Mystery Molly Moynahan Stone Garden: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060544263

Stone Garden: A Novel

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9780060544263: Stone Garden: A Novel

A smart young woman making her way through the privileged terrain of northeastern prep-school land, Alice McGuire is certain of her world and her future -- until the summer her best friend and soul mate, Matthew Swan, vanishes on a trip to Mexico. Stunned, Alice and the rest of the close-knit town that adored Matthew search for answers. For Alice, the journey of heartbreak leads from everything that is familiar to forbidden places and forgotten people who will teach her about kindness and forgiveness: lessons that will open her to new possibilities and unexpected hope.

Each night before I went to sleep I imagined exactly how his hand felt in mine, the ring he inherited from his grandfather, heavy, inside my palm. And I told him how much I loved him. Whispering in the dark like when we were little and slept over at each other's house, telling secrets until one of us dropped off the edge of the night. ... That's what you do when you love someone: You hold on tight and you don't forget anything.

With sensitivity, and astonishing realism, Molly Moynahan skillfully unfolds a funny and devastating tale of pain and courage, love and transcendence, honesty and memory. Vividly wrought, deeply resonant, and told in a remarkable voice that sparkles with wit and wisdom, Stone Garden is a splendid triumph from an accomplished new writer.

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About the Author:

Molly Moynahan is a high school English teacher and has taught creative writing at various colleges. She lives in Chicago.

From Publishers Weekly:

Rich-kid glamour mixes uneasily with tragedy in this well-intentioned but faintly smug second novel by Moynahan (Parting Is All We Know of Heaven). Alice McGuire's picture-perfect world crumbles after the bones of her missing best friend, Matthew Swan, are discovered in a shallow grave in Mexico. Devastated, the Millstone Country Day senior struggles with her romantic dreams of what might have been and the impact of her devastating loss-"I could feel Matt's dying in every inch of me, skimming across the surface of my skin, soaking into my pores when I stood under the shower.... Grief is fifty times harder than AP Calculus." For a while, the self-absorbed Alice has trouble empathizing with others mourning the well-liked student, including the frankly lesbian Ms. Hardwood, a perceptive teacher; Catherine, Matt's recovering alcoholic mom, who once had a fling with Alice's dad; Matt's eccentric sisters (one is perpetually stoned, not unlike Hallie, the heroin addict Matt went to Mexico with); Julia, Alice's overachieving Martha Stewart-type mother; and the lonely Sigrid, Alice's talented friend who composes an opera inspired by the long-ago murder of her beloved babysitter. Alice's salvation is her senior project participation in Literacy Behind Bars, a prison creative writing program, where Frank, the man who killed Sigrid's babysitter, is one of her "students." Frank and the other inmates adore Alice, and they spill their guts in perceptive prose, teaching Alice, Sigrid and their Millstone classmates about the redemptive power of forgiveness. Moynahan's smooth, playful prose is engaging, but her characters' emotional turmoil has a glib, rehearsed quality. As Alice puts it early on, "We were spoiled rotten and didn't have a clue." Despite all that follows, the feel-good ending underscores the reader's sense that little has changed.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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