The Daughters of Simon Lamoreaux: A Novel

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Scribner, 2000 - Fiction - 270 pages
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Ducking out of choir rehearsal at his New England prep school, Miles Fanning rushes to a rendezvous with his girlfriend Carly. But Carly doesn't show up at the appointed time -- and is never seen again. From this haunting episode, David Long, praised for his "poetic, resonant, unpretentious" prose "(The Boston Globe)," has crafted an elegant and gripping novel about the effect of not knowing on a tragedy's survivors.

Twenty-four years later, Fanning owns an independent record label in Seattle. He is enduring a trial separation from his wife and feeling increasingly disconnected and withdrawn when he receives an anonymous e-mail message from a woman who turns out to be Carly's sister, Julia Lamoreaux. They meet at a hotel bar -- Fanning, who never gives a thought to the past, and Julia, who is obsessed by it. Then silence, until a few weeks later, when Fanning, a frequent insomniac, answers a late-night phone call. It's Julia. So begins a phone and e-mail correspondence in which Julia, chain-smoking and caustic-tongued, tells Fanning of the devastating events set into motion by her sister's never-explained disappearance: in particular, the slow demise of their deeply religious father. Fanning is captivated, and so are we, by Julia's offbeat intensity. His heightening attraction to Julia causes old questions to flare: What "did" happen to Carly, and how was his own life altered by her fate?

With precise, expert prose, award-winning writer David Long weaves a spellbinding and sensual novel that explores the workings of religious faith, the power of memory, and the redemption offered by opening oneself up to love.

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User Review  - niquetteb - LibraryThing

Very detailed flow of words. A little lengthy at times, but perhaps that was necessary to convey the feeling. It would be interesting to further analyze Long's style of writing and how the themes ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

O. Henry Award-winning author Long (The Falling Boy, 1997, etc.) delivers a subdued tale of memory and character.At 44, Miles Fanning has done well as owner of a small Seattle record company, but his ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

David Long is the author of three story collections, including Blue Spruce, and the novel The Falling Boy. He has won several honors for his work, including an O. Henry Award and the Rosenthal Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Tacoma, Washington.

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