The story behind Mary's reclusiveness, which winds back to WWII, unfolds among other Mill River townsfolk who are struggling with their own challenges and demons. This includes an 87 year-old priest, Mary's only friend and confidante; a lustful, power-hungry cop; a widower transplanted from Boston with a young daughter; a teacher battling her waistline; and the town misfit, who practices witchcraft.
Secrets and unexpected gestures of kindness shape Chan's compassionate novel that blends elements of mystery, suspense and romance. After sixty years, Mary's reclusiveness is second nature in town, but behind-the-scenes, she remains attuned to the lives of those around her—"decent, hardworking people, the kind that don't have a lot but would give everything they have to a neighbor in need." Mary humbly leads this initiative, which culminates in a beautifully rendered denouement that rekindles hope for a troubled world.
Ballantine Books, $15.00 Trade Paper, 9780553391879, 416 pp
Publication Date: June 17, 2014