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Once, he was Herbert West, revivifier of the dead. Now he's Francis Dexter, a man on the run, who has lost everything except his life. With a single companion, he begins a journey into the unknown. To Andre Boudreau, Dexter is the doctor who saved his life in the Great War. Andre has served him faithfully as valet, butler, chauffeur and lab assistant, and would follow him into Hell if necessary. Now Andre finds himself in charge of a bizarre journey across North America, as Dexter, his health and judgment impaired, grows increasingly unstable. Dexter's demons pursue the pair to New Orleans, where they join the crew of a tramp steamer owned by an eccentric Russian. A memorable sea voyage brings them to the west coast of Canada and a chance encounter with Captain Bellgarde, who hires Andre as a keeper for his lighthouse on Bellefleur Island, and engages Dexter as his personal physician. Widowed in the Great War, Margaret Bellgarde raises her son on Bellefleur Island with the help of her father-in-law. The arrival of Dr. Francis Dexter prompts questions about his past and her future. Showing him the beauties of her island home, sharing conversations and experiences, Margaret comes to find Dexter attractive as well as mysterious. Their friendship grows as Dexter builds a successful medical practice and spends summers sailing the coast with artist Julian Vernon. When trouble and tragedy strike Dexter, Margaret is shocked by what she is willing to do for his sake. But who is he really? She doesn’t know – and the possibilities are disturbing. Struggling to choose between the inclinations of her heart and the principles she has taken for granted all her life, Margaret realizes she is facing the unfathomable.
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Exploring the Gulf Islands of British Columbia furnished Audrey Driscoll with inspiration and experiences from which to create Bellefleur Island. She lives, writes and gardens in the city of Victoria.
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