In Clara's Handsby Joseph Olshan
Clara, heroine of Clara’s Heart and former nanny of Will Kaplan, comes once more to his rescue. Marie Claire, Will’s friend, may have been caught in the catastrophic jumbo-jet crash off Long Island. Yet, mysteriously, the airline throws her very boarding of the doomed plane into doubt. So where is she? As the conundrum looms, Will’s past/i>
Clara, heroine of Clara’s Heart and former nanny of Will Kaplan, comes once more to his rescue. Marie Claire, Will’s friend, may have been caught in the catastrophic jumbo-jet crash off Long Island. Yet, mysteriously, the airline throws her very boarding of the doomed plane into doubt. So where is she? As the conundrum looms, Will’s past loves and obsessions unfold with gripping intensity—the ghost of his brother Daniel, killed in a fatal skiing accident, and the aching memories of his former lover Peter. Will and Clara are tied into a bond as strong as any blood family’s, and Will needs his old nanny’s wit and heart now more than ever.
- Bloomsbury UK
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.04(w) x 7.92(h) x 0.78(d)
Meet the Author
Joseph Olshan is the award–winning author of seven novels, including Nightswimmer, Vanitas, and Clara’s Heart, which was made into a film starring Whoopie Goldberg. He lives in Vermont and New York City.
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I saw some glowing notices of In Clara's Hands while traveling in the UK, where I guess the book has already been published. I picked up a copy and consumed it eagerly while traveling through Europe by train. A note of warning for all of you who are traveling by airplane. This is a wonderful novel, but you might not want to read it while flying; the central event is a plane crash that seems to be loosely based on the crash of TWA flight 800. Anyway, reading the strange review above posted by Kirkus (with which I completely disagree) inspired me to set down my own thoughts about Olshan's latest. First of all, it is beautifully constructed of three stories that in the end are seamlessly woven together. There is a thread of suspense running through the novel which is spun from the question of a whether or not a woman who was supposed to have boarded the airplane that crashed actually got on (her name doesn't appear on the passenger list). Then there is the author's signature character Clara, who starred in his earlier book, Clara's Heart. She is an amazing creation, full bodied, unpredictable, funny, wise and she speaks in this Jamaican patois that is both idiosyncratic and poetic. Teamed up with Will Kaplan (Nightswimmer), whom she took care of when he was a child, she tries to help him unravel the mystery of his friend's disappearance. One of my favorite things about this novel is how Olshan balances the mystery of disappearance with the rest of the action in the book. As he relates the lives of the other characters, the book is propelled along by the reader wanting to know what happened to Marie Claire. Besides Clara, there is also another amazing character in the book, Grace, the daughter of the missing Marie Claire. Grace, who is suffering from cancer, bravely faces her illness with fortitude and wry, fatalistic humor. Even though the reader knows her prognosis isn't good, her scenes manage to be uplifting rather than depressing. Perhaps this is because she seems so strong and her strength commands our admiration. I would highly recommend this book. It's rare to find a writer who spins a good yarn but also draws characters who have real depth.