The Orphans of Race Point

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Published by: Harper Collins
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Pages: 544
ISBN13: 978-1629530000



When a horrific act of violence shatters the peaceful October night in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the fates of nine-year-olds Gus Silva and Hallie Costa become inextricably entwined. Told in alternating voices, The Orphans of Race Point traces their relationship over the next three decades as they try to come to terms with the past. What begins as a childhood friendship evolves into something stronger, but when a terrible tragedy exhumes the ghosts they thought they'd put to rest, their dreams are abruptly destroyed.

Hallie and Gus move forward to build separate lives, but Gus's hard-won peace is threatened when he meets a troubled woman who awakens memories of the childhood he has worked so hard to forget. Although helping her offers him a chance at the redemption he desperately desires, it will come at a devastating price. Turning around an unthinkable betrayal, this epic, all-consuming novel explores how far we will go for love, even if it means sacrificing everything—and in doing so, celebrates our capacity for faith, forgiveness, and hope.

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"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

“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



From the journals of Gustavo Silva, Jr.: Last Entry

January 9, 2011

In prison, you learn that no one is innocent. It doesn’t matter whether you were wrongly convicted, if your crime was justified, or if life constricted your path so brutally that even the most heinous act came to feel inevitable. The cell accepts no excuses. There, no matter who you are, the truth will come looking for you in all its darkness and mercy. Either you look back unflinchingly or you die.
Of all the people I have known, there have only been a handful whose eyes reflected that kind of death. Pray for them--yes--and then stay away. There’s nothing else you can do.

Part 1: The Widow’s Walk

Sometimes I feel the need for religion so I go outside to paint the stars.
-Vincent Van Gogh


It was late October, the first cold night of the year, when nine-year-old Hallie Costa followed the bobbing arc of her flashlight to the roof. Though it was a school night, she was irresistibly drawn to the black sky, the brackish taste of the wind that shuddered off the bay, and the companionship of the gull who slept near the chimney. She knew him from the slight bend in his right wing, and his unbalanced flight--her father had diagnosed an accommodation to an old injury. Asa Quebrada, he called him. Broken Wing.