By Amy Mackinnon
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307408969, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 12, 2008
List Price: $24.00*
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Clara Marsh is an undertaker who doesn’t believe in God. She spends her solitary life among the dead, preparing their last baths and bidding them farewell with a bouquet from her own garden. Her carefully structured life shifts when she discovers a neglected little girl, Trecie, playing in the funeral parlor, desperate for a friend.
It changes even more when Detective Mike Sullivan starts questioning her again about a body she prepared three years ago, an unidentified girl found murdered in a nearby strip of woods. Unclaimed by family, the community christened her Precious Doe. When Clara and Mike learn Trecie may be involved with the same people who killed Precious Doe, Clara must choose between the stead-fast existence of loneliness and the perils of binding one’s life to another.
AMY MacKINNON is a former congressional aide whose commentaries have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, the Seattle Times, and on National Public Radio and This American Life. This is her first novel.