Mary and O'Neil

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Random House Publishing Group, Jun 29, 2004 - Fiction - 256 pages
4 Reviews
Mary and O’Neil frequently marveled at how, of all the lives they might have led, they had somehow found this one together. When they met at the Philadelphia high school where they’d come to teach, each had suffered a profound loss that had not healed. How likely was it that they could learn to trust, much less love, again?

Justin Cronin’s poignant debut traces the lives of Mary Olson and O’Neil Burke, two vulnerable young teachers who rediscover in each other a world alive with promise and hope. From the formative experiences of their early adulthood to marriage, parenthood, and beyond, this novel in stories illuminates the moments of grace that enable Mary and O’Neil to make peace with the deep emotional legacies that haunt them: the sudden, mysterious death of O’Neil’s parents, Mary’s long-ago decision to end a pregnancy, O’Neil’s sister’s battle with illness and a troubled marriage. Alive with magical nuance and unexpected encounters, Mary and O’Neil celebrates the uncommon in common lives, and the redemptive power of love.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BobNolin - LibraryThing

Linked stories, mostly about the oddly-named O'Neil Burke and his family, and the woman he marries, Mary. Despite the title, the relationship between the title characters is not fleshed out very well ... Read full review

MARY AND O'NEIL

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

With subtlety and grace, a first novel—actually a series of eight linked, chronologically arranged stories—illuminates momentous if commonplace events in the lives of a modern New England family.It ... Read full review

Contents

Title Page
ORPHANS
LIGHTNESS
GROOM
MAMMALS
GHOSTS OF WINTER
LIFE BY MOONLIGHT
A GATHERING OF SHADES
Acknowledgments
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Justin Cronin is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and associate professor of English at La Salle University. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Epoch, Greensboro Review, and Crescent Review, and in The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. He lives with his wife and their young daughter in Philadelphia.

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