One winter morning James Jack Wright finds ninety-four-year-old Marguerite Deo—the woman he has always known as “Tante”—lying dead in the woods outside his cabin, clad only in a flowered nightgown. With this arresting scene, Elizabeth Inness-Brown ushers readers into her mysterious and lyrical narrative, the story of two closely braided lives that forces a reconsideration of our notions of maternity, loyalty, love, and perhaps death itself.
As James Jack sets out to fulfill Marguerite’s unusual last wishes, the narrative unveils the secrets of their pasts. It arcs from Depression-era New Orleans to a barren New England island at the turn of the century, from an illicit passion and an unforgivable crime to the relationship between a small boy and a tough, reclusive woman who turns out to possess an unsuspected capacity for love.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Burning Marguerite|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Burning Marguerite|
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The fire had gone out not long before he woke. The air in the cabin was cold enough to chill his nose but not cold enough to show his breath. The stove, when he reached out, was still as warm as his hand.
Inside the sleeping bag, his body had generated its own heat, and the goose down kept it there, cocooning him. It was good to know he could survive a night in the cabin if he wanted to, that he could survive even the deep cold of a night in February. The only difficulty was convincing himself to leave the warmth of the bag.
He did it by imagining the smell of coffee. Down at the house, Tante would have the coffee percolating on the stove, boiling it with the chicory that gave it a burnt taste that went away only when he stirred in sugar and filled his mug to the lip with milk. The kitchen would be warm, the fire hissing and popping. Tante would have forgiven him by now, as he had already forgiven her. She would be ready for him to come back, she would not say a word, and they would go on as ever. After thirty-five years, after the whole of his life and a third of hers, forgiveness came easily to them, and often. The passing of time pressed them to it, made nothing else important enough to stop it. All you ever really have is time; she taught him that.
He dressed inside the bag, took his boots from its bottom where he'd kept them warm, climbed out and put them on. Opened the stove door, stirred the ashes, made sure the fire was out. Rolled up the sleeping bag and put it into ripstop plastic, and put that into more plastic, and put that into the cupboard to protect it from mice and squirrels. Laid a tarp over the cot to keep the dust and droppings off. Cast his eye about the place. Pulled...