March 2014 Indie Next List
“A death row inmate, a fallen priest, and the Lady. These nameless characters are central to this dark, enthralling, magical story. Locked in a dungeon cell, the inmate deals with his incarceration by transforming the prison into a wondrous place. The rumblings of the earth become golden horses running below his cell, molten lava flowing from their manes. The Lady works to have the sentences of the condemned commuted to life in prison while the priest is fallen, lost, and desperately in love with her. These characters live and work in a truly enchanted place, and I was sorry to leave them behind when the book was finished.”
— Jessie Martin, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
A wondrous and redemptive debut novel set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, "The Enchanted" combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King.
This is an enchanted place. Others don t see it, but I do.
The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in reimagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs with the devastating violence of prison life.
Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners pasts that can save those soon to be executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honesty and corruption ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.
Beautiful and transcendent, "The Enchanted" reminds us of how our humanity connects us all, and how beauty and love exist even amid the most nightmarish reality.
About the Author
Rene Denfeld is an author, journalist, and death penalty investigator. She has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Oregonian, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and is the author of four nonfiction books. The Enchanted received the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger in France.
Dennis Lehane is the author of nine previous novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; and Moonlight Mile, as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.