Mary and O'Neil

A Novel in Stories

By Justin Cronin
(Dial Press, Paperback, 9780385333597, 243pp.)

Publication Date: August 30, 2005

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Description

Mary and O’Neil frequently marveled at how, of all the lives they might have led, they had somehow found this one together. When they met at the Philadelphia high school where they’d come to teach, each had suffered a profound loss that had not healed. How likely was it that they could learn to trust, much less love, again?

Justin Cronin’s poignant debut traces the lives of Mary Olson and O’Neil Burke, two vulnerable young teachers who rediscover in each other a world alive with promise and hope. From the formative experiences of their early adulthood to marriage, parenthood, and beyond, this novel in stories illuminates the moments of grace that enable Mary and O’Neil to make peace with the deep emotional legacies that haunt them: the sudden, mysterious death of O’Neil’s parents, Mary’s long-ago decision to end a pregnancy, O’Neil’s sister’s battle with illness and a troubled marriage. Alive with magical nuance and unexpected encounters, Mary and O’Neil celebrates the uncommon in common lives, and the redemptive power of love.




About the Author
Born and raised in New England, Justin Cronin is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers&#8217; Workshop. Awards for his fiction include the Stephen Crane Prize, a Whiting Writers&#8217; Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He is a professor of English at Rice University and lives with his wife and children in Houston, Texas.<br><br><br><i>From the Hardcover edition.</i>
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