Author(s): Stefan Merrill Block
"An expert performance by Michael Crouch highlights life-changing moments in a family...He transforms what has become a tragically familiar story into an intricate, nuanced puzzle about real people and real consequences." -- AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner
From Stefan Merrill Block, celebrated literary talent and author of The Story of Forgetting, comes a brilliant, propulsive audiobook about family, the traumas and secrets that test our deepest bonds, and the stories that hold us together.
One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School's annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school's back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening --and the unspoken story he carries-- will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.
Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the still point of Oliver's hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver's mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver's brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver's father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver's teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver's trapped mind, the town's unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver's doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate -- and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.
A moving meditation on the transformative power of grief and love, a slyly affectionate look at the idiosyncrasies of family, and an emotionally-charged page-turner, Oliver Loving is an extraordinarily original audiobook that ventures into the unknowable and returns with the most fundamental truths.
More praise for Oliver Loving:
"A breathtaking tale of tragedy and redemption...A triumph." -- People Magazine
"The book poses big questions about what constitutes a life worth living." -- Publishers Weekly
"Powerful, ambitious...a beautifully rendered meditation on the nature of forgiveness, mercy, and healing." -- Library Journal
Blisteringly good...The redemptive qualities of storytelling are gloriously displayed in this astonishing first novel * Financial Times on The Story of Forgetting * This elegant, heartbreaking novel shows the effects of mental illness on a family... It's a tough, beautifully nuanced story of marriage and mania * Marie Claire on The Storm at the Door * [An] astounding debut . . . compulsive and transporting * Publishers Weekly, starred review on The Story of Forgetting * [A] remarkable novel ... What good work it is. This phenomenal novel maps the wild directions in which our minds, unfettered, can grow. The results are quite unique * Sunday Telegraph on The Storm at the Door * The young American novelist Stefan Merrill Block, who also writes deeply stylish fiction about the madness in his family, produced a pitch-perfect second novel this year in The Storm at the Door, which I couldn t devour fast enough -- Melissa Katsoulis * Sunday Telegraph on The Storm at the Door *
Stefan Merrill Block grew up in Plano, Texas. His first book, The Story of Forgetting, was an international bestseller and the winner of Best First Fiction at the Rome International Festival of Literature. Stefan's stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR's Radiolab, GRANTA, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Stefan lives in Brooklyn.