Because so many have asked, “What’s the book about?” and because I’m woefully lame about getting the words out of my head without assistance from fingers and keyboard, I thought I’d leave it here for those curious to know.
Note: Though I contributed, this pitch was largely generated by Beloved Agent Janna, who is so much better at brevity than I.
Alfonse Carducci was a man of words, a literary giant who lived his life to excess. He’s come to The Bar Harbor Home for the Elderly—affectionately dubbed The Pen—to spend the remainder of his days among his most-beloved friends, the publishing industry’s nearly gone but never forgotten greats. Only now, at the end of life, does he comprehend the aftermath of appeasing every desire, and the consequences of forsaking love to pursue greatness. He’s lost more than his health; he’s lost the words that drove him. Until his muse is awakened by a young and beautiful monster hiding more than her face from the world.
Cecibel Bringer knows first-hand the cost of chasing excess. Passion destroyed her face and her sister in a split-second decision Cecibel can never forgive, though she tried to forget. Living quietly as an orderly, refusing to risk again the cost of love, Cecibel never anticipated the impact Alfonse Carducci would have on her existence.
In Cecibel, Alfonse finds a muse who returns to him the passion he thought he’d forfeited forever. As the words flow from him, weaving a tale taken up by the other inmates of the Pen, Cecibel is reawakened to the idea of love and forgiveness. The edges between story and reality blur, creating a world within a world where the old are made young, the damaged are made whole and anything is possible.
The story written by the “old greats” takes the form of a novella within the novel. Remember my novella rant? Yeah, this is part of it. While the novella within has chapter headings (strictly speaking, a novella doesn’t) that was a necessary evil for clarity’s sake.