Synopses & Reviews
What are the boundaries between imagination and delusion? When Ella's father John dies unexpectedly, she learns that the past she believed in never really happened. For more than twenty years, Ella has learned to live without her mother, learned to forget the woman with paranoid delusions who abandoned their small family the summer Ella turned ten, learned to accept the likely scenario that her homeless mother died on the streets. But John's accident changes everything. The unsettling questions raised by John's death and Maggie's unwanted reappearance send Ella on a journey to discover the truth - the truth about the woman who abandoned her and the man who raised her and why they kept their story a secret. This is a novel about loss and forgiveness, about imagination and that gift's more menacing form, delusion.
Michelle Bailat-Jones has written a stark, haunting novel that explores the binds of family, of marriage, and of mothering and being mothered. In the wake of Ella's father's death, what appears to be an ending is in fact the beginning of unraveling a life's worth of mysteries, as well as what it means to forgive others and forgive oneself. This is a gorgeous, sea-drenched book of exceptional lyricism that drew me in from the very first page."--Anne Valente, author of Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down
Unfurled is a poignant novel about the chaos of life, and the mind and heart. Bailat-Jones writes with clarity, control, beauty, and a crystalline understanding of people--our fragility and strength, flaws and virtues, wounds and recovery. A wonderful accomplishment. --Ethel Rohan, author of The Weight of Him
For more than twenty years, Ella has learned to live without her mother, Maggie, who disappeared into a fog of mental illness when Ella turned ten. Despite this trauma, Ella has forged ahead, becoming a veterinarian, getting married, and most of all, developing a deep, trusting bond with her father, John, a ferry captain in Seattle.
Ella's contented life is shattered when her father is hit by a car and killed. Going through his papers, she learns that her father maintained a secret relationship with her mother. The unsettling questions raised by her father's death and her mother's unexpected reappearance sends Ella on a journey to discover the truth about the woman who abandoned her and the man who raised her, a journey that threatens her marriage, her unborn child, and ultimately, her sanity.