The Gospel According to Cane

Courttia Newland, Author
Courttia Newland. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (251p) ISBN 978-1-61775-133-2
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-84659-157-0
Ebook - 122 pages - 978-1-84659-158-7
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-61775-150-9
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British author Newland (The Scholar) exposes the permanent nature of grief in his blurry new novel, the first to be published in America. Twenty years ago, Beverly Cottrell was a teacher in a private school living with her loving husband and infant son in a new house. During a brief stop on a trip, her son was kidnapped. Months of police investigation and media coverage turned up no clues. Eroded by grief, Beverly shut out her former life and ended up single and jobless. Now she leads a quiet life teaching creative writing to at-risk teens at a youth center in West London, playing board games with her neighbor, Ida, and writing in her journal. One day, a strange young man follows her home from the market, claiming to be her son, causing her precarious existence to fall apart. The wounds at Beverly’s core are rent open, made worse by her family and friends’ disapproval and skepticism over the boy’s identity. Although Newland’s novel gets bogged down in much weighty backstory, his characters are finely drawn with realistic ambiguity and genuinely exhibit the durability of grief and pain. (Feb.)
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