The lady, an investigator who excels at uncovering information to save her clients from execution . . .
The fallen priest, beaten down by his guilt over a terrible sin and its tragic consequences . . .
The warden, a kind man within a cruel system . . .
The mute prisoner, sensing what others cannot in what he calls "this enchanted place" . . .
The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison. Two outsiders walk here: a woman known only as the lady, and a fallen priest. The lady comes to the prison when she has a job to do. She's skilled at finding the secrets that get men off death row. This gift threatens her career--and complicates her life--when she takes on the case of York, a killer whose date of execution looms. York is different from the lady's former clients: he wants to die. Going against the condemned man's wishes, the lady begins her work. What she uncovers about York's birth and upbringing rings chillingly familiar. In York's shocking and shameful childhood, the lady sees the shadows of her own.
The lady is watched by a death row inmate who finds escape in the books he reads from the prison library and by reimagining the world he inhabits--a world of majestic golden horses that stampede underground and of tiny men who hammer away inside stone walls. He is not named, nor do we know his crime. But he listens. He listens to York's story. He sees the lady fall in love with the priest and wonders how such warmth is possible in these crumbling corridors. As tensions in "this enchanted place" build, he sees the corruption and the danger. And he waits as the hour of his own destiny approaches.
The Enchanted is a magical novel about redemption, the poetry that can exist within the unfathomable, and the human capacity to transcend and survive even the most nightmarish reality. Beautiful and unexpected, this is a memorable story.
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This book defies genre classification. It is a literary novel that is strangely beguiling. It is told by one of the most unforgettable narrators I've ever encountered. This man is a man without words. He cannot or will not speak, but he speaks inside his head. He misses nothing and spares no one in the telling. This man is on death row at a very old and very corrupt maximum security prison. He has been on the row for many years, and during those years he has carefully studied all the people who walk by his cell. This list of people includes guards, other death row prisoners, a defrocked priest who works inside the prison, and a death penalty investigator who searches for mitigating circumstances that may help get prisoners off the row and into general population. There are many people who walk by the prison cell of this inmate, and most of them do their best not to ever look at him, but he watches everything and misses nothing. At the same time, he shares his quite brilliant mind with many mythical creatures that are as real to him as the people he sees. And through his eyes, they become real to us. There are the golden horses that stampede underground. There are the tiny little men who hammer and scratch inside the stone walls, and there are the hated fllibber-gibbets who dance in the crematorium every time a dead body is placed in the the big oven. All of these horrible things are described so brilliantly that they leap off the page as we read. The prose in this novel is absolutely breathtaking and it makes the people and things within this prison come alive. It is a book that shines a light on a subject that is not covered much in literature, and in the end, it depicts the strength and resiliency of human nature, even under the most appalling circumstances.