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Burning Marguerite

Elizabeth Inness-Brown

352 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0375411968 / ISBN 13: 9780375411960
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since October 12, 2002

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About this Item

NY: Knopf, 2002. First Edition.First printing. Hardcover. Signed by author. New in dust jacket. Pristine, unread copy. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # jill327

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Burning Marguerite

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: F....

About this title


A haunting weave of lives, secrets, and memo-ries—a powerful work of psychological suspense and emotional intensity.

Waking to the chill of a snow-cloaked morning, carpenter James Jack Wright finds ninety-four-year-old Marguerite Deo lying dead in the woods outside his cabin. As he confronts the mystery of her death—why would Marguerite, his “Tante” since his infancy, walk out into the cold winter night?—an unexpected tale unfolds, moving from the present back to James Jack’s childhood, to New Orleans during the Depression and World War II, and finally to a windswept New England island at the turn of the century. At the heart of the story are a forbidden love, a violent crime kept secret for years, and above all, Marguerite’s relationship with a little boy named James Jack, a bond that deepens after a terrible accident changes both their lives forever.

Burning Marguerite is a debut novel of rare depth and artistry.


From the first incantatory sentence in Burning Marguerite ("I can see spring in winter") to the last, Elizabeth Inness-Brown draws us into a north-country winter's tale with all the strange power of a dream. The novel is set on remote Grain Island, reachable only by ferry. First settled by the French, Grain Island now has two distinct populations: wealthy summer folks and hardy year-round inhabitants, who while away winter days ice fishing. Burning Marguerite begins in winter with a mysterious death, and goes on to reveal other mysteries and other deaths, including a violent crime. It alternates between the third-person point of view of 35-year-old James Jack and the first-person musings of Tante, the 94-year-old woman who raised him after his parents drowned when he was 4 years old. To all appearances a spinster, Tante has many secrets, including how she lost the little finger of her left hand and why she fled Grain Island for New Orleans as a young woman and never returned until after her parents died. James Jack keeps a secret of his own--a promise he made to Tante, one that embroils him with the island's sheriff, who almost adopted him, and an unhappily married woman. Burning Marguerite is a poetically written and haunting debut novel. --Susan Biskeborn

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