The Puzzle Bark Tree by Stephanie Gertler
A Novel

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Synopsis

Her first novel, Jimmy's Girl, was "an assured debut" (Publishers Weekly) and "a perfect reminder of how strong first love can be" (Redbook). With The Puzzle Bark Tree, Stephanie Gertler returns with a new novel showing her mastery at conveying the passion and power of the human heart.

Grace Hammond Barnett grew up in the emotionally desolate company of her mother and father. Her only happy childhood memories are of times spent with her younger sister, Melanie, and Jemma, the family housekeeper who helped fill the void left by Grace's detached, inaccessible parents. Now a mother herself, Grace feels trapped in a sterile marriage to a prominent surgeon and haunted by recurrent dreams of drowning. Her only anchor is her cherished daughter, Kate.

In the aftermath of her parents' sudden double suicides -- a tragedy that leaves Grace, Melanie, and Jemma reeling -- Grace is bequeathed a house she never knew existed. Leaving her penthouse in Manhattan on New Year's Eve, she travels alone to Sabbath Landing, New York, to a log cabin house on Canterbury Island, surrounded by Diamond Lake. Here, Grace meets Luke Keegan, a local fishing guide whose family history is inextricably bound to hers . . . and to a devastating secret buried in the cloudy memory of childhood.

With compassion and elegance, Stephanie Gertler crafts an emotionally rich story of what it means to survive and thrive against all odds. Like its intricate, interlocking pieces that branch out to shape lives, The Puzzle Bark Tree plumbs the mysteries of the people we can never truly know . . . of the incomplete memories we carry with us, and the love that can make us whole.

 

About Stephanie Gertler

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Stephanie Gertler is a freelance journalist. She lives with her family in Scarsdale, New York.
 
Published June 1, 2002 by Dutton. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Puzzle Bark Tree

Book Reporter

Grace spends her entire life afraid of water, keeping her dreams a secret and searching for answers to why she feels such distance in both her family home and her marriage.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Puzzle Bark Tree: A Novel

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Grace and Melanie had an extremely bleak childhood.

Jun 08 2002 | Read Full Review of The Puzzle Bark Tree: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Puzzle Bark Tree
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