On the Day of the Dead, the Solona Music Hall is jumping. That's where Altagracia Quintero meets John Burns, just two weeks too late.
Altagracia – her friends call her Grace – has a tattoo of Nuestra SeÃ±ora de Altagracia on her shoulder, she's got a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg, and she has grease worked so deep into her hands that it'll never wash out. Grace works at Sanchez Motorworks, customizing hot rods. Finding the line in a classic car is her calling.
Now Grace has to find the line in her own life. A few blocks around the Alverson Arms is all her world -- from the little grocery store where she buys beans, tamales, and cigarettes ("cigarettes can kill you," they tell her, but she smokes them anyway) to the record shop, to the library where Henry, a black man confined to a wheelchair, researches the mystery of life in death – but she's got unfinished business keeping her close to home.
Grace loves John, and John loves her, and that would be wonderful, except that John, like Grace, has unfinished business – he's haunted by the childhood death of his younger brother. He's never stopped feeling responsible. Like Grace in her way, John is an artist, and before their relationship can find its resolution, the two of them will have to teach each other about life and love, about hot rods and Elvis Presley, and about why it's necessary to let some things go.
About the author
span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"">CHARLES de LINT is the author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children’s books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, White Pine, Crawford, and Aurora awards. The first book of the Wildlings trilogy, Under My Skin, won the 2013 Aurora Award for Young Adult Fiction. De Lint is a poet, songwriter, performer, and folklorist, and he writes a monthly book-review column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
De Lint and his wife, MaryAnn Harris, a fellow artist and musician, recently released companion CDs of their original songs, samples of which can be heard on de Lint’s website. They live in Ottawa, and their respective websites are www.charlesdelint.com and www.relectica.com.