The twins, beckoned by an ominous streak of light across the sky, climb Harper’s Hill to encounter an apparition of their missing father.
The reverend stands on a muddy ridge, the barrel of a rifle in his neck, looking down on a Vietnamese village, scarred by war and regret.
The stories come to Margaret at all times, but they are anything but random. A fractured view of Michael Cheevers’ red hat through a discreetly cracked door sends her off on adventure. A glimpse of the Johnson twins from apartment 2D takes her to the lonely hill on a Midwestern prairie in 1887. The regular letters from Reverend Davies, who has tried to look after Margaret since the death of her mother, brings her to the brink of exhaustion, staring intensely into the heart of war deep in the jungle of Vietnam.
Margaret is not insane, at least not in a clinical sense. She’s like a midnight raccoon, painfully aware of her surroundings, gleaming crumbs of information at every turn; eyes peering incessantly in the night, stealing glances of neighbors behind partially opened doors.
But the tales that she weaves were not meant to merely hold empty court to the receptive dead air of her apartment. Her stories were meant to embolden the lives of the inhabitants of that drab apartment block because her story is also their story—and everything would be different if they could only hear her stories.
The Recluse Storyteller weaves five stories into one as the loner Margaret not only searches for meaning from her reclusive life, but also gives meaning in the most unexpected ways to the troubled souls of her apartment complex. Part adventure, part tragedy, and part discovery, The Recluse Storyteller bridges genres, bringing hope, life, and redemption to the broken relationships of modern society.
About the Author
Mark W Sasse was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, but he has lived in Asia (Vietnam & Malaysia) for most of the past twenty years. He has been an independent author for about a year, publishing his first novel, Beauty Rising, in December 2012. He is passionate about live theater and has written, directed, and produced nine full-length productions for the stage. His script, “‘No’ in Spite of Itself” won “Best Script” recently in Penang’s Short & Sweet Theatre Festival. His third novel, The Reach of the Banyan Tree, is finished and is set to release mid-year 2014. He is also working on writing a full-length musical which will debut at the Penang Performing Arts Center in May 2014.