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Cover image: “Roses on Red Chair” © Kathy Bradshaw

Eric Hoffer Prize 2021 Shortlist

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was while pregnant. Tension start to rise with the return of Ina, Nicholas’ childhood best friend, to the house next door. Kathleen doesn’t trust her or Nicholas. Already unstable, Kathleen’s suspicions culminate in a day of violence, and Kathleen’s disappearance.

Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s desertion. No one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina is like a mother to her, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length.He cannot bring himself to tell Kate or Ina the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late. 


Matt McCoy Book Reviews

Straight Line

The Book Lover’s Boudoir

The US Review of Books

Maris Book Reviews/Midwest Review of Books (archive site)


About the Author

L. M. Brown is the author of the novel Debris, and the linked short story collections Treading the Uneven Road and Were We Awake. She has three daughters who know how to get her away from work and a very patient husband. They live near her husband’s hometown in Massachusetts but L. M. grew up in Ireland.