Innocent Darkness: A Novel

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9780140174762: Innocent Darkness: A Novel

In this spell-binding tale of a modern-day Saint Francis, a grieving young man finds salvation using his family's vast fortunes. He provides for and suffers with the downtrodden Mexican and Central American migrants until he is taken by the corrupt Mexican police. "Superior stuff. . . I was reminded of Graham Greene".--The New York Times Book Review.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Sheehan, who has previously written fiction but is better known for such nonfiction works as The Arabs, the Israelis and Kissinger and Agony in the Garden: A Stranger in Central America , has fashioned a haunting, almost allegorical tale of politics, religion and high art. It has to do with wretchedly poor people from Central America who take flight toward possible haven in the U.S. and the appalling suffering they must endure in the hope of safely crossing the Rio Grande and disappearing into American life. Hero Adrian Northwood is an almost supernaturally rich young man who goes down to border country, determined to atone for the accidental death of his wife and child, and becomes a sort of contemporary saint, spending millions of dollars nurturing the sick and afflicted refugees, getting them out of the feral hands of the Mexican police and into "sanctuary," whence the overworked, coldhearted Border Patrol cannot pluck them for return. A would-be painter, a Catholic whose wealth has bought him high Church connections, and a passionate exile from this sordid century who comforts himself in his own eventual sufferings by recalling chunks of Faust , Pascal, Mozart's letters and Schubert's chamber music, Northwood is a remarkable creation--and, strangely, never a cloying one. Although the story has mythological overtones, even hints of magic realism, the narrative grip is firm, the human horrors evoked with clear-eyed compassion, the ultimate effect cathartic. Only a few rather coy first-person authorial comments sometimes intrude on the narrative.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

The border area between Texas and Mexico has fascinated many American writers, from Zane Grey to Rolondo Hinojosa, and has served as the backdrop for every type of fiction from Westerns to family dramas. In journalist Sheehan's novel, Adrian John Northwood, scion of great, Old World-type wealth and sensibility, loses his wife and son in a car accident somewhere in the snowy, unspecified North. Catholic guilt dogs him as he travels south to the Texas-Mexico border, where he uses his extraordinary fortune to create the Casa San Francisco, a refuge for undocumented immigrants. He becomes obsessed with a glue-sniffing Mexican gamin and then with a talented but untutored Mexican painter. When the painter steals some of his work, Northwood pursues him, entering a heart of darkness where prison, torture, disease, and, finally, redemption await. Sheehan's self-conscious erudition sometimes mars this quirky parable of a modern-day St. Francis of Assisi, but the story is engaging and the action quite vivid.
- Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Edward R. F. Sheehan
Published by Penguin Books (1994)
ISBN 10: 0140174761 ISBN 13: 9780140174762
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140174761

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