Excerpt from Death of a Thousand Cuts by Barbara D'Amato, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Death of a Thousand Cuts

by Barbara D'Amato

Death of a Thousand Cuts by Barbara D'Amato
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2004, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Hawthorne House had been the home of the Cyrus Hawthornes. Built in 1881 by the Chicago architectural firm Treat and Foltz, it had been ahead of its time in conveniences — modern plumbing and steam heat — even if a bit excessive in design.

The Hawthornes lived at Hawthorne House through two and a half generations, until Frederick Hawthorne lost his fortune in the crash of 1929, and moved out of the house forever in 1931. A white elephant as a family home, it became a finishing school for young ladies in 1933, after lying empty for two years. Its nearness to the University of Chicago helped its recruiting efforts. Hawthorne House housed thirty young ladies at a time and graduated fifteen of them each year after a two-year course. They learned deportment, penmanship, sewing, how to speak properly, how to set a table properly, and how to entertain with grace. But by 1960 young ladies did not want to be "finished." They wanted to be educated in a profession. Hawthorne House struggled along as a collection of offices. Several doctors practiced there, a few lawyers, and on the third floor were the editorial offices of a small but highly regarded academic press that turned out well-regarded but rarely read books.

Hawthorne House had not succeeded as offices. It was too far from the business district of the Hyde Park area of Chicago. When Dr. Schermerhorn saw it in 1968, only seven of a possible twenty office suites were occupied.

He knew the instant he laid eyes on it that it was perfect for his residential treatment center. Big enough for two dozen patient bedrooms, plus offices and schoolrooms, it was massive and therefore conveyed the solidity and respectability he wanted to express. The woodwork inside was elegant, despite some vandalism done by driving doors through several interior walls to produce office suites. There had been cheap remodeling performed on the beautiful ballroom to subdivide it into small office cubicles.

Hawthorne House would become Hawthorne House School, Residential Treatment for Autistic Children.

Wundershoen, Schermerhorn thought as he looked at the building now, twenty-seven years later. Those tall, stately windows. The assertive roof treatment. And that muscular brick, a wonderful masculine color as rich as aged mahogany. A building in charge of itself.

There would be reporters here within an hour, an hour and a half at most. Time enough to get to his room and change into the new Brioni suit. His publisher had said Susan Somebody from Time Magazine would be here. And early yesterday his office had received calls from "Dateline NBC."

Good. Let them come. And confusion to my enemies.

From Death of a Thousand Cuts by Barbara D'Amato.  Copyright Barbara D'Amato 2004. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...
  • Book Jacket: See What I Have Done
    See What I Have Done
    by Sarah Schmidt
    Sarah Schmidt's historical fictionalization of the Lizzie Borden story is a tsunami. From the ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Happiness
    by Heather Harpham

    A love story that follows a one-of-a-kind family through twists of fate that require nearly unimaginable choices.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.