By Chris Bohjalian
Chris Bohjalian, bestselling writer of Midwives, offers his so much bold and multi-layered novel to date--examining wildly divisive matters in today’s the USA along with his trademark emotional heft and spellbinding storytelling skill.On a balmy July evening in New Hampshire a shot earrings out in a backyard, and a guy falls to the floor, extraordinarily wounded. The wounded guy is Spencer McCullough, the shot that hit him was once fired–accidentally?–by his adolescent daughter Charlotte. With this shattering second of violence, Chris Bohjalian launches the simplest type of literate page-turner: suspenseful, wryly humorous, and humane.
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Additional info for Before You Know Kindness
Liar,’ he said, ‘all you cissy Belvedere boys do. ’ And so he took the two shillings I gave, giving me only ten pence in change. So I was mistaken for a Belvedere boy, a cissy at that, and I had to cough up his bus fare. And I wondered what this Belvedere boy was like, tried to imagine his uniform. I had seen them in the city centre, or on the buses, traveling out to Howth or Sutton, longish grey trousers above knock knees and a grey blazer with a fringe of green or blue on it. They looked like imports from an English comic strip or a Billy Bunter illustration, dumped by accident in the squalid city centre streets, and now one of them was so bold as to skip his fare.
I kept the others between me and him as I walked, but I noticed that he kept pace too, moving the pedals as if in a slow bicycle race, head always turned towards me; and the cement generator was coming near us with the low electric hum, the vampire moan, and I didn’t want to hear that, so I said goodbye to them quickly, crossed the Clontarf Road, and caught a passing number 30 bus which had slowed down by the traffic lights. And there was one last encounter, in the Strand cinema in North Strand, across the road from the ruins of the houses hit by the stray German bombs.
I had made an arrangement which I couldn’t remember now, at his wake, in the crush round the bar. Half one meant lunch, I supposed, and it was half twelve now. I began to walk, past the Crescent, across the Malahide Road where I bought a takeaway coffee from an Eastern European waitress in a new café at the corner. I walked then past the carpet store that used to be the Fairview cinema towards the Five Lamps, when I saw a bus halted by the traffic lights at the Tolka bridge and I ran across the lines of stalled cars, the coffee scalding my fingers, and jumped through the concertina doors before they shut.
Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian