In Two Rivers, Vermont, Harper Montgomery is living a life overshadowed by grief and guilt. Since the death of his wife, Betsy, Harper has narrowed his world to working at the local railroad and raising his twelve-year-old daughter the best way he can.
Then one fall day, a train derails in Two Rivers, and amid the wreckage, Harper finds a survivor -- a pregnant fifteen-year-old girl with mismatched eyes and skin the color of blackberries who needs a place to stay. Plagued by his role in a brutal crime in his youth, this could be Harper's chance to atone for the sins of his past. Though filled with misgivings about what he is about to do, Harper offers to take Maggie in. But it isn't long before he begins to suspect that Maggie's appearance in Two Rivers is not the simple case of happenstance it first appeared to be.
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Greenwood was born in Vermont. She teaches at George Washington University in Washingington, D.C. and The Writer's Guild in Bethesda, Maryland. She lives with her husband and two daughters in the D.C. area.From Publishers Weekly:
In this evocative novel of redemption, Greenwood (Undressing the Moon) finds humanity and redemption in the life of a smalltown widower and his legacy of guilt. In 1980, 12 years after his involvement in the murder of a black man, railroad worker Harper Montgomery is still living under a cloud of guilt. Alternating between past and present, Harper's narrative reveals bit by bit the circumstances of the crime, as well as the long-devoted lover Harper was, and the caring father he's become. Harper's narrative makes a mystery of much: we know he participated in the murder, but not why. We know his wife died, but not how. Already struggling to raise his daughter, Shelly, further questions surround his decision to take in pregnant teen Maggie. As the past catches up the present, however, Harper's grave fears give way to unexpected and poignant developments. Greenwood is a writer of subtle strength, evoking smalltown life beautifully while spreading out the map of Harper's life, finding light in the darkest of stories. (Jan.)
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