On his deathbed, the great ornithologist John James Audubon is haunted by an incident thirty years ago, when a beautiful woman died suddenly on a Louisiana plantation where he was employed as a tutor. This is the central mystery of Brown’s beguiling third novel.
Having failed as a businessman and portraitist, Audubon in 1821 is just beginning to formulate his grand design to draw all the birds of America. An artist and scientist, aristocrat and wayfaring outcast, he is ambitious, reckless, and naive. Such is his frame of mind when visitors arrive from New Orleans: a scandal-ridden physician and anatomist named Emile Gautreaux and his stunning wife, Myra. When Myra collapses and dies, the distraught Gautreaux believes she has been murdered. He asks the young tutor to sit with him though the long night, keeping watch over her body.
The two men do not meet again for decades, until the now famous Audubon summons Gautreaux to his New York estate. The mystery of Myra’s death has linked them inextricably over time, as each has harbored secrets and deceptions. Richly atmospheric, this mesmerizing tale confirms that Brown’s compassionate vision of human destiny is one that contains both suffering and the possibility of deliverance” (New York Times).
About John Gregory Brown
See more books from this Author
Published September 1, 2001
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).
History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.