Synopses & Reviews
is the powerful story of a young girl stunned into silence after the death of her twin brother. Set in small-town Massachusetts and on Martha's Vineyard, Stay
is a terrifically accomplished first novel, and a redemptive tale of love, loss and perserverance.
"Few characters are as eloquent as the mute Emily. Staywill stay with you long after you've reluctantly turned the final, moving page. " -Mameve Medwed
Mary Sullivanlives in Cambridge, where she is on the staff at PEN/New England. Stayis her first novel.
"Time for confession," my sister whispers in my ear. "You better talk to us or you'll end up like you know who."
I follow Hope through the kitchen, past Mum's oatmeal bread rising in the gold mixing bowl. Hope points up the street, but I can't see past the overgrown pine and juniper trees, the dogwood and the rhododendron bushes blooming around the end of our driveway, closing in around us. It feels like all of Cawood is right here in our yard, full of trees and cat willows, chickens and swamp.
"Come on, Emily, now or never," Hope says from the top of the stairs. "Are you coming?"
"Yeah, are you coming?" Elizabeth Ruth asks. Hope's my oldest sister, then Sarah, Elizabeth Ruth, and me.
I reach around and pat along my shoulders until I think I find a bony lump right at the back of my neck which seems to grow bigger right under my fingers. Elizabeth Ruth sees me and says, mimicking Mum, "That's what happens when all that badness piles up inside-tchhh, tchhh, tchhh." I don't want to be like old hunchbacked Mr. Kosik with his back so swollen up and hunched over with sins that his head is like a turtle's tucked into his chest. I'll go with my sisters, but I won't tell them anything. I follow Elizabeth Ruth into Hope's room next to the bathroom, where we'll confess our sins.
"We'll see who's going to heaven," Hope says, spreading the bathroom mat in front of the tub and draping a towel over the curtain rod of the bathroom window to block out the morning light. Then she stands in the doorway and nods, meaning she's ready for Sarah to come and kneel inside the tub to make her confession.
Hope shuts the door on me an
Stay is the powerful story of a young girl stunned into silence after the death of her twin brother. Set in small-town Massachusetts and on Martha's Vineyard, Stay is a terrifically accomplished first novel, and a redemptive tale of love, loss, and perserverance.