A powerful and hauntingly beautiful novel set on death row - like THE GREEN MILE or THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION written by Cormac McCarthy.
Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen - to hear - so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening...
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. For even monsters have a story...
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
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
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
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 - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Read this magical book, and prepare to be spellbound - LIBRARY JOURNAL
Rene Denfeld is a death penalty investigator and the author of the novel THE ENCHANTED, as well as 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.