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"Irreplaceable explores the mystery and vagaries of life with such gentle understanding of the way things can fall apart in an instant and, just as suddenly, come together. Stephen Lovely knows the human heart."
--Luanne Rice, author of The Geometry of Sisters
"Truly unique. An utterly convincing portrait of people who have lost the person they love most in the world."
"[Irreplaceable] vividly realizes the casualties and rebirths that occur when an organ is donated after a fatal accident. Lovely explores the nature of grief and guilt, salvation and healing."
--The Columbus Dispatch
Some things are impossible to replace . . .
Alex Voormann, an intense, cerebral thirty-year-old archaeologist, is married to the woman of his dreams--an intelligent, ambitious botanist named Isabel. When Isabel is killed by a reckless driver, Alex reluctantly agrees to donate her heart.
Janet Corcoran, a young mother of two and an art teacher at an inner-city school in Chicago, is sick with heart disease. She is on the waiting list for a transplant, but her chances are slim. She watches the Weather Channel, secretly praying for foul weather and car crashes. The day Isabel dies, Janet gets her wish.
So begins this extraordinary story about two families whose lives intersect forever in the aftermath of a tragic accident.
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Stephen Lovely is the Director of the Iowa Young Writer's Studio and a graduate of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He lives in Iowa City with his girlfriend, a photographer. They have 3 dogs and 3 cats. Stephen enjoys reading, gardening, opera, and--for some reason he's at a loss to explain--football.From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. Lovely's debut novel, a touching journey of the heart, tracks what happens to two Midwestern families after a death and a gift of life. Archeologist Alex Voormann and his plant biologist wife, Isabel, had a pleasant enough life in Iowa until Isabel was struck and killed while riding her bicycle. Alex reluctantly complies with her wish to be an organ donor, which saves the life of Janet Corcoran, a 34-year-old Chicago art teacher and mother of two. Lovely thoughtfully weaves the tales of these two families together, tracing the realities of love and loss of all kinds as Alex attempts to move on, the man who was driving the truck that killed Isabel begins popping up in unexpected places, and Janet seeks out Alex and Isabel's mother to thank them and express her guilt and empathy. Lovely does a great job of staying out of sappy melodrama as the gravity of Isabel's death pulls the cast together in memorable fashion. The delicate handling of loaded material, attention to detail and depth of character make this a standout. (Feb.)
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