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Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos
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Autumn in Carthage

by Christopher Zenos

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Nathan Price is about to go on sabbatical from the University of Chicago when he receives a parcel of 17th century documents among which, impossibly, is a letter in the handwriting of his best friend, Jamie McKinnon, who had disappeared six months before. Equally impossibly the letter mentions the town of Carthage, Wisconsin, which didn't exist in the 17th century. Nathan sets out for Carthage to investigate. It's a town with secrets, but then again Nathan has secrets of his own.

Good plot and characters, but rather flat descriptions. The technobabble for the time travel left me a bit 'meh', but as the plot progressed the excitement really picked up and carried me along. ( )
  Robertgreaves | May 23, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Enjoyable and recommended... Loved it- this book made me wonder and kept me interested. ( )
  Reesa111 | Jan 14, 2015 |
Seems I'm reading a lot from the Twilight Zone lately. Autumn in Carthage follows a professor on sabbatical from the University of Chicago to small town Wisconsin, Carthage, to be specific. A grad student's research has turned up a letter from 17th Century Salem, Massachusetts, written in the extremely familiar handwriting of the professor's lost best friend. In the letter, the friend mentions Carthage, Wisconsin, a place unknown, of course, to the people of Salem at the time of the witch hunts. Once in Carthage, our hero becomes entwined in the town's civic life, and learns more than he bargained for, including the well-hidden secret the townsfolk keep from the rest of the world. Full of likeable people, even in their damaged state, the novel is quite a ride and the author, writing out of his own mental illness, engages the reader, encouraging us to suspend disbelief and accept that there may well be more out there than we can imagine. Well worth the time spent reading it, in my opinion. ( )
  mtbearded1 | Nov 27, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love, love, love this book. Every part is it is great, but what made it outstanding for me was the honest way Zenos portrayed mental illness. He did a beautiful job of showing the "outsider-ness" that is implicit to mental illness. Read the rest of my review on my blog here: http://madnessandfolly.net/tag/autumn-in-carthage/ ( )
  NicoleCenteno | Sep 21, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I think the best way to describe this novel is Outlander meets Discovery of Witches. Considering how much I adored both of those novels, this instantly went on my to-be-re-read shelf because I honestly loved it. The opening, with such a frank description of academia (which rang incredibly true to life), drew me in, and then Carthage was such an interesting place that I could hardly put the book down. The main character, Nathan, wrestles with demons I have seen quite a bit of in those that I work with. Academia attracts several types of people, and to be honest, one of those types often struggles against depression (or several related troubles that are often, inappropriately I know, grouped together). In the characters growth and experiences, I found myself rooting for him, and completely wishing I could move to Carthage (except for the winters--give me somewhere warm!). A little interesting twist on the inhabitants, and well, I was all in. I don't want to give away too much, because that's part of the allure of the novel, but this was an amazing book that I highly recommend. I'll be re-reading it this autumn for sure.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this novel in exchange for a review (and LibraryThing for facilitating!) ( )
  Meradeth | Jul 13, 2014 |
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Epigraph
I bring you with reverent hands
The books of my numberless dreams;
White woman that passion has worn
As the tide wears the dove-gray sands,
And with heart more old than the horn
That is brimmed from the pale fire of time:
White woman with numberless dreams
I bring you my passionate rhyme.
- WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS,
A Poet To His Beloved
Dedication
For the shadow warriors out there, resolutely fighting their dubious battles on heavenly plains.
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"Life only really makes sense in the intimate spaces."
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Book description
The nether side of passion is madness.

Nathan Price is a college professor with crippling impairments, seeking escape from his prison of necessity. One day, in a package of seventeenth-century documents from Salem Village, he stumbles across a letter by his best friend, Jamie, who had disappeared six months before. The document is dated 1692—the height of the Witch Trials. The only potential lead: a single mention of Carthage, a tiny town in the Wisconsin northern highland.

The mystery catapults Nathan from Chicago to the Wisconsin wilderness. There, he meets Alanna, heir to an astonishing Mittel-European legacy of power and sacrifice. In her, and in the gentle townsfolk of Carthage, Nathan finds the refuge for which he has long yearned. But Simon, the town elder, is driven by demons of his own, and may well be entangled in Jamie's disappearance and that of several Carthaginians. As darkness stretches toward Alanna, Nathan may have no choice but to risk it all...

Moving from the grimness of Chicago's South Side to the Wisconsin hinterlands to seventeenth-century Salem, this is a story of love, of sacrifice, of terrible passions—and of two wounded souls quietly reaching for the deep peace of sanctuary.
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