Burning Marguerite by Elizabeth Inness-Brown

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One winter morning James Jack Wright finds ninety-four-year-old Marguerite Deo—the woman he has always known as “Tante”—lying dead in the woods outside his cabin, clad only in a flowered nightgown. With this arresting scene, Elizabeth Inness-Brown ushers readers into her mysterious and lyrical narrative, the story of two closely braided lives that forces a reconsideration of our notions of maternity, loyalty, love, and perhaps death itself.

As James Jack sets out to fulfill Marguerite’s unusual last wishes, the narrative unveils the secrets of their pasts. It arcs from Depression-era New Orleans to a barren New England island at the turn of the century, from an illicit passion and an unforgivable crime to the relationship between a small boy and a tough, reclusive woman who turns out to possess an unsuspected capacity for love.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Elizabeth Inness-Brown

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Elizabeth Inness-Brown is the author of two collections of short stories, Satin Palms and Here. Raised in the North Country of New York State, she now lives with her husband and young son on South Hero, an island in Lake Champlain, Vermont.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Burning Marguerite

Kirkus Reviews

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Inness-Brown (stories: Here, 1994, etc.) offers a closely drawn, richly imagined study of two characters—a young man and the elderly woman who raised him—on a remote island in New England.

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Publishers Weekly

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A tender account of his budding relationship with Faith, a woman who enters his life just before Deo's death, serves as counterpoint to the story of Deo's early life and her ill-fated affair with a Native American laborer that resulted in a shocking murder.

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James Jack and Faith cremate her body, as they believe she would have wanted, and the description of this is beautiful: "As if nine-tenths of her weight is soul, Marguerite bursts into flame and rises from the fire.

Sep 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Burning Marguerite

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