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A grieving widower, a determined girl, a courageous librarian and a mysterious book come together in an uplifting tale of love, loss, friendship and redemption.
Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane works as an analyst for the US Forest Service. When his wife dies suddenly, Harry, despairing, retreats north to lose himself in the remote woods of the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She and her mother, Amanda, are struggling to pick up the pieces from their own tragic loss of Oriana’s father. Discovering Harry while roaming the forest, Oriana believes that he holds the key to righting her world.
Harry reluctantly agrees to help Oriana carry out an astonishing scheme inspired by a book given to her by the town librarian, Olive Perkins. Together, Harry and Oriana embark on a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wild dream—and ultimately open Harry’s heart to new life.
Grief works in mysterious ways in this winsome but overstuffed novel from Cohen (The Man in the Window). Forestry service bureaucrat Harry Crane and rural ER nurse Amanda Jeffers are widowed on the same day. While Harry withdraws into the job he hates and spirals into a bleak depression, Amanda focuses her attention on her daughter, Oriana, who imagines that her father will return as an angel or a bird. But after Harry decides to kill himself and sets off to do so in the woods near Amanda's home, an accident gives him a chance to connect with Oriana and undertake a life-changing adventure that forces all of them to question where magic (or luck) ends and reality (or chance) begins. Unfortunately, Cohen tries to do too much in an otherwise straightforward narrative. Appalachian decline, the role of books in society, health care dysfunction, and dendrology are all packed into the novel, but only add clutter to the central narrative. The result is a story that never truly gets beneath the surface.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This was a delightful tour of a fairy tale as well as travel through normal psyches of normal people. The author skillfully led me through mystery, action, trauma, love, hate, and romance. I thoroughly appreciated the clean and moral words as the likable characters navigated difficult territory. It is an unusual tale that captured my imagination.
I have always been an avid reader.
I have travelled so far and into so many lives, worlds, histories and imaginings.
This book.., this inconspicuous book has been an absolutely delicious delight!
So much. So many twists and turns.
The weaving together of so many threads, dark threads, dull ones and beautiful, brilliant threads. It is a masterpiece pure & simple. Thank you. This one I shall keep.
This is a book for those that can still dream magically!