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From Barnes & NobleDiscover Great New Writers
Trouble has been simmering in the year since David Darby’s wife died unexpectedly. Now, as Y2K approaches, it has come to a boil….
"Nothing happened," David Darby murmurs every time he leaves a job. A trauma-site cleanup technician, he's learned that the trick is to acquire as little information as possible — no big picture, no whole story, — just messes to be scrubbed, disinfected, or discarded. Darby understands and knows this is the only way he can make it through the long hours he is on the clock. Murders, suicides, horrific accidents — he and his crew spend their nights cleaning up the grisly remains of strangers, leaving their bereaved families grateful yet woefully unprepared to move on. But getting on with things is not something that Darby has ever done very well himself. It's been a long, lonely year since his wife's unexpected death, and his son, Whitley — a.k.a. the Kid — has been mute, communicating mostly through scribbled notes. A strange-looking outcast at school, the Kid carries his grief wrapped around him like a tight, weighty shroud. Pathetically convinced his mother will return, he retreats further and further into the world of his imagination while his father's own instability intensifies and threatens to overwhelm them both. Sleeplessness, doubt, and unanswered questions about his wife's death, Darby into an emotional freefall that jeopardizes his safety as well as his son's. Tender, haunting exquisitely profound; O'Connor's debut novel is an eloquent celebration of familial love made all the more poignant by tragedy. Painful, yet liberating, Untouchable takes the measure of a father and son with honesty, humor, and uncommon resonance.