Titel: The Daughters of Simon Lamoreaux: A Novel
Verlag: Scribner, Old Tappan, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Near Fine
Auflage: First Edition.
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Ducking out of choir rehearsal at his New England prep school, Miles Fanning rushes to a rendezvous with his girlfriend Carly. But Carly doesn't show up at the appointed time -- and is never seen again. From this haunting episode, David Long, praised for his "poetic, resonant, unpretentious" prose "(The Boston Globe)," has crafted an elegant and gripping novel about the effect of not knowing on a tragedy's survivors. Twenty-four years later, Fanning owns an independent record label in Seattle. He is enduring a trial separation from his wife and feeling increasingly disconnected and withdrawn when he receives an anonymous e-mail message from a woman who turns out to be Carly's sister, Julia Lamoreaux. They meet at a hotel bar -- Fanning, who never gives a thought to the past, and Julia, who is obsessed by it. Then silence, until a few weeks later, when Fanning, a frequent insomniac, answers a late-night phone call. It's Julia. So begins a phone and e-mail correspondence in which Julia, chain-smoking and caustic-tongued, tells Fanning of the devastating events set into motion by her sister's never-explained disappearance: in particular, the slow demise of their deeply religious father. Fanning is captivated, and so are we, by Julia's offbeat intensity. His heightening attraction to Julia causes old questions to flare: What "did" happen to Carly, and how was his own life altered by her fate? With precise, expert prose, award-winning writer David Long weaves a spellbinding and sensual novel that explores the workings of religious faith, the power of memory, and the redemption offered by opening oneself up to love.Review:
On a hazy Friday in May 1973, Carolyn Lamoreaux vanishes during a high school choir practice in Hartford, Connecticut. Her boyfriend, Miles Fanning, waits disconsolately at the secret place where they'd planned to meet during lunch break, but Carly never comes. Days stretch into weeks, then months, and her disappearance is never solved. Jump ahead to Seattle, 1997, where Fanning, now in his early 40s, runs a small recording label. Recently separated, he's living out of a back room in his studio and battling insomnia when one night he receives a cryptic e-mail: "Are you the Miles Fanning who went to Griffin?" The message comes from Carly's younger sister, and soon Fanning finds himself involved in a disturbing stroll down memory lane as Julia fills him in via e-mail, over the phone, and in person on what became of the Lamoreaux family after Carly disappeared.
In The Daughters of Simon Lamoreaux David Long has crafted an absorbing mystery, an unusual love story, and a deeply moving examination of a family collapsing under the weight of its own unspoken grief. Faith is at the center of the Lamoreaux tragedy, for Simon, the patriarch, is a deeply religious man who finds his belief in God challenged, not only by Carly's disappearance but by his Creator's deafening silence on the subject: "God knew where Carly was and wouldn't tell. Heretofore, Simon had thought of God's silence as magisterial, as a tool for quickening the organs of perception, for instilling patience. Now it felt malign." As Simon's crisis deepens, Julia draws reluctantly closer to him while her mother, Mitzi, begins to pull away. Long builds slowly to the shattering climax of Simon's fall from grace, teasing out the details over the course of several late-night telephone conversations between Julia and Miles and the occasional lengthy e-mail. In less skilled hands such devices would quickly pall, seem contrived, but the secret to this novel's success lies in its author's impeccable timing, stellar prose, and considerable talent for drawing unique, quirky characters that hold the reader spellbound.
In fact, it's only fair to issue a caveat to potential readers: don't start this novel unless you have plenty of time to finish it, because once The Daughters of Simon Lamoreaux has you in its thrall, it's almost impossible to put down. --Alix Wilber
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