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The Orphans of Race Point: A Novel Paperback – May 6, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062281305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062281302
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gus Silva is just nine years old when his mother is killed by Gus’ abusive father, marking the boy forever and leaving him desolate with grief and inexpressible guilt. Only the assistance of classmate Hallie Costa, daughter of widower Dr. Nick, pulls Gus from depression. Years later, after star football player Gus has become known as “Voodoo” for his winning charm, he and Hallie finally yield to what seems a lifelong love, until an incident at a beach party after the senior prom leaves Hallie seriously injured and causes Gus to join the priesthood. But even Father Gus can’t shake a reputation for violence, leading to his wrongful conviction for murdering Ava Cilento, an abused woman who sought Gus’ counsel to protect her young daughter, then accused him of assault when she ended their alleged affair. As this epic spans decades, the third-person narration yields to the first-person account of teenager Mila Cilento, Ava’s daughter, who uncovers the truth of what happened years earlier. By the author of The Liar’s Diary (2007), this beautifully wrought novel is a sometimes wrenching but ultimately uplifting story of murder and betrayal in the face of faith, family in its truest sense, and—most of all—love. --Michele Leber

Review

“Stretching over more than three decades, it’s a gripping tale of stubborn love, the legacy of domestic violence, and the family secrets children keep. A noir element crops up, too.” (Boston Globe)

“Set against the coast of Provincetown, Patry Francis’s fierce, ravishing epic cuts deep to the bone about how love binds us together and breaks us apart, and how the past’s thumbprint rests on the present. Tender, violent, and alive, it’s also unforgettable.” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times-bestselling author of Pictures of You)

“Patry Francis has written the sort of sprawling, Dickensian novel that readers long for in this post-modern age….The Orphans of Race Point has a breakneck pace, engaging characters, and a vividly rendered setting.” (Providence Journal)

“a Dickensian story….Its themes of passionate treachery and abiding love play out in sometimes heartbreaking ways. Recommend to readers wondering what to read after The Goldfinch.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“…this beautifully wrought novel is a sometimes wrenching but ultimately uplifting story of murder and betrayal in the face of faith, family in its truest sense, and—most of all—love.” (Booklist (starred review))

“This talented author engages our emotions and her descriptions are impeccable, and moving…it’s a joy to read a novel that’s expertly crafted right to the very end (Barnstable Patriot)

“This is a long book for a teen to tackle, but for those who relish a story of love and struggle and enjoy a good saga, this is a great recommendation.” (School Library Journal)

“…a sweeping family drama with its inherent mysteries and secrets…readers will be absorbed by the tragedies that push the story along, and the often engaging voice.” (Romantic Times)

“In The Orphans of Race Point, Patry Francis has poured a lifetime of wisdom into a thrilling, twisting plot, which holds up the human heart as a prism, turning it to show its many facets, its shadows and light.” (Susan Henderson, author of Up from the Blue)

“Stunning psychological suspense which poses the eternal question: how well can you know the people you love? This is riveting, bite-your-nails reading and the arrival of a great new talent.” (Lee Child on The Liar's Diary)

“A twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises. This is one of my favorite reads of the year!” (Tess Gerritsen on The Liar's Diary)

“Twists and turns but never lets go.” (Jacquelyn Mitchard on The Liar's Diary)

“Outright chilling.” (Daily News on The Liar's Diary)

“Genuinely creepy . . . The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery.” (Kirkus Reviews on The Liar's Diary)

“A quirky, well-written and well-constructed mystery with an edge.” (Publishers Weekly on The Liar's Diary)

More About the Author

Patry Francis is the author of The Liar's Diary and the blog 100 Days of Discipline for Writers. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in the Tampa Review, Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and American Poetry Review, among other publications. She is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has twice been the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant. She lives in Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

I couldn't put this book down until I finished it.
Carolyn D. Gammon
Good character development and enough twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing right to the end of the story.
Monica O'Brien
Patry captured the characters so well that I felt as though I knew them personally.
Nicola Lennox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Lennox on July 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing. I never imagined picking this book up and only read it because a friend had recommended it to me. And I'm so glad I followed through on the recommendation. I stayed up until all hours of the night wondering what would happen next. Patry captured the characters so well that I felt as though I knew them personally. Well written, and we'll worth the read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished "The Orphans of Race Point" this evening and I am still processing it. I do know I loved it and the tale of Gus, Hallie and Neil as well as all of the other characters had me enthralled from the first page.

I am not sure what to say, other than, "READ IT". Other reviewers have summarized the story line, so I won't. I found myself emotionally charged a number of times during the book. It was a beautiful, but painful story to read. I don't think anyone will be disappointed by the spectacular writing.

I will be checking out other works by this author and definitely telling my friends and family about it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Orphans of Race Point was daunting in size, and had me questioning it's motives before I even cracked the first page. A 544-page contemporary? I had past experience warning bells going off in my head like crazy (see, We Are Water by Wally Lamb). Those were quickly quieted, as I reached the halfway point, and couldn't believe I had read so much already. This book was chronological narrative done SO right, and an absolute ravager of my emotions-every single one.

The Orphans of Race Point was laid out in seven parts, ranging, and skipping years between 1978 to 2011. Each section felt like it's own story, and sometimes, even a different genre. The way it came together, collectively, was nothing short of spectacular. Hallie and Gus, the shining stars of the plot line, begin their interaction at the precious age of 9, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, after Gus's mother has been murdered by his father. The pair form a silent, motherless, bond, and set into motion events that would become so very far out of their control. At 16, their bond deepens into a hormonal, teenage love affair-a relationship so seemingly untouchable, that the earth itself couldn't separate them. Though, there was always an underlying darkness, and on their prom night, it consumes not only Hallie and Gus, but every single person in their circle. The book flashes forward to adult life, where everyone's life has been permanently altered by the tragedy; Gus and Hallie torn apart by Gus's decision to enter the seminary. They are reunited in a later section, after Gus has been accused of a heinous crime. Love, and loyalty, become the driving forces, as Hallie, and Gus's closest friends fight to prove his innocence, and solve the mysteries of their own lives.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rdl on June 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
Not since The Prince of Tides have I been so swept away by a novel. Yes, it's been that long! This one has it all: characters you will care about so much that they will break your heart, a stunning plot that kept me reading late into the night.  This novel should be at the top of the New York Times Bestseller's list!   Would also make a great movie. I can just picture it like a Secret Life of Bees or Water for Elephants.  I just can't wait to see Hallie and Gus on the big screen - they are that real to me!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Allison on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, how I loved this book! When I first requested it, I didn’t realize how long it was so when it came in the mail I was nervous about reading a 500+ page book by an author I had never read before. Not only was the book sensational, but I am definitely going to pick up up one of her other works in the near future.

The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis follows the lives of Hallie and Gus, who became friends after a violent act left Gus an orphan. Their friendship did not take the traditional route (they didn’t meet on the playground), but from the beginning it’s evident that there are deeper ties that bind the two together than one would expect from two nine-year olds. As their friendship blossoms into something more in high school, another violent act leaves their lives shattered and their futures uncertain. As the two head in opposite directions in life, a third and final violent act brings their zig-zagging lives back together. Only this time, Gus is in prison and Hallie has to decide whether Gus is the man the law says he is or the man she thinks he is.

Told over the course of three decades, The Orphans of Race Point explores the outer limits of friendships and the ties that bind. Each character is rich, flawed, and absolutely perfect. At no point during this book did I feel that the author could have done more or less, for each word and action was carefully crafted to catapult the reader toward a shocking end. Beyond the lives of Gus and Hallie, Francis uses secondary characters and a seaside backdrop to tell a story so stunning it will leave you staggering with emotion. With a story that transcends time, The Orphans of Race Point is the perfect book to cozy up.

P.S. – It’d make a great Book Club pick, too!

Allison @ The Book Wheel
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