Books by Rosanne Daryl Thomas

AWAITING GRACE by Rosanne Daryl Thomas
Released: June 1, 1999

A tale of sin, conversion, and redemption—narrated by God. The God's-eye view that Thomas (The Angel Carver, 1993, etc.) describes is certainly a gimmick, but it works quite well once the story is underway. The focus of our attention is Sheila Jericault, a hard-driving campaign manager trying to orchestrate the election of Kip Coxx to the US House of Representatives. God doesn—t really interest himself very much in politics, although he seems to like the incumbent whom Coxx is trying to unseat (—a decent and likeable Episcopalian—) and implies that Coxx himself is a blowhard. But during the campaign, something goes very wrong for Sheila. One day, for no apparent reason, she suffers a freak hemorrhage and nearly dies. Laid up for some time afterward, she begins to think about the course of her life so far, finding that she can—t discern much in the way of direction. She leaves the insufferable Coxx and his campaign but can—t imagine what her next step should be—until she notices an unhappy-looking woman living across the street and learns that she's a Sri Lankan maid kept in involuntary servitude by her employers. Sheila's path is clear: she has to free Kiri Srinvasar. The daughter of a poor widow, Kiri signed a contract with an "employment agency" that promised her work abroad in exchange for ten months" labor . . . three years ago. Since her employers hold her passport and she's penniless, Kiri has no means of escaping her situation. So Sheila steps in, with the help of Bob Wickett, a dairy truck driver who also almost died in a freak accident and has become her friend and ally. Together, the two set about righting one of the world's many wrongs, which—God knows—is about the only purpose we have in this life. Good-natured if somewhat naive: Thomas's style will appeal to New Age readers, though more cynical types may find all the uplift a bit much. Read full book review >
THE ANGEL CARVER by Rosanne Daryl Thomas
Released: June 1, 1993

Downtown meets Brooklyn, Pygmalion meets Faust, and Marilyn Monroe meets the devil—in this rollicking contemporary fairy tale by first-novelist Thomas. For 40 years in Flatbush, Jack has quietly worked at his bench at Reliable Shoe Repair by day and in his secret room, carving luxuriant Renaissance angels out of ebony and ash, by night—all the time waiting, somewhat hopelessly now, for the reappearance of his wife Angela, who mysteriously failed to come home from a shopping trip in 1952. Instead, two things happen: Jack's elderly neighbor Mrs. Rice dies, replaced by a tenant Jack thinks of as ``the mass murderer'' because he uproots and otherwise desecrates Mrs. Rice's lovely garden, over which Jack's secret room has looked for more than half a century; and a sweet 19-year-old waif named Lucille—an aspiring Marilyn Monroe imitator—wanders into Reliable to have her waitressing shoes fixed and wins Jack's grandfatherly affections. That's when the trouble starts. At a Marilyn look-alike contest to which Jack accompanies her, Lucille meets Buddy Lomax- -agency photographer, image banker, and master operator of a diabolical computerized photographic collage-making device called the Hell; Buddy promises to make Lucille more like Marilyn than Marilyn and begins by sending her to dermabrasionists and plastic surgeons. By now Lucille is living in Jack's apartment, and Buddy tricks her into letting him peek at the lavish, jewel-eyed backroom angels, which—being even more beautiful than his own creation in Lucille—he decides to steal: First he'll try compiling a phony photographic life-history of the missing Angela on the Hell machine and pretend to Jack that he can locate her—in exchange for the angels; if that doesn't work (and it doesn't), Buddy will frame Jack for the murder of the loutish next-door neighbor, who's been found dead in Mrs. Rice's garden.... Like Walker Percy in his early novels, Thomas possesses a real gift for the lyrical and fabulous: an impressive, oddball pleasure. Read full book review >