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The Call: A Novelby Yannick Murphy
Synopses & Reviews
The warm, wry, and patient voice of a veterinarian father tells the heartfelt story of his young New England family enduring a moving trial of loyalty, hope, and faith after they are confronted with an unthinkable crisis. Acclaimed author Yannick Murphy's intimate narrative style and lovely prose will enthrall readers of Rivka Galchen, Padgett Powell, and Murphy's own Signed, Mata Hari. The Call is a "triumph of quiet humor and understated beauty" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) from an author that the New York Times Book Review calls "an extraordinarily gifted fabulist."
"A triumph of quiet humor and understated beauty, Murphy's latest (after Signed, Mata Hari) takes the form of a diary belonging to veterinarian David Appleton, who recounts a year of converging perils: the slow grind of the recession, his worrying medical test results, a strange recurring vision, and the unwanted attention of a mysterious stranger. Then, when David's 12-year-old son, Sam, is shot in a hunting accident and winds up comatose, his family has every claim to despair; instead, they battle through, even as David's search for his son's shooter goes nowhere, and the stranger reveals a shocking, potentially life-altering secret. The trials of David's family are interposed with the calls he takes in his veterinary practice, in which he tends to sick sheep and injured horses with the same gentleness he shows his young children and exasperated but loving wife. These scenes evoke the dulcet cadences of life in a rural New England town, a place of stoicism and goodwill without the embroidery of folksy clichés. Murphy's subtle, wry wit and an appealing sense for the surreal leaven moments of anger and bleakness, and elevate moments of kindness, whimsy, and grace. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Murphy's eye for small-town detail and human/animal relations makes for a complex, delicate story line, and the novel as a whole carries a very real human velocity and gravity. The domestic focus and unexpected intrusions recall fiction by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida." Library Journal
"This is a wonderful novel. Original, suspenseful, funny and profoundly moving. It's about family, community, the human bond with animals and — oh yeah — spaceships. I am in awe of Yannick Murphy's achievement and I plan to recommend The Call to everyone I know." Geraldine Brooks
"The Call is an enormously affecting and lovely exploration of ordinary and extraordinary love. In prose that is as grand, startling, and particular as the New England landscape that inhabits her characters...Yannick Murphy tells a story that will break and repair your heart." Chris Adrian
"Yannick Murphy's beautiful new novel is a stirring example of what a real writer can do with form and feeling. The Call is sly, funny, scary, honest, wonderstruck and, most of all, intensely generous." Sam Lipsyte
"This book delights with its discrete structuring....The pieces snap together in odd juxtaposition, surprising, making a picture more sturdy and dependable than the seamless whole. It has the power of good old Byzantine mosaic." Padgett Powell
"Incisive and imaginative....[A] hypnotically patterned, wryly funny, and warmly compassionate tale...Visceral detail and deep knowledge stoke this gorgeously realized novel...With phenomenal economy and delicious deadpan humor, Murphy dramatizes...the many forms of giving and healing." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Murphy is a subtle, psychologically perceptive writer....A marvelous book: sweet and poignant without ever succumbing to easy sentiment, formally inventive and dexterous without ever seeming showy. A triumph." Kirkus Review (Starred Review)
About the Author
Yannick Murphy is the author of the novels Signed, Mata Hari; Here They Come; and The Sea of Trees, as well as two story collections and several children's books. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, and a Chesterfield Screenwriting Award.
Her work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading and The O. Henry Prize Stories. She lives in Vermont with her veterinarian husband and their children.
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