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The Miracles of Ordinary Men

The Miracles of Ordinary Men

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ECW Press

Leduc, Amanda




2013-06-05 11:36:26: Nomination was created
2013-06-05 15:10:32: payment successful from Paypal (order 81)
2013-06-05 15:21:48: payment successful from Paypal (order 83)
2013-06-05 15:25:42: payment successful from Paypal (order 84)

Erin Creasey

Sales & marketing Director

ECW Press

Feature film


Amanda Leduc was born in British Columbia and grew up in Ontario. She holds a Master’s degree in writing from the University of St. Andrews and has published across Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

TBD. Book was released in May, 2013.

A man growing wings, a woman finding God in pain and fury, and a destiny that will show them light in the most unlikely places.

A haunting story about rapture and grace, Amanda Leduc’s stunning novel is the tale of two unlikely dreamers: Sam, a man who wakes up one day to find himself growing wings, and Lilah, a woman who has lost her brother to the streets of Vancouver. As Sam finds himself falling away from the world as he grows feathers from his back, Lilah seeks sexual penance under the harsh hand of her boss, her own transformation subtle and terrifying. Sam and Lilah fall deeper into their separate spiritual paths, and the two hurtle closer and closer to a dark, unknown destiny — one that changes all that they know about life and pain, love and God, and how to find light in the most unlooked-for of places.
The Miracles of Ordinary Men re-examines the traditional roles of priest and prophet, damned and divine, and creates something monstrous and exquisite reminiscent of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Angel’s Game, Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away, and Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle.

Sam, a teacher, lives his life very much alone. He finds solace in his cat after the breakup of his relationship with his fiancée Julie after the loss of their baby. He begins growing wings, and soon finds himself being taken care of following his mother’s death by his old church pastor Father Jim. Father Jim is amazed by the powers Sam now has, and they both try to determine why these things are happening to him, and why not everyone can see the wings. He also grows closer to one of his students, Emma.
Delilah lives an unassuming life in B.C., trying to help her brother, Timothy, get out of the streets, while dealing with her accusing mother Roberta. To cope with the guilt she feels, she enters into an extremely violent relationship with her mysterious boss, Israel Riviera, who seems to be more than meets the eye—he uses her to get information on Timothy for his own evil purposes. Timothy, a broken soul, begins growing wings of his own, and finds Sam and Father Jim for help as each character’s storyline begins to intertwine with the others.

One of the major themes is of spirituality. All the characters grapple with it, whether they are growing wings and turning to into angels or struggling with what spirituality means to them personally. Another theme is pain; each of the characters is suffering from their own pain and must find ways to deal with it and move past it. Delilah’s mother dies as does Sam’s, Lilah can’t help her brother, and Sam can’t take back the mistakes that ended his relationship with his fiancée. Each character must come to terms with what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and why.

A big part of what would make these characters come to life on screen is the potential for conveying emotions and intentions through body language. Israel seems to be more than just Delilah’s boss, and more evil than you might initially suspect. While readers must use their imagination to bring him to life and the actions he might make, on screen this character could take on new life. This applies for all the characters, small nuances that could add so much to the story that reading alone can’t always accomplish.

Women 18–34
Women 35–54

A novel about a man growing wings, a woman finding God in pain and fury, and a destiny that will show them light in the most unlikely places.

Sam’s cat crumpled like paper under the truck’s wheel. He knelt down to touch her and then something like heat, some sudden shock of air, surged through his hands.
Suddenly she was breathing, blinking up at him through a mass of matted fur. Dead, and then not-dead, and his were the hands that had done it.
A car door slammed; he cradled the cat, heard footsteps. When he looked up he saw a boy, standing white and terrified in the same spot where the truck had crushed the cat against the curb. Moments ago, only just. The boy’s mother stood close to the truck, her eyes large and dark with guilt.
“It’s fine,” he said, when he could speak. He avoided the mother and spoke instead to the boy, his hands around Chickenhead, his fingers throbbing with alien power. The wings ached in the chill of the early evening air. “I know it didn’t look like it, but she’s fine.”
“I saw . . . blood,” said the boy. He had stubborn hair. He looked like the kind of boy who would grow up to argue with Sam in one of his classes. One day, if he was still teaching.
“It was a mistake.” He couldn’t think of any other way to say it. “I thought so too, but look.” He let Chickenhead go and clenched his hands to stop the shaking. The cat dropped lightly to the ground and sauntered over to the boy. Sam could hear her purr from five feet away.
“She’s okay,” said the boy. Like Sam, he sounded as though he couldn’t quite believe it. When he knelt and held out his hand, the cat rubbed against his fingers. “What’s her name?”
“Chickenhead,” said Sam. The mother laughed — a high laugh, edged with hysteria — and the boy made a face.
“Chickenhead?” he repeated. If he could see the wings, he wasn’t letting on. “What kind of a name is that?”
“I don’t know,” Sam said, perfectly honest. “I was — ” he almost said high, and then thought better of it. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
The boy’s mother rolled her eyes. “Aidan,” she said, “we should go.”
The boy nodded, but he didn’t get up. “What’re those rips in your shirt for?”
“Those?” Sam shrugged and pointed a lazy hand, careful not to touch the wings. There was his answer, right there. “It’s just an old shirt.”
“Aidan,” his mother said again. “You’re going to be late.”
He was tempted to ask what the boy would be late for, just to keep the two of them there and talking. Instead he whistled, and Chickenhead jumped out of the boy’s arms and sauntered back to him. Aidan gave a small wave and climbed into the truck. And off they went — piano lessons, karate, soccer practice, whatever.
Still clutching the cat, he leaned forward and vomited into the gutter. There was blood on the asphalt. A few clumps of dark fur. The wind flapped against the holes in the back of his shirt.
Well,” he said. “What happens now?”
Chickenhead, bathed in light, began to purr. She turned on her back and stretched her legs so that her claws caught the wings, which were white now, the feathers long and soft. Sam stood at the end of his drive and let them unfurl — six feet across, maybe more. When he flexed his shoulders, they beat hard against air. He rocked slowly on the balls of his feet and watched the clouds. The sky waited above him. It was almost night. The air was cold. The only light on the street came from him.

The Miracles of Ordinary Men is a beautiful story about souls filled with pain coming to terms with their destinies in life. The characters’ continued search for purpose and guidance is a relatable subject for any audience member.

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