Come, Thou Tortoise
A delightfully offbeat story that features an opinionated tortoise and an IQ-challenged narrator who find themselves in the middle of a life-changing mystery.
Audrey (a.k.a. Oddly) Flowers is living quietly in Oregon with Winnifred, her tortoise, when she finds out her dear father has been knocked into a coma back in Newfoundland. Despite her fear of flying, she goes to him, but not before she reluctantly dumps Winnifred with her unreliable friends. Poor Winnifred.
When Audrey disarms an Air Marshal en route to St. John’s we begin to realize there’s something, well, odd about her. And we soon know that Audrey’s quest to discover who her father really was – and reunite with Winnifred – will be an adventure like no other.
Winnifred is old. She might be three hundred. She came with the apartment. The previous tenant, a rock climber named Cliff, was embarking on a rock-climbing adventure that would not have been much fun for Winnifred. Back then her name was Iris. Cliff had inherited Iris from the previous tenant. Nobody knew how old Iris was or where she had come from originally. Now Cliff was moving out. He said, Would you like a tortoise.
I would not say no to a tortoise, I said.
I was alone in Portland and the trees were giant. I picked her up and she blinked at me with her upside-down eyelids. I felt instantly calm. Her eyes were soft brown. Her skin felt like an old elbow. I will build you a castle, I whispered. With a pool. And I was true to my word.
From the Hardcover edition.
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COME THOU TORTOISE
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airport ante meridiem Audrey basement bathroom biography brain Byrne Doyle called castle cheval glass Christmas lights Christmatech Chuck Civil Manor Cliff climb Clint Clint's cab coffee crash dad's dashboard door eyebrows eyes face feel floor Flowers glass Grandmother hair hand head hear hoof pick inside Jacob Marley Jim Ryan Judd knock Lada laugh legs Linda Lionel de Tigrel look mean medulla oblongata mice mouse never night Oddly Okay orange parking Penzance plane porch pull Qantas Rambo remember Rule Number says Uncle says Uncle Thoby seat Shirley MacLaine shoulder shovel sleep snow someone sorry stop tell There's thing Thoby's thought Toff Toff's tortoise tree turn Uncle Thoby upstairs Verlaine Verlaine says waiting walk wall Walter Flowers watch wearing Weather Bomb Wedge Wedge's window Winnifred Yeah