Hands of Strangers

Hands of Strangers

by Michael Farris Smith


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In the tradition of The Stranger and The Old Man and the Sea, this masterful novella by critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith explores the human spirit and its capacity for faith and forgiveness in an imperfect world and begs the question: how do you survive when hope is lost? Jon and Estelle walk the picturesque Paris streets but are living through the cruelest of realities: the disappearance of their nine-year-old daughter, Jennifer, abducted from the Musee d’Orsay during a class field trip. Jon spends his days slugging through bus terminals and metro halls, posting flyers of his daughter, while Estelle has become a recluse, unwilling to leave the apartment in case the telephone rings. Their relationship suffers as the passing time chips away at the hope of Jennifer’s return. Then, a free-spirited artist enters their lives as unexpectedly as Jennifer has left it, luring Jon down a reckless path as he searches desperately for courage in the smallest signs. If their daughter is ever returned to them, will Jon and Estelle both be there to welcome her home?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780932112712
Publisher: Blair
Publication date: 03/01/2017
Pages: 119
Sales rank: 824,988
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Michael Farris Smith is the author of Desperation Road (forthcoming, February 2017), The Fighter (forthcoming, 2018), Rivers, and The Hands of Strangers. He is the recipient of the MLA's Mississippi Author Award for Fiction and the Transatlantic Review Award for Fiction. Rivers was named to numerous Best of the Year lists and his short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He lives in Mississippi with his wife and daughters.

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Hands of Strangers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This little book accomplishes a lot. It is captivating from the get-go, pulling you into this world of paris cafes and countless cigarettes where two people are trying to get through the unthinkable — their 9-year-old daughter went missing. As the story unfolded I found the two main characters, Jon and Estelle, remarkably compelling. They struggled and failed and spiraled into darkness, but always managed to catch sight of a glimmer of hope. And that hope, although quite small, was able to gracefully carry me through their bleak world. Overall, this story of pain and loss and the unknown is able to be both heart-wrenching and hopeful. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't seen many books like this one lately. This is tagged a novella but reads like a bigger book. Just so much tension and so much real. I have never been to either Paris or Geneva but feel like I've been to both after reading this. Just felt for Jon and Estelle all the way and really appreciated how they become individuals instead of both taking the same path in dealing with the disappearance of Jennifer. I'll be looking for more from Michael F. Smith.