Two powerful novels from “a superb storyteller”: An Oprah’s Book Club selection and New York Times bestseller plus a National Book Award–nominated debut (The Washington Post).
The highly acclaimed novelist Mary McGarry Morris has been hailed as “a credible heir to Carson McCullers . . . a wise, unsentimental portraitist of the lonely, the damned, the desperate and the incomplete” (The New York Times Book Review). Morris’s gift for emotionally powerful, often bleak but always compassionate stories set in the small towns of New England is on display in the two novels collected here: the Oprah’s Book Club Selection and New York Times bestseller, Songs in Ordinary Time, and the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, her debut novel, Vanished.
Songs in Ordinary Time: In the summer of 1960 in Atkinson, Vermont, Marie Fermoyle is raising three children on the edge of poverty, with no help from her alcoholic ex-husband. Desperately lonely, Marie is easy prey for a con man like Omar Duvall. Her seventeen-year-old daughter, Alice, is involved with a local priest; her sixteen-year-old son, Norm, is a hothead; and twelve-year-old Benjy is hiding a secret about Duvall that could shatter all her hopes.
“Teeming with incident and characters, often foolish, even nasty, but always alive.” —The New Yorker
“Deep and thick as a long, hot summer . . . The narrative of a town reminiscent of the collective ache of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.” —The Boston Globe
Vanished: Aubrey Wallace is a simple laborer, the kind of man no one notices. Dotty Johnson is the kind of woman no man can ignore. The day after they both disappear from their small Vermont town, a toddler is taken from her home. For the next five years, Aubrey, Dotty, and the kidnapped child are trapped in a nomadic existence, terrified of discovery. But when Dotty decides she’s had enough, she hooks up with an ex-convict and the wheels of the little girl’s return to her parents are wrenched fatally into motion.
“An impressive debut . . . unusual and rich.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“[Hums] with both the authenticity of real life and the mythic power of fable.” —The New York Times