The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him. A female investigator searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, and reveals shocking secrets of her own. - (Baker & Taylor)
Arriving at an ancient stone prison, the Lady, an investigator who searches for information from prisoners's pasts that can save those awaiting execution, digs into the past of a killer named York, who can sense what others cannot, and unearths shocking secrets of her own. - (Baker & Taylor)
Arriving at an ancient stone prison, the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed, digs into the past of a killer named York, who can sense what others cannot, and unearths shocking secrets of her own. 40,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
A wondrous and redemptive debut novel, set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, The Enchanted combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King.
"This is an enchanted place. Others don’t see it, but I do." The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs with the devastating violence of prison life.
Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honesty and corruption—ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.
Beautiful and transcendent, The Enchanted reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amidst the most nightmarish reality.
The lady, an investigator who excels at uncovering information to save her clients from execution . . .
The fallen priest, beaten down by his guilt over a terrible sin and its tragic consequences . . .
The warden, a kind man within a cruel system . . .
The mute prisoner, sensing what others cannot in what he calls "this enchanted place" . . .
The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison. Two outsiders walk here: a woman known only as the lady, and a fallen priest. The lady comes to the prison when she has a job to do. She's skilled at finding the secrets that get men off death row. This gift threatens her career—and complicates her life—when she takes on the case of York, a killer whose date of execution looms. York is different from the lady's former clients: he wants to die. Going against the condemned man's wishes, the lady begins her work. What she uncovers about York's birth and upbringing rings chillingly familiar. In York's shocking and shameful childhood, the lady sees the shadows of her own.
The lady is watched by a death row inmate who finds escape in the books he reads from the prison library and by reimagining the world he inhabits—a world of majestic golden horses that stampede underground and of tiny men who hammer away inside stone walls. He is not named, nor do we know his crime. But he listens. He listens to York's story. He sees the lady fall in love with the priest and wonders how such warmth is possible in these crumbling corridors. As tensions in "this enchanted place" build, he sees the corruption and the danger. And he waits as the hour of his own destiny approaches.
The Enchanted is a magical novel about redemption, the poetry that can exist within the unfathomable, and the human capacity to transcend and survive even the most nightmarish reality. Beautiful and unexpected, this is a memorable story.
In her evocative first novel, Denfeld, a boxer and author of the hard-hitting nonfiction book, All God's Children: Inside the Dark and Violent World of America's Street Families (2007), seeks to revolutionize our perception of convicts. One of three nameless narrators, a man on death row, states that prison is a place of enchantment. He convincingly describes the mythic beauty of his dank dungeon before introducing the other two mysterious speakers, the jail's fallen priest and a woman hired to exonerate the condemned men. Referred to only as "the lady," she serves as the plot's catalyst. She is enlisted to spare an inmate named York, who was doomed to misery long before he became a criminal. Denfeld's humanizing of the potential for horror that is within all of us and her insistence that the reader see the beauty in the darkest corners of life sizzles through her sharp prose, which both makes us flinch and invites us to imagine. Those familiar with the world of corrections will especially appreciate Denfeld's nuanced portrait of prison life. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews
His imagination unfettered by prison bars, a death row inmate envisions a magical world that includes radiant golden horses galloping beneath the prison. Enter the Lady, an investigator who digs into prisoners' pasts to save them (much like mitigation specialist Denfeld), who discovers something that changes the prison world's concept of guilt and innocence. A debut novel with lots of push.
[Page 57]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal Reviews
Filled with themes of pain and suffering and still a pleasure to read, this impressive debut from author/journalist Denfeld (All God's Children) is set in a decaying, dark, corrupt prison, but as the opening line reveals, it "is an enchanted place." The Lady, a death-row investigator (similar to mitigation specialist Denfeld) uses her unique perspective as a victim of terrible childhood abuse and conditions to research the lives of inmates. Working with her are a fallen priest, who is hiding secrets and hurt of his own, and the warden, whose wife is dying of cancer. Much of the story is told from the fantastical perspective of a reclusive prisoner on death row, preferring to remain unseen for his own protection and those around him. In many ways, this is a tale about being seen, understood, possibly forgiven, and maybe even loved. VERDICT While dark enough to appeal to fans of fantasy and horror (think Stephen King's The Green Mile), this is also a work of love and redemption. Read this magical book, and prepare to be spellbound. [See Prepub Alert, 9/9/13.]—Shaunna E. Hunter, Hampden-Sydney Coll. Lib., VA
[Page 87]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.