Madeleine Shaye has a successful dual career as a concert pianist and TV arts correspondent, a great relationship with her grown daughter, and a love affair that is the envy of friends. She believes she has all the luck. But her blissful life suddenly unravels in this genre-bending novel about a mysterious love with two faces, a shocking betrayal, and the passion to reclaim old dreams.
$14.95 us / $17.95 C | Fiction Paperback | 6x9 | 272 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932961-70-6 | Carton Quantity: 24
I suppose it was the accident that wild, wet night on Wildmoor that got me writing this story. This . . . call it Gothic modern tale, complete with family curses, unquiet spirits, forbidden love—a bizarre crime, even; seasoned, of course, with ’90s grabbiness and irony. A story rather in keeping with the fantastical contours of Conscience Point. Like some back-lot castle for Ivanhoe, Violet used to joke. Held together with plaster ’n’ spit.
I wrote because the accident felt . . . fated; like a crack on the head from the past, capstone to a course set in motion decades back. A course that began one glorious May afternoon when I breached the garden wall to an enchanted country. I needed to understand: How could people so blessed by fortune so bungle it, and end in a pileup of buckled metal? Even allowing for the contrarian imp that rides us all? And my own blindness: How did I not see what was there to see all along?
Deep into my draft, though, new revelations surfaced, shoving a counterversion in my face—and forcing me to scramble for a foothold as old certainties crumbled like shale. And then, an odd thing: I discovered I was writing a letter of sorts, across continents and years, to a child in whom all the players in this tale are mingled.
If my letter should ever reach him, he’ll learn how we’re all bound up together—he and I, Laila, Violet, Nick. More entwined than through the usual ties of blood. And though we’ve all spun apart now, he’ll sense, my reader, how those ties persist, like phosphorescence lighting the night sea. And he’ll know, too—in the end, real estate rules—that Conscience Point is his to claim any time he chooses.
How strangely mixed up together we all are. Isn’t that what Nick said in the library that stormy night?
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself; better not hop all over the lot. After all, I’m writing, too—such is human vanity—to put the world on notice that our little caravan passed this way. The trick is to put a bit of starch in the narrative. The trick is to lay it out the way it happened. Before I start missing them all too much . . .