Mary and ONeil 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 theyd 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 Cronins poignant debut traces the lives of Mary Olson and ONeil 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 ONeil to make peace with the deep emotional legacies that haunt them: the sudden, mysterious death of ONeils parents, Marys long-ago decision to end a pregnancy, ONeils sisters battle with illness and a troubled marriage. Alive with magical nuance and unexpected encounters, Mary and ONeil celebrates the uncommon in common lives, and the redemptive power of love.
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