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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Strength of the Sun

The Strength of the Sun

A Novel

Catherine Chidgey

Henry Holt and Co.


A mysterious letter-writing campaign bears unexpected consequences in this gifted young writer's intimate exploration of loss and discovery

Every contact leaves a trace. But when Colette receives a letter from The Friends of Patrick Mercer about a man lying unconscious in a hospital on the other side of the world, she has no idea who the man might be. Why is she being written to?

Hospitalized in England after a car accident, medievalist Patrick Mercer reconstructs his life through memory, dreams, and the inspiration of his treasured illuminated manuscripts. Half a world away, Colette is adjusting to new classes, a new apartment, a new job-and the mysterious "Patrick" letters that keep arriving. Meanwhile, Ruth and Malcolm-whose young son is Colette's charge-are desperately seeking to pick up the pieces of their lives after the terrifying disappearance of their teenage daughter.

The Strength of the Sun is a novel about the human desire to make connections, to pick through our lives in search of what can be found among the daily losses. Compassionate, beautifully written, and compelling to the final page, The Strength of the Sun introduces talented new writer Catherine Chidgey to American readers.

Praise for The Strength of the Sun

"In this spellbinding take on "six degrees of separation"...Chidgey conducts a symphony of crossed destinies with sophistication and compassion."—Publishers Weekly

" arresting portrait of a world where the past never disappears entirely, but keeps returning to us--however imperfectly--in countless small and unexpected ways."—The New York Times

"A witty and melancholy alchemy of heat and chill, a work of craft and fluency . . . Catherine Chidgey is a find."—Times Literary Supplement


Reviews from Goodreads

Catherine Chidgey

Catherine Chidgey is the author of The Transformation and In a Fishbone Church, which was nominated for the Orange Prize. She lives in Dunedin, New Zealand.