Also By This Author
“Power is adept at creating a cast of voices. . . . Every one of Power’s dozen or so characters brims with life and goofiness and . . . human frailty. What’s more, they’re all great talkers. It’s the rare novel that can switch voices this often and not lose our interest.”Claire Dederer, The New York Times Book Review
The Good Remains
978-0-8021-4022-7 • $13.00 • Paperback • Nov. 2003
An exhilarating tribute to A Christmas Carol set in a tightly knit Southern town, by the acclaimed author of The New York Times Notable Book of the Year and Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist Crawling at Night
Nani Power’s mesmerizing, widely praised debut, Crawling at Night, established her as “a formidable young writer . . . one who can put you in mind of both Mary Gaitskill and Denis Johnson” (The New York Times Book Review). As intricately absorbing and dazzling as her “daring . . . one of a kind” debut (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Power’s second novel is a slyly addictive story that introduces a beguiling cross section of characters in a small Virginia village, all of whom are destined to collide in an unusual confluence of events in the days leading up to Christmas.
Dr. C. R. Ash, a neonatologist and chronic bachelor, is a man in the winter of his soul, and last in the line of an old Southern family. During a snowy prelude to a much-anticipated hospital Christmas party, C.R. crosses paths with a world of local characters, living and dead: Betty, his fire-fearing secretary and her cohort; Dr. Pendleton Compton, C.R.’s lascivious best friend who mends the hearts of babies; Kirsten, a candy striper who teeters between the worlds of childhood and child rearing; a clutch of death-obsessed teenagers; and two amateur caterers striving to create a Dickensian world of magic for the overworked and bedraggled hospital staff. In a town adrift with housing developments, strip malls, and Civil War history, this motley assemblage of characters are all impelled by their search to solve the ancient human riddles of love, loss, and desolation.
At once Victorian in its feel and yet starkly modern, The Good Remains explores life, death, and our own attachments to this mortal coil. Shot through with the mournful refrain of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird,” Power’s appealing, neo-Gothic tale revisits the age-old questions of our fundamental human longings. This book is a coup whose wit and ingenuity will delight readers, even as its characters leave their desperate marks on the heart.