Thursday, May 15, 2014

History Corner / Book Review: Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos


Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from the Cadence Group , for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it




Autumn in Carthage cover


Synopsis:
Nathan Price is a college professor with crippling impairments, seeking escape from his prison of necessity. One day, in a package of seventeenth-century documents from Salem Village, he stumbles across a letter by his best friend, Jamie, who had disappeared six months before. The document is dated 1692‹the height of the Witch Trials. The only potential lead: a single mention of Carthage, a tiny town in the Wisconsin northern highland.

The mystery catapults Nathan from Chicago to the Wisconsin wilderness. There, he meets Alanna, heir to an astonishing Mittel-European legacy of power and sacrifice. In her, and in the gentle townsfolk of Carthage, Nathan finds the refuge for which he has long yearned. But Simon, the town elder, is driven by demons of his own, and may well be entangled in Jamie¹s disappearance and that of several Carthaginians. As darkness stretches toward Alanna, Nathan may have no choice but to risk it all.

Moving from the grimness of Chicago¹s South Side to the Wisconsin hinterlands to seventeenth-century Salem, this is a story of love, of sacrifice, of terrible passions‹and of two wounded souls quietly reaching for the deep peace of sanctuary.


Review:

This book focused on ye old Salem Village, so I thought it fitting to put it under History Corner today! But the book isn't that easy to pigeon hole- it's part time travel, party psychiatry novel, part supernatural drama, historical fiction, and love story! Therefore with so many venues, it is not a quick read. It is a slow to build, intellectual read. the chapters do change narrative (chapter headings let you know who the perspective is from), and that sometimes slowed the book down as well, but the book definitely picked up in the second half, and I ended up finishing it in 2 sittings. If you like books that can't be easily defined, and keep your attention, this is the book for you!


About the Author:

Christopher Zenos is a pseudonym. The author is a well-published university professor who has contended with mental illness all his life, and knows the beastie well. Hence the mask: As this novel's protagonist puts it, successful Passing is now a survival imperative for crazies like him. "Autumn in Carthage" developed, in large part, from his need to sing of this world he inhabits: The realm of the stranger, the odd one. The man standing at the window, bracing against the wind as he gazes in wonder at the light and comfort on the other side.



This book will be back next month for Top Shelf!
So stay tuned if you're interested in reading it!

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