Donigan Merritt The Common Bond

ISBN 13: 9781590513064

The Common Bond

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9781590513064: The Common Bond

When Morgan Cary flies home to Hawaii after a decade spent in California, he arrives with a broken heart and an overwhelming sense of guilt surrounding the death of his wife. He finds his way back to the comfort of Hilo's wet green mountain slopes, the pearl-colored volcanic haze, and the tropical perfume of gardenia, plumeria, and eucalyptus, but he also returns to the painful and persistent memories of his early days with Victoria–from the moment she walked into his life on the arm of his childhood best friend. Morgan's ghosts are many: they appear at the docks, in the motel rooms of the Sunset Lanai, and in the Red Pants fishermen's bar. He loses himself working alone as a commercial fishing boat captain, trolling the Pacific for yellowfin tuna and blue marlin, trying to surmount the crushing presence of his past. As he spirals further into his grief, the hope of a deliverance into the future appears through an unexpected friendship with a native Hawaiian family, and forces Morgan to sift through the worst of his memories as he searches for his life in the solace of the sea.

Resonant with human emotion and insight, The Common Bond is an exquisite novel of precision and grace that captures the depths of the human capacity for guilt, and the traps of compassion and hope in redemption.

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About the Author:

Donigan Merritt

Donigan Merritt is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and the author of seven novels, among them One Easy Piece (1981) and My Sister's Keeper (1983). He lives in Washington, DC.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

It rained again.

Rain streaked the window. Jalousie slats opaque with dampened dust. Palm fronds drooping, turned brown. Cinder block walls, yellow like dried mustard, clammy from the heat and the slow rain, contained him and the memory where now he lived.

He was in the most tenuous element of consciousness, neither asleep nor awake, thinking and remembering, without control. He knew what he could see so clearly wasn’t actually happening, that it was a memory of this same place, but another time, more than a decade ago. Although it did seem so real that his body responded to the image: Of Victoria breathing like a racehorse and as slick as a sea lion from the sweat and moving in such a way it would be impossible to say if she’s fighting or fucking.

He’s thinking, Victoria loves having her clothes off, a compliant selffocused nude, undisturbed by bodily conventions, as volatile as mercury, as exciting as fireworks. In one angle of light the carefully trimmed triangle of fine hair between her legs is nearly invisible. Soft puffs of air blown across the mound of her sex makes that hair tremble like ripples across a field of calm golden wheat. Studying his dick as it rises near her face, she tells him it’s a dichotomy: simultaneously hard and soft, sweet and salty, a special hardness that is somehow both limitless and fragile. She teases it with the tip of her tongue but no more, as if any further generosity could leave it empty and wasted.

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Donigan Merritt
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