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Topic: The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn: A Novel

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Subject: The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn: A Novel
Date Posted: 11/25/2008 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 8
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I'm really surprised that this book is still sitting on my bookshelf.  It's a wonderful, page-turner of a book.  I have lots of books on my bookshelf but this is the one I would rate most highly.

Donna V.

Amazon.com Review
Told in alternating chapters by four strong voices, The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn is at once a story of hope and desperation, of fact and fantasy. Janis Hallowell's characters' distinctive voices come through with absolute clarity: Chester, the homeless man who believes that Francesca is the Blessed Virgin and names himself her protector; Francesca, a shy, withdrawn, 14-year-old who plays the cello and longs for her father's attention following her parents' divorce; Sid, Francesca's troubled and mostly loyal best girlfriend; and Anne, Francesca's all-business, world-traveling, I-love-my-daughter-but-science-is-god paleobotanist Mom.

Hallowell describes the line where the wish to believe in a divine presence crosses over into holy madness and the conviction that the wish has been fulfilled. Chester says, after noticing the strong fragrance of roses emanating from Francesca when she "appears" to him: "The smell of roses, the velvety ache of them, lured me in…I am no newcomer to strangeness... It's my curse and my blessing that I can smell things that other people can't... Anger coming off a person is an acrid, mustardy thing... and lying has a cloying, soapy small that makes my mouth pleat." He is not surprised that he is the first to know that Francesca is a Blessed Virgin, carrying a Savior.

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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I read this one a couple years ago and I have to agree with you.  It is a good book.  :)

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2005
Posts: 142
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You talked me into it! I just ordered it. Thanks for the suggestion.