The Orphans of Race Point


“Reminiscent of Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Orphans of Race Point is not to be missed.–Katie Lofblad, Cape Cod Magazine

“Gus is 9 years old in 1978 when his mother dies, murdered by his father, a Provincetown fisherman. Gus’s friendship with Hallie begins then, when the precocious little girl comes to his house to read him “David Copperfield.” She knows what it is to lose a parent, but she has no idea how badly damaged Gus is, or how long and painfully he will have to struggle not to become his father.

Patry Francis has written a novel grounded in sandy soil and suffused with the salt air of Cape Cod… 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, complete with femme fatale, but this is not a black-and-white world. As Gus says, it’s a mistake to believe that anyone “is nothing more than their worst sins.” Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe

“Like Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, this sprawling second novel by Massachusetts author Francis (The Liar’s Diary) starts out with a traumatic incident involving a young boy befriended by a girl and expands from there into a Dickensian story in which criminals with murky motives mingle casually with the pure of heart. But instead of London or New York City, the tangled lives of the two motherless children, Gus and Hallie, and their friend, Neil, unfold on the beaches and narrow streets of Provincetown, on the outermost tip of Cape Cod, and in the seacoast city of New Bedford, MA. Fate lies heavily on the characters, as the book explores fatherhood, inheritance, human behavior, and the aspects of ourselves that can be changed. VERDICT Steeped in sea air and completely ignoring the tourist season, this story captures the essence of year-round life on the Cape and the Portuguese Catholic traditions of New Bedford fishermen as its themes of passionate treachery and abiding love play out in sometimes heartbreaking ways. Recommend to readers wondering what to read after The Goldfinch.”-Laurie Cavanaugh, Holmes P.L., Halifax, MA 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

“Set against the coast of Provincetown, Patry’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 and Is This Tomorrow

“Patry Francis has written the sort of sprawling, Dickensian novel that readers long for in this post-modern age of spare, hip prose and cynical characters. The Orphans of Race Point has a breakneck pace, engaging characters, and a vividly rendered setting of Provincetown, Mass….Tying up the connections among these characters leads to a denouement worthy of an Agatha Christie mystery.”
–Providence Journal

“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. Grief is cut with rage, fear, courage. Love is bruised, guarded, redemptive. Each time you think you know where the story’s headed, Patry surprises. And just when you think you’ve plunged into the endless dark, she lets the light flood in. The story is at once intimate and far-reaching, tackling the biggest of themes—faith, forgiveness, and gratitude in the midst of hardship. This is a book that satisfies right down to the last perfect lines which raised the hair on my arms. Profound, liberating, and unforgettable!”
Susan Henderson, author of Up From the Blue

Reviews from the TLC BOOK TOUR

–The Book Wheel: “…a story so stunning it will leave you staggering with emotion.”

–Tutu’s Two Cents: “Better than Gone Girl…”

–Bookalicious Mama: “…like unwrapping the most unexpected present — it’s THAT good!” 

–Bookchickdi:”The must-read book this year!”

–All Things Girl: “…a novel that succeeds on every level.”

–Bound by Books:”…a journey that not a single soul should miss.”

–My Book Retreat: “Highly recommended.”