First-person narrator Alice is a precocious eleven-year-old growing up in rural East Texas with one wish on her mind: Get rid of Simon Jester. Simon is the man who saved her mother from drowning. Simon is her mother's hero, her savior-and her new husband. He's an enigmatic man whose own family, he says, mysteriously drowned.
But soon it becomes apparent that Simon's family did not drown. Alice and her brother become convinced that Simon intends to poison them. Their mother, Meg, tells her children that they have wild imaginations. Until she comes to kiss them one night, and instead of her usual endearments, whispers a single word: Run.
The Absence of Nectar is a finely wrought and suspenseful coming-of-age novel that confirms the promise of Hepinstall's highly praised debut, The House of Gentle Men.
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Kathy Hepinstall's The House of Gentle Men was a number-one Los Angeles Times bestseller.From Booklist:
Alice and Boone Fendar hope for a new man to drag their mother from her depression after their father abandons them. Unfortunately, their prayers are answered in the form of Simon Jester, an abusive man with a hair-trigger temper, a fondness for poison, and secrets in his past. The two deal with Simon in their own ways--Alice with small acts of rebellion, Boone with his insistence that all people are God's creatures. Enter Persely Snow, famous teenage murderess and pen pal of Boone, who is perpetually escaping from juvenile detention centers. When Persely shows up for an unexpected visit, things rapidly spiral out of control. The adults in the story are reduced to stereotypes--the ineffectual mother, the wicked stepfather--but the strength of Hepinstall's second novel lies in the quirky characterizations of Alice, Boone, and Persely and the various bizarre details that are unexpected touches in a novel about abuse and fear. A compelling, tense read from first page to last. Carrie Bissey
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Book Description Putnam Adult, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0399148019
Book Description Putnam Adult, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110399148019
Book Description Putnam Adult. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0399148019 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0143031