The Second Life of Samuel Tyne by Esi Edugyan

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A young man of great promise when he emigrated from Ghana by way of Oxford University to the New World in 1955, Samuel Tyne was determined to accomplish significant things. Fifteen years later, now a failed and insignificant government employee, Samuel inherits his uncle's crumbling mansion in Aster, a small town in Canada. Despite his wife's resistance and the sullen complaints of his thirteen-year-old twin daughters, Samuel quits his job and moves his family to the town. For here, he believes, is that fabled second chance, and he is determined to not let it slip away.

At first, Aster seems perfect. To Samuel, the formerly all-black town represents the return to a communal, idyllic way of life. But he soon discovers the town's problems: a history of in-fighting, a strict town council, and a series of mysterious fires that put all the townsfolk on edge. When his daughters cease to speak and refuse to explain their increasingly threatening behavior, Samuel turns more and more to the refuge of his electronics shop, where he hopes to build one of the country's first advanced computing machines. As his ambitions intensify, the life he has struggled so hard to improve begins to disintegrate around him, and a dark current of menace in the town is turned upon the Tyne family. Written by Edugyan when she was twenty-five, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne is the highly original debut of a gifted writer.


About Esi Edugyan

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A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Victoria, Esi Edugyan was raised in Calgary. Her work has appeared in Best New American Voices 2003, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. She is the author of Half-Blood Blues, a Man Booker finalist and winner of the Giller Prize. She lives in Victoria, Canada.
Published January 1, 2004 by Toronto, Knopf Canada [. 289 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The duo defies all civilizing influences, even the friendship of schoolmate Ama, whom their parents have brought to Aster for the summer.

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Publishers Weekly

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Neighbors like Ray and Eudora Frank, a blunt, imposing couple-about-town, and rumored warlock Saul Porter, are friendly at first, but reveal their true colors after a fiery conclusion pits neighbor against neighbor, and vicious storefront vandalism returns Samuel to his "graveyard of an empty life."

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