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MORE THAN SORROW
$14.95
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Sep.04.2012
  • 9781590589878
  • Poisoned Pen Press
$29.95
Audio Book
See Book Details »

BOOK DETAILS

  • Audio Book
  • Sep.04.2012
  • 9781455163786
  • Poisoned Pen Press

Vicki gives an overview of the book:

Once, Hannah Manning was an internationally-renowned journalist and war correspondent. Today, she’s a woman suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Unable to read, unable to concentrate, full of pain, lost and confused, haunted by her memories, Hannah goes to her sister’s small-scale vegetable farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario to recover. As summer settles on the farm, she finds comfort in the soft rolling hills and neat fields as well as friendship in the company of Hila Popalzai, an Afghan woman also traumatized by war. Unable to read the printed word, Hannah retreats into the attic and boxes of moldy letters that have accumulated for more than two centuries. As she learns about the original settlers of this land, Loyalist refugees fleeing the United States in 1784, she is increasingly drawn to the space beneath the old house. More than carrots and potatoes,...
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Once, Hannah Manning was an internationally-renowned journalist and war correspondent. Today, she’s a woman suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Unable to read, unable to concentrate, full of pain, lost and confused, haunted by her memories, Hannah goes to her sister’s small-scale vegetable farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario to recover.

As summer settles on the farm, she finds comfort in the soft rolling hills and neat fields as well as friendship in the company of Hila Popalzai, an Afghan woman also traumatized by war.

Unable to read the printed word, Hannah retreats into the attic and boxes of moldy letters that have accumulated for more than two centuries. As she learns about the original settlers of this land, Loyalist refugees fleeing the United States in 1784, she is increasingly drawn to the space beneath the old house. More than carrots and potatoes, soups and jams, are down in the dark damp root cellar.

Hannah experiences visions of a woman, emerging from the icy cold mist. Is the woman real? Or the product of a severely damaged brain?

Which would be worse?

Then Hila disappears. When Hannah cannot account for her time, not even to herself, old enemies begin to circle.

In this modern Gothic novel of heart-wrenching suspense, past and present merge into a terrifying threat to the only thing Hannah still holds dear – her ten-year-old niece, Lily.

Read an excerpt »

Chapter 1

They tell me it was an IED hidden in a truck full of goats going to market, pulled off to the side of the road with an apparent flat tire.

But of that I have no memory.

            I rubbed small pebbles between my fingers. The sun burned hot on the scarf on my head and dust was thick in my mouth. A goat cried out – no, not a goat. A chicken.  Not crying in fear or pain but clucking with hungry impatience.

I opened my eyes and studied the objects in my hand. Not stones, but chickenfeed. On my head was a Toronto Blue Jay’s baseball cap, not a scarf, and the land around me was lush and green and fertile, not brown and destroyed.

            The bird stared at me. Tiny black eyes in front of a tiny brain. Only a chicken. A white rock hen pecking for worms and bugs in a patch of weeds and over-grown grasses in a farmyard in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Memory flooded back, and I knew where I was, and I threw a handful of grain onto the ground. Chickens rushed to feed.

My sister was watching me, frozen in the act of crossing the yard, her face pinched with worry. “Okay, Hannah?”

“Okay.”

“Good,” she said. “After you’ve finished that, collect the eggs, will you. I want to make a cake this afternoon for Lily’s birthday.”

“Will do.” I put on what I hoped was a convincing smile. Joanne gave me a long look before she continued down the path toward the greenhouse.

I let out a sigh and tossed the rest of the grain onto the ground. Eager chickens came running from all directions. Pressure was building behind my right eye and I hurried to get out of the glare of the rising sun into the dark, cool henhouse.  

I don’t care for chickens. Noisy, vicious, stupid beasts. I tried to get them out of the coop before venturing in to raid the nests. A pair of heavy yellow work gloves was kept on a nail by the door, and I slipped them on to offer my hands some protection in case one of the birds had remained behind to defend her eggs. They didn’t want me stealing their offspring out from underneath them and used their sharp beaks to fight me off.    

Isn’t that what mothers do? Protect their children?

The coop was dark and quiet, all the residents outside enjoying the spring sunshine. I collected ten large brown eggs and laid them gently into a wicker basket. The heavy smell of ammonia and straw both fresh and molding that permeated the hen house did nothing for my oncoming headache.

We were raised in the city, Joanne and I. In a proper modern bungalow in a neat well laid-out suburb on a street lined with Norway Maples and houses exactly the same as ours. Why my sister took so eagerly and happily to the life of a small-scale farmer is a mystery to me.

Perhaps not a total mystery. I came out of the chicken coop, egg basket over my arm, in time to see my brother-in-law Jake Stewart climbing into his truck, ready to deliver the first of the spring produce to local restaurants. He lifted a well-muscled arm in a lazy greeting but didn’t give me a smile. I waved in return.  

I put the eggs on the kitchen counter and dropped into a chair. Pain lurked behind my right eye, a black spot, evil and threatening and ever present. Sunlight streamed through the French doors leading to the deck, and the old farmhouse was beginning to heat up. I closed my eyes, knowing I had to get upstairs and lie down while I could.

“Would you like me to fetch your pills, Aunt Hannah?” said a soft voice behind me.

“Thank you, dear, but no. I’ve had enough for now.”

“They don’t help much, do they?”

“I’m sorry to say they don’t. But this will pass, and I’ll be fine soon.”

Sunlight had been strong in my eyes when it happened. Afghanistan. Where the sun always shone in a sk

vicki-delany's picture

Note from the author coming soon...

About Vicki

“It’s a crime not to read Delany,” so says the London Free Press.

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Her popular Constable Molly Smith series (including In the Shadow of the Glacier and Among the Departed) have been optioned for...

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Published Reviews

Jan.18.2008

In the Shadow of the Glacier

Kirkus Reviews:

A plan to build both a memorial park for Vietnam draft dodgers and a fancy new resort tears a small Canadian town apart.

...
Jan.18.2008

Publishers Weekly:

Delany's intriguing series opener introduces young constable Molly Smith, who almost literally stumbles across a rare murder victim in peaceful Trafalgar, British Columbia. The...