The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn is a beautifully crafted tale about people who pin their hopes for spiritual salvation on a young girl; and how, slowly, surely, and tragically, she comes to believe that she is the divine being they want her to be. At stake for each is nothing less than the fundamental belief in the structure of the world, and the balance between the miraculous and the mundane.
Narrating by turns are four disparate characters who tell the story as they see it: Chester, who smells fear, disease, and holiness and appoints himself Francesca's protector and follower; Anne Dunn, Francesca's paleobotanist mother, who places her faith in Darwin and natural selection; Sid, the schoolmate, who wants to use Francesca's new circumstances for her own profit; and Francesca herself, who becomes increasingly deluded by the adoration bestowed upon her.
At once powerful, tender, and humorous, The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn is an astonishing and resonant work from an exciting new talent. With each of its gentle revelations, the novel brings an unforgettable cast of characters to vibrant life as it brilliantly explores the seductive and destructive power of belief.
©2004 Janis Hallowell; © and (P)2004 HighBridge Company
"A unique novel about the human yearning for the divine and the divine possibility in human beings. Beautifully written and thought-provoking, it will steal your heart." (Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees)
The story is told from different characters' points of view, thus this is narrated by more than one person. While the story is compelling and very human, the voice of one of the characters was grating and made the book less enjoyable as a "listen."
Yet, it is the humanity of this story that makes it one worth listening to. The book leaves you with a lot to think about but with no clear answers regarding questions about modern-day miracles.
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