Arthur wakes to a grey November dawn. He lies in the dark of the bedroom he shares with his wife waiting for his dream to fade. He is fifty-six, he loves his wife and the unspoken rhythms of married life. He has a grown son, O'Neil, and a daughter, Kay, and he has a secret. His wife, Miriam, has a secret too. When the morning comes they will set out to visit O'Neil at college. This day will change the lives of their family forever. We follow Kay and O'Neil through the years (seeing their marriages unfold and their children born) as they learn to live with the events of that fateful day. In this wonderful debut, Justin Cronin examines the fragility of good fortune and the accidental ways of finding happiness, in a world where grace and joy exist alongside tragedy. Filled with tenderness and hope, "Mary & O'Neil" is a lyrical portrait of our innermost selves.
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'Subtle, truthful and lovely' Observer 'An artful debut..Cronin is admirably fearless in the scope of his imagination' New York Times Book Review 'Precise and illuminating...an absorbing study of family relations' The Times
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Justin Cronin is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and associate professor of English at La Salle University. He lives with his wife and their young daughter in Philadelphia. He is a winner of the 2002 Whiting Writers' Award and Mary and O'Neil won the PEN/Hemingway Award for Fiction.