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Gloomy,
Dark,
Beautiful

4 reviews

The Enchanted: A Novel (P.S.)
by Rene Denfeld

Published: 2015-02-24
Paperback : 272 pages
2 members reading this now
8 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 4 members

For the narrator locked inside an ancient prison, waiting for death, life is full of magic, from the golden horses that stampede underground to the tiny men who hammer away inside the stone walls. That the enchanted place is a death row matters less to him than the people he watches from ...

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Introduction

For the narrator locked inside an ancient prison, waiting for death, life is full of magic, from the golden horses that stampede underground to the tiny men who hammer away inside the stone walls. That the enchanted place is a death row matters less to him than the people he watches from the bars of his cage: the lady, an investigator hired to help the men escape execution; the fallen priest, brought by shame to work the row; and the kindly warden, who ushers men to death.

As the lady digs deep into the past of one of the men on the row, she finds secrets that ring chillingly familiar, and begins a journey that will bring all of them to unexpected salvation.

Guilt and innocence collide in this story of the beauty that can exist in the midst of despair. A luminous novel about redemption, the poetry that can be found in the unfathomable, and the human capacity to transcend even the most nightmarish reality, The Enchanted is a new classic.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, March 2014: Journalist Rene Denfeld channels her experience as a death penalty case investigator into a gut-wrenching, spellbinding debut novel. The Enchanted goes deep inside a decaying prison where we meet York, a death row inmate who is on the verge of execution, and "The Lady," an investigator who (against York's wishes) delves into his history in an attempt to have his sentence reduced. What she finds is far from pretty, revealing parallels to her own awful past. There are others, none without tragedy. But their morbid, often unrepentantly violent stories are balanced with moments of emotional escape--poetic beauty from outside the prison and strange explanations from within. These magical aspects, or "enchanted things," are the sensational imaginings of an unhinged, unnamed inmate--York's prison neighbor and our narrator. His is a unique perspective--one that is at once irrational and insightful, driving the plot and providing context and description beyond the walls of the prison and beyond the realms of reality. The result is captivating and perplexing. Given such dark subjects, "enjoying" The Enchanted may feel uncomfortable, but there’s no crime in embracing Denfeld's ability to evoke empathy for seemingly undeserving characters and inspire wonder within an unlikely place. --Robin A. Rothman

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by hkbarker (see profile) 02/23/20

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 02/14/18

I thought calling this book magical and fantasy is misleading. A very dark story. It evoked strong reactions from me.

 
  "The Enchanted"by Kfolsom (see profile) 02/13/18

Misleading, not magical. Well written with dark content.

 
by Drushelle (see profile) 01/22/18

 
by [email protected] (see profile) 01/14/18

Out of my comfort zone...I wouldn’t want that lady’s job!

 
by itsdingee (see profile) 07/11/17

 
by angelk5 (see profile) 11/13/15

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