Some Kind of Miracle

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Cousins Dahlia and Sunny Gordon were best friends growing up, bounded by a shared love for making music. When Dahlia's soulful lyrics combined with Sunny's soaring melodies, magic happened, and they promised they would stick together all the way to the top. But a darkness was descending on Sunny, one that would ultimately plunge her into a nightmare of solitude and schizophrenia. After their lives were torn apart, a quarter of a century would pass before the two would meet ...

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Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 2003 Audio Book New Brand new. NEW in the shrink wrap. Four audio cassettes factory sealed in the original printed box. 4 cassette tapes brand ... new. Enjoy this gift quality abridged audio performance! Read more Show Less

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Some Kind of Miracle

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Overview

Cousins Dahlia and Sunny Gordon were best friends growing up, bounded by a shared love for making music. When Dahlia's soulful lyrics combined with Sunny's soaring melodies, magic happened, and they promised they would stick together all the way to the top. But a darkness was descending on Sunny, one that would ultimately plunge her into a nightmare of solitude and schizophrenia. After their lives were torn apart, a quarter of a century would pass before the two would meet again.

After long, struggling years, Dahlia's dream of making it in the L.A. music business rests on one song. Desperate for success, Dahlia must find her cousin again in order to secure the rights to the song that promises fame and great fortune.

But Sunny refuses to sign a contract, and Dahlia discovers there are no depths she will not sink in order to get what she wants — even if it means moving her tragically damaged cousin into her own home. For the first time since she was a girl — and, perhaps, ever — she will have to put someone else's needs before her own, and her own life will be unexpectedly transformed in the process.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dahlia, Los Angeles masseuse and aspiring songwriter, hasn't penned a hit song in years. Just as her house and romantic relationship fall into disrepair, a rich but extremely repugnant film producer client mentions he needs a title song for his new movie Stay by My Side. Luckily for Dahlia, this was the title of a great song she wrote with her cousin Sunny, a schizophrenic she hasn't seen in 25 years. Dahlia dusts off the old reel-to-reel recording, copies it to a CD, and sends it off to the producer, who, of course, loves it. Contract in hand, Dahlia sets out to locate Sunny, whose signature she needs to close the deal. However, when she finds her cousin at a group home in San Diego, the years of antipsychotic medication have left her a shell of the vivacious young woman Dahlia remembers-and, to make matters worse, Sunny refuses to sell their song. Although the characters are memorable, the plot often crawls along-something exacerbated by the deliberate pace at which Moira Driscoll reads the novel. For large fiction collections.-Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Songwriter seeks schizophrenic cousin. Object: fame and fortune. Just because Dahlia Green makes a living (sort of) as a masseuse doesn't mean she's a failure in status-obsessed Los Angeles. Not yet. Hey, didn't her least favorite client, obnoxious but rich slob and film producer Marty Melman, say he was making a movie with the same title as a song she wrote decades ago with her crazy cousin Sunny? Stay By My Side, it was called. And since Marty needs a song for the movie and can spare five minutes of his valuable time to listen to it, Dahlia is off to find that old tape, if the mice haven't eaten it. And if she can locate an old reel-to-reel to play it on. And come to think of it, she'd better track down Sunny. Joy of joys, Marty likes the song, but Sunny will have to sign the contract if he's going to use it. Can't have her showing up and suing for damages, get the picture? Dahlia gets it . . . and she's off to a group home for the mentally ill in northern California. Horror of horrors, is that sad-looking woman with the bizarre hairdo really Sunny? Yes . . . and she's none too pleased about being found. What about fame and fortune? Dahlia asks. What about the voices in my head? Sunny responds. Nonetheless, Dahlia decides to gain her cousin's trust and encourage her to write and sing once more, though Sunny is given to decidedly uninspired philosophizing on the subject: "Great songs come from you really, truly telling your story, and if you tell your story, you tell everyone else's story, too. Because in the end people are all the same." And in the end, Tin Pan Alley turns into Memory Lane as the reunited pair come to terms with their past (and their present and their future). Routinefare, from the author of When I Fall In Love (1999) and similar showbiz tear-jerkers. Agent: Elaine Markson/Elaine Markson Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060569402
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/21/2003
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 7.38 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Iris Rainer Dart is the author of eight novels, including the much-beloved New York Times bestseller Beaches. The mother of two children, she lives in California with her husband.

Anne Twomey starred on Broadway in Nuts for which she received a Tony® nomination, and Orpheus Descending, and has appeared in numerous episodes on such television shows as Law & Order, L.A. Law, and Seinfeld.

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First Chapter

Some Kind of Miracle

Chapter One

Most of the guests arrived at about four, parking their cars up and down Moorpark Street, slowly trailing in, carrying bouquets of flowers or white bakery boxes tied with string. Dahlia looked at the clock on the mantel again, relieved that it was already five-thirty and there hadn't been even the tiniest incident yet. She was sure the success of the day was thanks to the fact that all the fingers on both her hands were tightly crossed. For an hour and a half, she'd kept her hands in her pockets so nobody could see them, because her mother always laughed when she did superstitious things like that. But this time it was actually working.

Thanks to her crossed fingers, any outsider who happened to look in the window might think this was an ordinary family gathering. No Sunny locking herself in the bathroom screaming out death threats to everyone at the party by name, no Sunny keening and wailing about how some unidentified "they" were after her. No Sunny frantically rushing around the house destroying every breakable item in her path. Today there was just the music.

Just Dahlia and Sunny sitting at the baby grand piano singing their best songs, surrounded by friends and family. Everyone seemed to love the new one they'd finished writing just that morning as Sunny belted out each verse in her big, husky voice. And every time she came to the chorus, Dahlia chimed in, harmonizing in her pure, childlike voice, their sound enchanting the friends and family who swayed to the music, smiling.

Most of them were gazing at Sunny, probably wondering how a pink-skinned, blue-eyed blonde like her could have been born into this olive-skinned, dark-haired family.

"Recessive genes," Uncle Max said with a shrug when anyone asked him.

"The milkman," Aunt Ruthie joked with a grin when anyone asked her. Dahlia didn't get why everyone always laughed at that.

Sunny was seventeen and curvy, and her long, wavy hair was as white as the piano keys she stroked and pressed and cajoled until glorious tunes rose from them. Tunes she fashioned from her tormented psyche. And always, from the moment her graceful fingers began to play until the last song was over, nobody who was listening ever yawned or stole a glance at the clock, wondering when she would finish. They were much too caught up in the spell of the songs, the way she delivered them and the way their melodies transported her. But Sunny never saw their awestruck gazes, because she was far away in what she sometimes called the "secret garden" of her songs.

"Music isn't just something I play or write," she told Dahlia many times. "It's a place where I get to go." And it was clear when the others watched the way she threw back her head and closed her eyes as she played and sang that she was unquestionably elsewhere, gone into some parallel world where none of the rest of them could travel, including the twelve-year-old Dahlia singing along, pale and dark and looking particularly frail because of the inevitable comparison to the dazzling Sunny.

Usually when the song was over and Sunny turned to discover the relatives fishing in their pockets and purses for handkerchiefs to wipe their teary eyes, she laughed an embarrassed laugh at their emotional reaction and told them they were "too cute." Today while the girls were singing their original "Stay by My Side," Dahlia spotted Aunt Ruthie making an O with her thumb and fore finger and holding it up to Uncle Max to say, "So far so good," and she was sure everyone else in the room was thinking that same thought.

Unfortunately, it was only a few minutes after the performance, while Dahlia stood at the buffet table hoping nobody noticed she was sneaking slices of corned beef from her own plate and feeding them to Arthur the dog, that the shrill cry went up from Aunt Ethel warning the others that they were on the brink of another Sunny emergency. And Dahlia hated herself for uncrossing her fingers so she could eat.

"Maxieeeee!" Aunt Ethel squealed, causing everyone in the room to look up from his or her sandwich. "Naked" was the only word Dahlia's mother's sister could get out as she dropped her paper plate on an end table and headed for the screen door to the front porch.

All the family members left their own plates behind, rushing outside to look west toward Coldwater Canyon, where Sunny was now sprinting away from the house wearing only the red rubber band that held her white-blond hair in a ponytail. All of them lined up on the porch looking down the wide street after her except Sunny's older brother, Louie, who could chronicle his entire life, after the age of five, around landmark Sunny emergencies and was no longer fazed by them. Louie stayed inside, filled his plate from the tray of sweets, and turned on the TV to watch a baseball game.

Now Sunny was halfway down the block dodging traffic, and Dahlia was relieved that the most anyone in the family could see of her was her very white back and her pretty white tush bouncing along as she moved down Moorpark Street, the long ponytail swaying from side to side against her white shoulders. Many of the astonished drivers who had just passed Sunny now drove by the family, red-faced and tugging at their rearview mirrors to get another look.

Dahlia saw Uncle Max hurry back inside the house, letting the screen door slam behind him. An instant later the door flew open and he bolted out onto the porch, now hanging on to the floral-print throw Aunt Ruthie always flung over the couch when company came, in case anyone spilled food from the buffet ...

Some Kind of Miracle. Copyright © by Iris Dart. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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