What does it feel like to be burned, not just a small area of skin, a fingertip, but to be totally burned, to be sizzling, blistering - alive in an inferno? What does it feel like to have the rotting burned skins scrubbed from your body? To be left in such pain and so scarred that death becomes your only aim? And then to meet a woman who’s convinced she nursed you in medieval Germany - a madwoman who carves gargoyles, who hears their screams as she releases them from the stone? Is it possible to see beauty in the stories she tells? Is it possible that there is truth in her stories? Is it possible to find love in madness? Is it possible to save her? The Gargoyle is a wild, beautiful, brilliant journey, sweeping across centuries, full of stories within stories.
by Michelle Calligaro, Readings Carlton
‘Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.’ So begins The Gargoyle, a grand, sweeping novel exploring the redemptive power of love. After a horrific car accident, a man awakens in hospital completely disfigured by burns to most of his body. Enter Marianne Engel, a beautiful young woman with angel wings tattooed on her back, who is convinced they have a past. Over several months, she describes to him a love story that begins in a monastery in fourteenth-century Germany. There, as a young novice she healed the severe burns of a mercenary who sought refuge from his own army. Despite her vows and his desperate situation as a deserter, they flee to a new life. As their love story unfolds, Marianne also spins romantic tales from across the centuries and around the world that defy pain and suffering and bring hope and succour to her deeply damaged friend. But as he starts to fight his demons and the morphine-addicted serpent embedded in his spine, Marianne’s reality begins to unravel.
Complete with a journey into the bowels of Dante’s Inferno and a life transformed by the cleansing power of fire, The Gargoyle is a romance of epic proportions.
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