The Flicker of Old Dreams (Large Print / Library Binding)

The Flicker of Old Dreams By Susan Henderson Cover Image

The Flicker of Old Dreams (Large Print / Library Binding)


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Henderson explores the idea of the American Dream, how we pursue it, how we lose it, in this novel set in small town Montana. When a high school hero dies in a tragic farm accident, his brother disappears, only to return years later to a town dying and still dealing with the death of this boy. The narrator—a mortician daughter of a mortician, whose life has been about death from the moment of birth—lovingly breathes hope into this book of small gestures, of anguish and loneliness, about dying and grief, and the isolation of rural America.

— Susan

With the quiet precision of Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres and the technical clarity of Mary Roach's Stiff, this is a novel about a young woman who comes most alive while working in her father's mortuary in a small, forgotten Western town.

"The dead come to me vulnerable, sharing their stories and secrets . . . "

Mary Crampton has spent all of her thirty years in Petroleum, a small Western town once supported by a powerful grain company. Living at home, she works as the embalmer in her father's mortuary: an unlikely job that has long marked her as an outsider. Yet, to Mary there is a satisfying art to positioning and styling each body to capture the essence of a subject's life.

Though some townsfolk pretend that the community is thriving, the truth is that Petroleum is crumbling away--a process that began twenty years ago when an accident in the grain elevator killed a beloved high school athlete. The mill closed for good, the train no longer stopped in town, and Robert Golden, the victim's younger brother, was widely blamed for the tragedy and shipped off to live elsewhere. Now, out of the blue, Robert has returned to care for his terminally ill mother. After Mary--reserved, introspective, and deeply lonely--strikes up an unlikely friendship with him, shocking the locals, she finally begins to consider what might happen if she dared to leave Petroleum.

Set in America's heartland, The Flicker of Old Dreams explores themes of resilience, redemption, and loyalty in prose as lyrical as it is powerful.

Product Details ISBN: 9781432851224
ISBN-10: 1432851225
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Wheeler Publishing Large Print
Publication Date: June 27th, 2018
Pages: 466
Language: English