In this striking, enormously affecting novel, Joyce Carol Oates tells the story of two very different yet intimately linked American families. Luther Dunphy is an ardent Evangelical who envisions himself as acting out God's will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town while Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic doctor who is killed, leaves behind a wife and children scarred and embittered by grief.
In her moving, insightful portrait, Joyce Carol Oates fully inhabits the perspectives of two interwoven families whose destinies are defined by their warring convictions and squarely - but with great empathy - confronts an intractable, abiding rift in American society.
A Book of American Martyrs is a stunning, timely depiction of an issue hotly debated on a national stage but that makes itself felt most lastingly in communities torn apart by violence and hatred.
©2017 The Ontario Review, Inc. (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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After the first hour I considered not reading further--the canned kitschy tone was disappointing & the mispronunciations so distracting. Then suddenly, the middle of this long protracted story showed promise. Many subplots were distracting and lacked development-- teasing the reader into thinking a meaningful turn in this saga was just around the next turn. Sadly I spent some 24 hours listening to a book that ended so weakly. Remembering that Dawn couldn't read--as told to readers multiple times--an ending that relied on a lengthy written message from Naomi was such a bomb.
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