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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Sweeney's beguiling first novel begins when her protagonist is a mere three years old. Miranda's mother places a bowl of oatmeal on the table in front of her, leaves the house, and disappears into the thick Down East fog of Crab Island, Maine. Days later, the Coast Guard returns her body -- drowned in a boating accident.
Growing up an only child in a desolate landscape, Miranda cares for her father, a peculiar man who labors over his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The nymphs and gods of her father's manuscript become Miranda's companions; her only friend is a local fisherman named Mr. Blackwell, who tries to fill the space left by the death of her mother and the inattention of her father. But his presence, like most everything in her father's life, is complicated and unsettling.
Miranda's father makes arrangements for her to travel to New York for the summer following her high school graduation. Fearful of disappointing him, she embarks on an odyssey that will test old assumptions and open new doors. With delicacy and grace, Sweeney captures both the island and the city as Miranda finds her way, tentatively at first, but soon with growing confidence. A haunting story of loneliness and discovery, Sweeney's deft portrayal of Miranda's own metamorphosis results in a novel of lasting effect. (Fall 2007 Selection)