Tristan Martens, a retired entomologist, is shaken by the discovery of his mother's sewing table in a New York antique shop. He hasn't seen it since he was a boy in Holland, but he vividly remembers the last time he did. Only Tristan knows the painful truth behind the scrawled--and misunderstood--inscription on the bottom of the table, and he embarks on a scheme to acquire it from the shop owner, Cora Lowenstein, who insists it's not for sale.
But as their lives become entangled, Tristan must make a choice. Can he tell Cora the truth? Begun in deceit, their relationship and Tristan's salvation hinge on his willingness to confront and finally confess the terrible secrets of his family's past.
In startlingly beautiful prose resonant with dramatic tension, Mylene Dressler tells the heartrending story of an old man taking his last chance and struggling toward an elusive redemption and the even more distant hope of love. The Deadwood Beetle is a brilliant novel by a writer whose work the critics have called "lyrical" and "haunting."
When I first found my mother's battered little sewing table--or rather, first asked the silver-haired woman who managed the antiques store, or rather that section of the tenth floor with its expensive, museum-quality French Provincials, near the back of a building on West Twenty-fifth Street, in a room lit by pools of halogen light, what exactly the homely little table was, and what on earth it was doing there, tucked in among all the grand buffets and elegant secrétaires--I was careful to keep my damp hands very still, and to look down puzzled and unrecognizing at it, blinking from under my homburg, to make clear I was stunned only that she would have anything so ordinary, so obviously anachronistic and anonymous and crude and utterly out of keeping with the rest of her very fine and select trade.
I had just come up out of the street from one of my walks. I'd only wanted to get out of the sun for a moment, to shift the weight in my canvas grocery bag, ...
If you liked The Deadwood Beetle, try these:
A contemporary morality tale that is as profound as it is witty. Ian McEwan at his wisest and most wickedly disarming.
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The Angel of Losses
"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist
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