Author(s): Rene Denfeld
'THE ENCHANTED wrapped its beautiful and terrible fingers around me from the first page and refused to let go after the last. A wondrous book... so dark, yet so exquisite.' Erin Morgentern, author of The Night Circus
A prisoner sits on death row in a maximum security prison. His only escape from his harsh existence is through the words he dreams about, the world he conjures around him using the power of language. For the reality of his world is brutal and stark. He is not named, nor do we know his crime. But he listens. He listens to the story of York, the prisoner in the cell next to him whose execution date has been set. He hears the lady, an investigator who is piecing together York's past. He watches as the lady falls in love with the priest and wonders if love is still possible here. He sees the corruption and the danger as tensions in 'this enchanted place' build. And he waits. Because every monster was once a child, and even monsters have a story . . .
A powerful and hauntingly beautiful novel for fans of THE GREEN MILE and THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.
~ The Enchanted left me awestruck. Rene Denfeld manages to weave beauty and magic in an otherwise oppressive and brutal world, and it is captivating. Told from the perspective of an anonymous death row inmate, this novel questions the ethics of the death row system in America, as well as our own assumptions regarding the depravity of people who have committed terrible crimes. The prisoner observes the investigator, referred to as 'the Lady', whose job it is to provide enough evidence to get prisoners off death row. This is the author's job too, so the novel is well-informed. The reader is invited to follow the Lady as she researches the background of a serial killer named York, and what she discovers about his upbringing is grim indeed. York himself doesn't want to be saved. In between following the case, we are transported into the mind and memories of the unnamed inmate who imagines herds of wild golden horses galloping deep beneath the earth, and small men digging in the walls. He lives for the novels that the Warden slips through his cell door each week and he also observes the Lady and the Priest slowly fall in love. This novel is a glorious intertwining of love, cruelty, death, life, imagination and the magic of stories. Enchanting.
A powerful and hauntingly beautiful novel set on death row - like THE GREEN MILE or THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION written by Cormac McCarthy.
Winner of Prix du Premier Roman Etranger 2014.
THE ENCHANTED wrapped its beautiful and terrible fingers around me from the first page and refused to let go after the last. A wondrous book that finds transcendence in the most unlikely of places, enshrouding horrible things in a gossamer veil of fantasy with a truly unforgettable narrator. So dark yet so exquisite Erin Morgenstern, author of THE NIGHT CIRCUS THE ENCHANTED is unlike anything I've ever read ... A jubilant celebration that explores human darkness with a profound lyric tenderness and not one jot of sentimentality ... contagious and seductive Katherine Dunn, author of GEEK LOVE Rene Denfeld is a genius. In THE ENCHANTED, she has imagined one of the grimmest settings in the world - a dank and filthy death row in a corrupt prison - and given us one of the most beautiful, heart-rending, and riveting novels I have ever read Donald Ray Pollock, author of THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME A striking one-of-a-kind prison novel. The narrator, who is on death row and remains nameless until the book's end, explains that the prison, although a place where "the walls sigh with sadness," is enchanted: golden horses "run deep under the earth," miniature men with miniature hammers hide in the walls, and "flibber-gibbets dance while the oven slowly ticks." The narrator's magical perspective-which is paradoxically necessary, perhaps, to preserve what remains of his sanity-contrasts heartbreakingly with the parallel tale of an investigator, also unnamed, who is tasked with finding details about the past of another death-row inmate, known as York, that will result in his sentence being commuted, even though York has decided he wants to die ... Through the novel's rich, haunting prose, Denfeld, who herself has worked as an investigator in death penalty cases, shines a light on lives led with capital punishment on the schedule. This is a stunning first novel from an already accomplished writer that will leave the reader hoping for more fiction in the author's future. Publisher's Weekly Read this magical book, and prepare to be spellbound Library Journal
Rene Denfeld is a death penalty investigator and the author of three non-fiction books, including the international bestseller, THE NEW VICTORIANS. She has written for numerous publications, including THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her three children, all adopted from foster care. In addition to working with death-row clients, Ms. Denfeld volunteers with at-risk youth and in foster adoption advocacy. http://renedenfeld.com/