

Part 1, Chapter 3 (“Pearly Soames”)

Part 1, Chapter 4 (“Peter Lake Hangs From A Star”)

Part 1, Chapter 5 (“Beverly”)

Part 1, Chapter 6 (“A Goddess in the Bath”)

Part 1, Chapter 7 (“On the Marsh”)

Part 1, Chapter 8 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 1, Chapter 9 (“The Hospital in Printing House Square”)

Part 1, Chapter 10 (“Aceldama”)

Part 2, Chapter 1 (“Four Gates to the City”)

Part 2, Chapter 2 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 2, Chapter 3 (“In the Drifts”)

Part 2, Chapter 4 (“A New Life”)

Part 2, Chapter 5 (“Hell Gate”)

Part 3, Chapter 1 (“Nothing is Random”)

Part 3, Chapter 2 (“Peter Lake Returns”)

 

Mar 18

Buy the Books!

Here’s the one-page resource for everything you need to know about me and my books…especially how to buy them!

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Dec 18

Book Blitz – “Broken Prophecy” by Sandra Love

Title:
Broken Prophecy (Broken Wings Book 3)

Author: Sandra Love

Release Day Blitz: December 18th

Genre: YA Paranormal

 
Cordelia is dark, but is
that her fate? She’s also the one the prophecy talks about, and she has a lot
of decisions to make. Can she fulfill the prophecy, even if it means the death
of a loved one? Between the love of her life, her best friend, and her birth
father, she has a ton of support. But is that enough to help her make the
difficult decision she has to make? Can she fulfill the prophecy, become pure
once again, and save the world? That’s a lot of pressure on one eighteen year
old girl’s shoulders.
 
What
Happened before Broken Prophecy.
 
 
Broken:
Cordelia Rose has a horrible life. She gets
bullied by students at school, beaten by her father, practically abandoned by
her mother, and wants to end her life and suffering. But when some strange
things start to happen, she questions whether or not she has a purpose in this
life.
Then she meets a brother and sister that means
more to her than she realizes. They are her protectors, and her kindred
spirits. Just like her, they are bruised and broken, though for different
reasons.

When she finally discovers the truth of her
existence, her mind is jumbled with everything She has to take in; not to
mention the battle she has to fight inside and out.

 
 
 
Broken
Hearts: Kaleigh’s Revenge
Kaleigh had her heart broken.

And now she wants revenge.

But that’s hard amongst the battle 

raging around her in

her home city of Ithaca.Add to that the fact that she’s a fallen angel

with a curse, and you’ve pretty much got the
worst

time of her life….

But her new friend, Gabe,

may just make it the best time, too.

 
Broken
Wings Playlist:
Skyscraper
by: Demi Lovato (Cordelia’s Song)
Mean
by: Taylor Swift
Wasting
All These Tears by: Cassadee Pope (Kaleigh’s Song)
You
Haven’t Seen the Last of Me by: Cher
Broken
by: Seether and Amy Lee
My
Immortal by: Evanescence
Anthem
of the Angels By: Breaking Benjamin
Til
the End by: Breaking Benjamin
Give
Me a Sign by: Breaking Benjamin
A
Little Bit Stronger by: Sara Evens
Stay
by: Mayday Parade
My
Sacrifice by: Creed
The
Reason by: Hoobastank (Cameron song to Cordelia)
Broken
by: Lindsey Haun
Forever
by: Papa Roach
Haunted
by: Taylor Swift
Invisible
by: Hunter Hayes
 
Sandra Love is a new to the author world,
publishing her first book in 2013. She currently lives in Michigan, with her
son and partner. Sandra is very lucky to have a sister Amanda, who has been
there with her through everything, including helping her with the editing of
her books. She is also very lucky to have her editor Genevieve Scholl. Sandra
has four cats, Stubby, Odin, Thor and Freya. She loves to spend hours reading
her favorite authors and writing. Her favorite genres are Paranormal,
supernatural and romance. Sandra’s first series of books (Broken Wings) is a
Supernatural romance. She currently has 3 books out, Broken, Broken Hearts:
Kaleigh’s Revenge and To Love Again. She is working on book 3 of the Broken
Wings Series; Broken Prophecy. It is due out December 18th. She also has a
short story in an Anthology, called Seven Christmas Surprises. The Anthology is
called; 12 Days of Christmas: Naughty or Nice? She had to step out of her
comfort zone to write that short story. Sandra also writes under a pen name,
Diamond Davenport. She has a book out called Summer In Dallas. Her inspiration
are Indie Authors. She loves and adores them all.
 
Follow Me:

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 17

Featured today!

DREAM STUDENT is featured today at Kindle Books & Tips – it’s free, so this is a great time to check it out (and there are many other great books featured at KB&T as well…)

Dec 17

Meet Diego!

We have a new friend and member of our family.  On Sunday, we visited the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and we brought someone home with us.  Say hello to Diego!

IMG_1618 (1)

At least, he’s Diego for now.  We’ll see how the name suits him, or if he decides another name might better fit him.  He’s full of energy and curiousity, and he seems to like the kitchen sink and the bathtub a lot more than I would have imagined a cat would.

Isn’t he handsome?

Dec 13

Book Tour – The Addiction Series by Sandra Shrewsbury

Title: Addiction
Series

By: Sandra Shrewsbury

Blog Tour: December 13th – 17th

Hosted By: Author Sandra Love

 
Outside The
Addiction: A Mother’s Story

Release Date:
November 27th, 2013

Susan Green is a single mother raising three
children. She has had it rough… But, always managed… Until now. 
Susan’s daughter, Tina, has been acting strange.
She has always been a very calm child, then one day she began acting out in
anger. Her mother is worried it may be drugs. 

In her attempt to find out what is going on with
her daughter, Susan finds out more than she can bargain for. 

Susan’s life changes and not for the better, she
is faced with a demon that she can’t control. How can she fight for a life
that’s not hers to fight for. Can Susan save her daughter?

 
 
Praises
for Outside The Addiction:
 
I was quickly drawn into this story of Susan and Tina, and I
fell for them. My heart was wrenched with pain as Susan is pulled through the
evil depths of Tina’s addiction. Sandra Shrewsbury shows the reader how trying
it is for all parts of the family going through Tina’s addiction. The path of
addiction isn’t a solo one, it takes many people down it’s twisted, gnarly
road.”
 
“Very heartfelt read it made me feel the mothers
pain as she went through this horrid ordeal

what a powerful read all parents should read
this book”

 
The Aftermath of an Addiction

Release Date: November 14th, 2014

The abuse of drugs affects one’s life more than
one knows… 

Not only does it ruin lives, it breaks hearts.
The hearts of loved ones that stand by you day by day, trying to offer you the
support that you need to put the pieces of the puzzle of life back together. 

But some people don’t fit that last piece in the
empty slot that the drugs have created. My mother left that slot empty and was
never the same. But her story has already been told… This is my story. 

This is the Aftermath of an Addiction.

 
 

 

Praises for The Aftermath of an Addiction:
What
a moving and powerful book! I love this story it will have you crying. It is
well written and it will hold your attention until the very end! What Sandra
does in this book is amazing. WARNING: Have tissues ready! Great job hun! A
MUST READ
About the Author:
Sandra hails from West
Virginia, where she lives with her family. She spent ten years working in the
nursing profession. She loves to read, no matter what the genre is. However,
her favorites are Romance, Supernatural, and Non-Fiction. This love for the
written word inspired Sandra to begin her own writing career. Using her own
life experiences, Sandra brings Addiction to the surface. Now for her next book
she is doing an adult romance novel. Midnight Desire will let Sandra experience
her passion for romance.
 
Links
Meet Sandra’s Street Team!!!
 
More Teasers for you to enjoy!!! J

 

 

FINALLY – here are TEN FACTS you might not know about Sandra…
  1. I love to read
  2. Writing is my passion
  3. I love classical music
  4. I am a very honest person and some people don’t like that.
  5. I love to fish and hunt
  6. I hate onions
  7. I hate diamonds i would rather have something silver
  8. I love helping people
  9. I am a cat person
  10. I love traveling
 
Thank You for supporting Sandra Shrewsbury! It means a lot
to her and I!

 

Dec 12

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 3, chapter 2 – “Peter Lake Returns”)

The action of part 3 picks up, naturally in the midst of a brutal – yet beautiful – winter.  It’s the first such winter after “several” years without any real, proper winters.  (Helprin is playing loosely with time here, but, given what he told us in the previous chapter, that’s hardly a surprise).  But for pedantry’s sake: Virginia arrived in Manhattan at the end of 1994 (we can be relatively certain of this because Hardesty arrives at Mrs. Gamely’s home during the second brutal Coheeries winter in a row, and he doesn’t end up there until a few months after September of 1995),  So by “several years” Helprin can’t mean more than two, because we’re in 1998 now).

We step back into the plot aboard the Staten Island Ferry.  The boat is stuck in the ice of the harbor and returning to Manhattan, when a passenger spots something fall from the sky with a bright streak of light.  He points out where he saw it land, and, sure enough, someone is out there.  A wounded man, with sword cuts all over his body, and, he thinks, possibly bullet wounds, too.  But he doesn’t know who he is, who might have given him the wounds, or how he ended up in the harbor (Helprin doesn’t play with the reader, though – he tells us that this is Peter Lake right from he start).

Peter doesn’t recognize himself in the mirror, and passes out just as he’s brought to a waiting ambulance when the ferry docks.  He wakes up sometime later, handcuffed to a bed in St. Vincent’s Hospital (the same hospital Hardesty makes a note of when he walks past it a couple of chapters ago).  He can’t understand what’s going on – he doesn’t recognize plastic, or the computer monitors showing his vital signs, and when one of the doctors mentions identifying him via fingerprints, he has no idea what those are.  He’s sedated after he mouths off at the doctor, and doesn’t wake again for five days.  When he does, he’s no longer chained to the bed, and he finds a strange young woman at his bedside.  He assumes she’s a teenager, probably from another ward of the hospital (due to the “slingshot” in her pocket that he doesn’t recognize as a stethoscope; and also due to the fact that, being used to the world of 1915, he has no idea that women can be doctors).

After a confused, but pleasant, conversation, she sedates him again.  When he awakes the next time – much sooner than she expects, and almost completely healed, although that ought to be impossible – he realizes that she truly is a doctor.  He also takes note of the monitors and how their lights and beeping correspond to his activity.  He begins to form an idea, that it is no longer 1915.  He impresses the doctor by his healing, and also by his knowing what time it is despite not having a clock nearby.  He can tell by the sound of the police horses – it’s a shift change, and knowing how far the hospital is from the stables.  And the doctor confirms he’s correct.  But he throws her for a loop when he asks about the El.  She has no idea what he’s talking about.  He explains – elevated trains.  But there aren’t any.

“Oh, maybe in the Bronx, or Brooklyn somewhere.  But not in downtown Manhattan.”

Certainly not in 1998.  Peter convinces her to let him see for himself.  She unhooks his IV, and, when he asks, tells him what year it is.  Then she leads him to the roof.

“If this is a joke, I’ll kill you,” she said, wondering how she could believe what she believed and think what she had thought.

Peter visualizes what he knows ought to be out there when the door opens.  But he knows it’s not so.

“It’s funny,” Peter Lake stated.  “I don’t think that this notion I have could be so, but I’m afraid to open the door.”

“Just push it,” she said.

He did.

And we end on that.  We know what Peter will see, but I love the way Helprin leaves us just at that moment without going farther.  It’s a perfect ending to the chapter.

And now we’ve got both Peter and Athansor in the modern world, ready to take their places alongside Virginia and Hardesty and everyone else we met in part 2.  We also know for certain now (as with Athanson) that the transition from 1915 to the end of the 20th century was instantaneous; they both return with all the wounds they suffered in the fight against Pearly on the Brooklyn Bridge still fresh.

The one criticism I have of this chapter is that Peter’s doctor is a one-shot character.  We don’t get a name for her, and we won’t see her again in the book, which is a shame.  She’s a great character, and I’d personally like to know a lot more about her.  And I think she could easily have played some sort of role in the events that will come.

But we’ll have to leave her behind, and pick up the story of Hardesty and Virginia in the next chapter…

Dec 12

Book Tour – Jude Ouvrard and her many novels!

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Dec 10

Giveaway!

I’m participating in a great event with several other fantastic indie authors.  It’s a giveaway, with a ton of prizes for you to win.  All you have to do is stop by our event today on Facebook.

Here’s who’s participating and what you can win:

Rolynn Anderson – $25 Amazon gift card and e-book of Lie Catcher

Denise Moncrief – $10 gift card and an autographed signed copy of Laurel Heights. 

Dixie Brown – ebook of WHATEVER IT TAKES and a $25 gift card

LaVerne Clark –  print copy and an e-copy of GUARDIAN OF THE JEWEL and AFFINITY 

James DiBenedetto- I’ll give away an ebook set of my first three Dream Series books, a Dream Series t-shirt, and a signed paperback of the first book, Dream Studen

Cait Jarrod – an e-copy of ENTANGLED LOVE; signed copy of KIDNAPPED HEARTS 

Beverly Bateman – A $25 gift card and a signed copy of my print book Death Comes in Red. 

Kim McHill –  $10 Amazon gift card and a kindle copy of my adventure BOXED SET of 3 Kim McMahill Books: Marked In Mexico, Deadly Exodus & Big Horn Storm 

Andrea Parnell – a $25 Amazon gift card and a free e-copy of WHISPERS AT MIDNIGHT. 

Dec 09

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 3, chapter 1 – “Nothing is Random”)

We’re onto part 3 of the book now, which is titled “The Sun…and the Ghost”.  We’re a little past the halfway mark of the book, and by the end of this part, the plot is going to speed up quite a bit.  Before that, though, we’re going to meet an old friend, and get some history on the two great newspapers of Helprin’s New York City.

Before that, though, we have a very short (2 pages) prologue chapter to this section of the book, in which the author makes explicit some of the things we’ve been discussing throughout the novel.  Basically, he addresses the paradox between predestination and free will.

Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be

This is how he opens the chapter, and then Helprin gives us a litany of examples, from the weather, to the daily routine of the milkman to the behavior of individual electrons

going precisely where they are supposed to go.

How is that to be squared with what Helprin terms “wonderful anarchy” ?  As he puts it:

the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will.

Helprin’s answer?

Nothing is predetermined; it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined.  No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas we have been given

And he directly says what some of his characters have theorized: time can be transcended, if only one steps back far enough to see it all.

The universe is still and complete.  Everything that ever was, is; everything that ever will be, is – and so on, in all possible combinations.

And he comes around to justice; the final words of this very brief chapter are:

when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time,justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but as something that is.

 

Almost everyone in the book is seeking justice, perfection, the promised land.  And Helprin has just given us the secret of how to find it…

Dec 09

An Interview with Author Sandy Wolters

I featured fellow author Sandy Wolters yesterday, but there was just so much to say about her and her books that I couldn’t get it all into one post.  So she’s back this morning with a fantastic interview.

But first, a reminder about her books – the Rock Star series:

When One Door Closes Book Cover Another Door Opens Book Cover

You can find both of her books on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Sandy-Wolters/e/B00569J3UI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1417876442&sr=1-2-ent

And of course, on her website as well:  http://sandywolters.weebly.com/

And, as promised, here’s the interview…

Who is your favorite author?

This is a trick question, right?  I’m an eclectic reader.  I read so many different genres and enjoy them all, I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to just one author as a favorite.  Some favorites of mine that people would know are Nora Roberts and Michael Connelly.  I must admit, though, that when I do get a chance to read lately, I tend to pick up Indie Author books and enjoy them a lot.  I’ve gotten to the point where I love finding new authors to read.  There are some real gems out there just waiting to be discovered.

How do you describe your writing style?

I’m a character based author.  I want the readers to feel the joy and the pain my characters are going through.  I put a lot of emphasis on my characters because that’s what I like to read.  You have to either like or hate the people you’re reading about, otherwise a reader just doesn’t care what happens to them.  I like to pull at the reader’s emotional heartstrings.  Make them feel what they are reading.  If my words can make a reader cry, either happy or sad tears, of laugh out loud so people around them look at them like they’ve lost their minds, then my job is done.

In many of my books, I also have a bit of ghostly paranormal activity.  Many of us have lost loved ones and feel them around us when we need them.  The same goes for my books only generally, the dead characters have quite a since of humor and hopefully garner some laughs from the readers.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

My books take you on an emotional journey with people you care about.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

Not myself, but my daughters.  The women in my books are strong both emotionally and physically, just like my girls.  They may have their moments of emotional turmoil, but they always seem to pull through it with a smile on their face.  They can take care of themselves and are feisty as well as quick witted.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

I’d have to choose Shandelle from my time travel romance, Soul Mates.  I’d love to see Ireland back in the early 1300s.

What books have most influenced your life?

There really aren’t any books in particular that have changed my life.  Before I started to write myself, I only read romance for the most part.  So I guess you could say that genre has influenced me the most because I now write romance with a ghostly paranormal twist.  It is my first love.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Not going there!  As an author, I respect every writer’s work.  I may not care for the story, but I know what went into writing it.  I would hope to garner the same respect from every other author out there.

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

Monkees.  Isn’t it obvious why?  Davy Jones, of course.  LOL  When I was a kid, my walls were plastered with his posters.

Who should play you in a film of your life?

Hmm.  Good question.  I’ve never been asked this before.  I’d have to pick Sandra Bullock.  I like her easy going style and sense of humor.  I also likes that she snorts when she laughs.

Dec 08

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” (part 2, chapter 5 – “Hell Gate”)

We’re coming to the end of part 2, and our final new character.  She’s a young woman by the name of Christiana Friebourg, and we meet her – in good Helprin fashion – in a flashback.  She’s remembering her grade-school days, and one event in particular: the time that everyone in her class had to write an essay about their favorite animal and read it aloud.

Christiana has a favorite animal, the memory of whom is so overwhelming that it almost brings her to tears.  She doesn’t talk about him, though – but she does drift back (giving us another Helprin specialty, the flashback within a flashback) and we see her meeting with him.  She’s walking home from picking blueberries, on the beach, , when she sees something fall from the sky on a trail of mist and land in the ocean.  Our in the water, she sees what it was – a horse.

A very particular white horse.  She swims out to him, and nearly drowns for her trouble.  But, eventually, after throwing herself onto the horse’s back, he – after initially trying to throw her off – accepts her and brings her safely to land.

She sees just how massive he is (she can walk beneath him and not hit her head) and she sees the many wounds that he – apparently recently – has suffered.  He then begins galloping, and jumping, up and down the beach, farther and higher with each effort, until, at last, he literally leaps up and flies into the air, and is gone.  Although Christiana doesn’t know it, she’s just met Athansor, and she’s the first person in this era to do so.

We go from that scene of amazement to the present (more or less) of the story, and our first glimpse at the inimitable Craig Binky, owner of the New York Ghost (he’s been mentioned previously, but this is our first chance to properly meet him).  Craig is an ill-mannered, barely literate, completely deranged buffoon (as we’ll see in the next part of the book, the Ghost is modelled – sort of – on the New York Post, and Binky is an exaggerated version of Rupert Murdoch).  But he’s got a certain charm despite all that.

At the moment, he’s been asked by the manager of his club if he’s got room in one of his many properties for a young woman who works at the club and who will need lodging after the club closes in October.  Binky evades the question, but his friend, real estate magnate Marcel Apand (whose company symbol is an upraised monkey fist – “ape hand”) suggests getting a look at the girl first.

The girl, of course, is the grown-up Christiana, who’s beautiful.  Marcel seizes the opportunity, and Christiana is soon ensconced first aboard his yacht and then in one of his many homes.  Helprin makes it clear that, while Marcel uses her for arm candy, that’s all she’s being used for – she’s not sleeping with him.  But, nonetheless, this is no life for her.  She wants to escape Marcel, and to get to know New York.  The city:

was alive, and she wanted to know it, even if it meant the risk of losing herself within it.  Because there were all kinds of hell – some were black and dirty, and some were silvery and high.

We jump ahead to an especially hot night in August.  We briefly visit Hardesty and Virginia, who are overcome with crazed desire, and make love ” like powerful engines, forges, furnaces.”  This harks back to the description of Peter and Beverly making love after the New Year’s Eve party at Mouquin’s, just as much else about Hardesty and Virginia mirrors their relationship.

At the same time, Asbury Gunwillow is unable to sleep; and we drop in on several other characters, and then we return to Christiana and Marcel, who are on an expedition.

They’re headed – in several armored limos) to the “city of the poor” to see what they can see.  On the way, they discuss these horrible slums, which are always burning.  One of their companions thinks that, one day, there will be a reckoning:

“I mean a shudder of anger that will make itself heard in Heaven, a fire that will leave only rubble and glass.”

And Marcel has an answer:

“We’ll rebuild.  Let it come.  We’ll rebuild.”

Keep that in mind when we get to the last couple of chapters of the book…

In the meantime, what they encounter is a makeshift arena in which gladiator-like men fight horses to the death.  The spectacle is horrifying.  Christiana wants to run away, but she’s trapped there:

She had no will, but only eyes, as in a dream.

Two horses are slaughtered, but then a third comes out, a huge white stallion – Athansor.  Christiana sees that he could easily break free of the arena, but he chooses to stay, and to fight.  When he’s killed every one of the horse-fighters, Marcel and company take their leave of this atrocious place.  But when she returns home, she does not sleep.  Instead, she gathers her belongings, some food, and all the money in Marcel’s petty cash jar (thirty-two hundred dollars) and leaves.

In the morning, somewhat to her amazement, she finds both an apartment (next door to Asbury, as it turns out) and a job (as a part-time maid in Harry Penn’s home).  We meet Boonya, another of the Penn servants, every bit as cheerfully insane as the ones eighty years before (her litany of recipes for non-existent foods is very entertaining).  And she gets to know – without ever seeing – her new neighbor.

Over the course of the winter, they fall in love, solely based on conversation.  Christiana and Asbury agree to meet on the first fine day of spring, which ends up being in June.  They go up, and despite their fears, things go better than either could have imagined:

Then she rose in one quick movement, and stood before the lover that she had never seen.  She was more than pleased.  And he was stunned.

“I knew it,” he said, in triumph, struggling to take her in all at once.  “I knew that you would be the most beautiful woman in the world.  And, goddamnit,” he said, stepping back a pace so as not to be overwhelmed, “you are.”

And that’s where we end.  True love, patience and faith being rewarded, high expectations being not merely met but vastly exceeded.  And the return of Athansor, which begs the question of who else from the past might turn up in late 1990’s Manhattan?

We’ll find out very quickly in part 3 of the book…

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