In this follow up to his critically acclaimed novel, Sunrise, Robert Crooke tells the heart-breaking story of a man unmoored by losses. The Earth and Its Sorrows is a novel about spiritual reassessment in the wake of tragedy. Two years after the death of his son, Paul, who was killed in a car accident, Ted Devaney visits an old Hudson Valley property he plans to sell. Overcome by memories, especially by a strong sense of Paul’s presence, he defers the sale and decides to stay a few days, confusing and frightening his wife, Diana, and their daughter, Beth. Days become weeks, as old friends, neighbors, and estranged family members slowly gather around him. He meets Elena, his high school girlfriend, who has made her life in the place he left years before. His brother, Tom, arrives with bittersweet memories of his own about their boyhood summers in the valley. Slowly, Ted senses secrets and doubts plaguing his brother, his old girlfriend—all of the people he meets in the valley, where his forgotten past lingers. And as he realizes the effect of his life on theirs, and theirs on his, he understands his fate—some questions the mind answers. Others, only the heart comprehends.
When Professor Alice Prescott writes a best-selling novel based on her passionate, once-troubled marriage to journalist Tom Winslow, the couple's quiet Connecticut life is shaken by more than bad memories. The past itself returns, as if beckoned by Alice's book. Now, the Winslows learn what their unyielding love has cost them-and others.
The Chastened Heart is a novel of middle class American and European manners, satirical yet compassionate, realistic yet committed to the spiritual and ethical concerns of the very best fiction. Robert Crooke's deeply emotional narrative urges a reader to follow the Winslows into a past that is both personal and universal, and to embrace with them the mysteries that their marriage represents.
Sunrise is a tale of illusion, loss and renewal in a tragic age. Set in Manhattan, and in the fashionable beach towns of Long Island's East End, it follows the interwoven lives of three friends from the late 1960s to the present-exploring the confluence of art, commerce, politics and celebrity.
With its perfectly rendered physical setting, Sunrise draws readers into the reality of place and the universality of myth in a daring, Modernist style.
Stephen Dahl, the narrator of Sunrise, is a troubled child of the 60s, an expatriate American author living in Paris, an alcoholic who has stopped drinking but failed to recover his spiritual equilibrium. Watching the horrors of September 11th from his Paris apartment, he is struck by renewed patriotism which vanishes quickly as America plans to invade Iraq. But he is called home in the Spring of 2003 by the death of his former best friend and by the chance to see his former lover, the widow of his old friend. Thus begins Stephen's journey to a past that reveals complex layers of moral and spiritual responsibility to his country, his countrymen and himself. Stephen confronts an uncertain future by accepting the moral limits of despair and the power of compassion.
American Family is Tom Gannon's confession--a story of secrets and sins, set in 1950's America. Haunted by memories of his heroic father, Joe; his complicated grandfather, Hank; his stoic mother, Mary; and his boldly courageous sister, Liz, he weaves an engrossing tale--a classic narrative of love, courage, betrayal, and redemption--which he calls the story of a family, told by its "least worthy member".
American Family invokes a time when New York real estate development was controlled by arbitrary power-politics and prejudice, and when Congressional investigations into Communist influence in American institutions cast shadows of fear and suspicion over day-to-day life.
Robert Crooke summons a rich cast of characters onto this stage, and though they voice a variety of political convictions, this novelist is suspicious of extremes in ideology. It's more the human heart that interests him. And through the observant eyes of his flawed narrator, reminiscent of Holden Caulfield and Huck Finn, he takes an unforgettable journey into the moral truth of America's past--and present. It is an extraordinary reading experience in fiction.