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The Marriage of Sticksby Jonathan Carroll
As Marriage of Sticks opens, Miranda Romanac is preparing to attend her fifteen-year high school reunion. She is hoping to see James Stillman, "the first man I ever loved with an adult heart," only to be informed that he died three years before in a car crash. As a rare-book dealer in New York City, Miranda makes the acquaintance of many interesting people, among them a married man named Hugh Oakley, whom she is soon having an affair with, and Frances Hatch, an amazing woman who regales Miranda with stories of her days as mistress to many of the noted artists in Paris during the twenties. One day Miranda is walking in the city, regarding a letter she just received from Hugh, when across the street she sees a man waving at her... James Stillman.
Synopses & Reviews
In her thirties, Miranda Romanec has an interesting, successful life. But she is also alone and adrift — in certain essential ways lost in the middle of it. At her high school reunion she discovers a shattering fact that further undermines her already shaky sense of who she is and where she is going. Then miraculously she meets the remarkable Hugh Oakley and her life does a 180-degree turn for the better. But everything has its price, and the consuming love affair with already-married Hugh begins to take a bitter emotional toll.
When they move to a house in the country to start a new life together, the reality Miranda had once known begins to slip away the moment she walks in the door the first time. It is quickly replaced by alarming, impossible visions and strangers she somehow feels she knows but couldn't possibly because they are all from other times and places. Other lives utterly alien to her own begin to affect her and all that she loves. But that is just the beginning of Miranda's odyssey, because sometimes the worst thing that can happen to us is finding out who we really are.
"Jonathan Carroll is a master of sunlit surrealism — his beguiling, impossible novels are like Frank Capra films torn open to reveal the Philip K. Dick or Julio Cortazar mechanisms ticking away at their cores." Jonathan Lethem
"[D]eftly shifts focus several times in the first few chapters, then...opens up into a modern redaction of A Christmas Carol and finally into a full-fledged moral fantasy involving immortal souls, reincarnation, and redemption." Gary K. Wolfe, Locus
"I envy anyone who has yet to enjoy the sexy, eerie and addictive novels of Jonathan Carroll." Washington Post
"Intriguing, up to a point, but the concept won't wash...and the question of who's really in charge remains unanswered. Upshot: a problematic parable." Kirkus Reviews
"Carroll often startles with the deftness of his insights, both personal and metaphysical, and there are many lines that, for their poetry, one wants to cut out and frame....[B]eauty and wisdom reside here." Publishers Weekly
"Jonathan Carroll has the magic. He'll lend you his eyes, and you'll never see the world in quite the same way ever again." Neil Gaiman
"Jonathan Carroll is as scary as Hitchcock, when he isn't being as funny as Jim Carrey." Stephen King
"The author...evokes an eerie world of hidden meanings in this compelling tale of a woman's journey to the edge of reality. Carroll writes with a stark elegance that infuses the everyday world with a hint of surrealism and a taste of the unreal." Library Journal
A hip young woman sees an uncanny old woman in a wheelchair by the freeway in the middle of nowhere. Back home in New York, City, she falls in love and marries and older man and they move into a large house in the suburbs along the Hudson River. After their move, she begins to see apparitions, and then things get really strange.
Miranda Romanac is a successful thirtysomething woman in today's modern world, yet she feels alone and adrift on the sea of her life. At her high school reunion she makes a shattering discovery that further undermines her already shaky sense of who she is and where she is going. When she meets the remarkable Hugh Oakley, her life takes a 180-degree turn for the better--but at what price?
When they move to a house in the country to start a new life together, the reality Miranda had once known begins to slip away. Miranda is haunted by alarming, impossible visions and strangers whom she feels certain she has known, although they are all from other times and places. As these phantom lives consume her own and begin to affect all that she knows and loves, Miranda must learn the truth to reclaim it. But sometimes the hardest truth to accept is the knowledge of who we really are.
About the Author
Jonathan Carroll has written 13 novels, a short story collection, and a number of film scripts. He has won the World Fantasy award, British Fantasy award, French Fantasy award (twice), and the Bram Stoker award. He has lived in Vienna, Austria for three decades with his wife Beverly and immortal bullterrier, Jack the Idiot.
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