Once Upon a Day (Hardcover)
Atria, 9780743492775, 352pp.
Publication Date: April 11, 2006
Nineteen years ago, a famous man disappeared from Los Angeles, taking his two children, Dorothea and Jimmy, to a rocky, desolate corner of New Mexico where he raised them in complete isolation in a utopian "Sanctuary." The children grew up with books and encyclopedias, records and a grand piano, but no television, computer, radio, or even a newspaper. Now Dorothea, at twenty-three, is leaving this place in search of her missing brother -- and venturing into the wide world for the first time.
Dorothea's search will turn into an odyssey of discovery, leading to the truth of her family's past and the terrifying day that changed her father forever. But Dorothea's journey will also introduce her to an unusual cast of characters, including a homeless girl from Missouri who becomes a jazz singer and a social worker whose mistake in judgment changes her best friend's life. And she will meet Stephen, a doctor turned cabdriver who, after suffering his own losses, has lost his ability to believe in a meaningful world. Together, they have a chance to make a discovery of a different kind: that though a heart can be broken by the tragic events of a day, a day can also bring a new chance at love and a deeper understanding of life's infinite possibilities.
Beautifully written, with a spellbinding story, "Once Upon a Day" is "a lyrically poignant reminder of the necessity of hope" ("Publishers Weekly," starred review).