Excerpt from Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Church of Marvels

by Leslie Parry

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry X
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
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  • First Published:
    May 2015, 320 pages

    May 2016, 352 pages


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Rebecca Foster
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But now this. He hadn't held a child since Frankie.

Suddenly the baby's chest rose and shook. She mewled weakly. Sylvan's hand jumped back and hovered above her in the lantern light, his shadow whipping over her skin like smoke. He watched as she took a breath and opened her eyes. They were a dark, watery green.

The foreman pushed his way to the front. "Back to work," he ordered somberly. "To your posts—now."

The group of men disbanded, pulling at their beards, crushing their hats between their hands. The light disappeared with them, and Sylvan was left squatting alone by the privy with the baby breathing weakly in his arms.

Beside him Mr. Everjohn scraped the ground with his boot and sighed. "Let's see it."

Sylvan stood, wiping away the remaining dirt with his handkerchief.

Everjohn leaned in closer. A slug of tobacco jumped from one cheek to the other. "Christ," he whispered. "You see anything? Anyone here when you come up?"

Sylvan shook his head. "No, sir."

"Anyone seen you—or this"—he tilted his head toward the baby—"since?"

"Just the others."

The foreman pushed his hands into his pockets. He glanced warily around the yard, to the offal-stained gangway of the butcher shop, then up to the darkened windows of the tenement. "Goddammit," he hissed.

Sylvan took a deep breath. "There's the mission over on Hester," he said. "Convent runs an orphanage, too, over on Mulberry."

Mr. Everjohn turned back to him, grinding the tobacco between his teeth. "You know I can't keep it on my watch," he said. "Someone'll find it by dawn—take it there themselves." He slurped and spit. "Best for all of us if we leave it where it laid."

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From Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry. Copyright 2015 by Leslie Parry. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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