More than Sorrow
Poisoned Pen Press, September 2012
Once, Hannah Manning was an internationally-renowned journalist and war correspondent. Today, she’s a woman suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Unable to read, unable to concentrate, full of pain, lost and confused, haunted by her memories, Hannah goes to her sister’s small-scale vegetable farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario to recover.
As summer settles on the farm, she finds comfort in the soft rolling hills and neat fields as well as friendship in the company of Hila Popalzai, an Afghan woman also traumatized by war.
Unable to read the printed word, Hannah retreats into the attic and boxes of mouldy letters that have accumulated for more than two centuries. As she learns about the original settlers of this land, Loyalist refugees fleeing the United States in 1784, she is increasingly drawn to the space beneath the old house. More than carrots and potatoes, soups and jams, are down in the dark damp root cellar.
Hannah experiences visions of a woman, emerging from the icy cold mist. Is the woman real? Or the product of a severely damaged brain?
Which would be worse?
Then Hila disappears. When Hannah cannot account for her time, not even to herself, old enemies begin to circle.
In this modern Gothic novel of heart-wrenching suspense, past and present merge into a terrifying threat to the only thing Hannah still holds dear – her ten-year-old niece, Lily.
Library Journal says: “In a change of pace from her Con. Molly Smith mysteries (Among the Departed), Delany has written a splendid Gothic thriller with a theme of strong women throughout history. Readers will be captivated by the haunted root cellar and how Delany contrasted one woman’s struggles in the past with the plight of contemporary refugees.”
New York Times Bestselling author Susanna Kearsley says, “This clever mystery mingles past and present in an atmosphere as chilling as the subtle roll of mist across a field.”
Deadly Diversions: Vicki Delany has stepped up her game. In More Than Sorrow she paints a vivid portrait of a strong woman, severely limited by traumatic injuries, and attempting to regain her autonomy. Worthy in its own right, the story line is layered with events reaching back in time, and demonstrates Delany’s growing ability to weave a complex and utterly original tale. There are enough twists and turns to satisfy the most demanding reader, and convincing portraits of people good and evil, thrown together in a compelling plot that will hold you until the final page.
Mystery Maven Canada: it’s with the standalones that Delany really shines. Indeed, sparkles.
Tutu’s Two Cents: Do not start reading this book unless you can stay up all night to finish it! Once you begin, everything else will be put on hold.
Publishers Weekly: . The modern-day suspense plot resolves with a satisfyingly tense scene that brings the two strands subtly together,