Tethered: A Novel

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 9 hours and 20 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 16 Sept. 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ37HM

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have high praise for this novel, not because it was published on my birthday, but because it exemplifies the best of what a praiseworthy novel must offer: character, setting, plot and language. MacKinnon combines these focuses in "Tethered" into art and artistry.

Clara, who is highly introverted from an unkind childhood, connects better with the dead than the living and finds her perfect peace among the bodies she prepares for burial at the funeral home where she works.

But there's a child predator on the loose. Mike, a policeman trying to come to grips with his own grief over a family tragedy, is trying to track down the man responsible for the death of an unidentified girl whom he refers to as "Precious Doe." He needs help, both human compassion and professional expertise, but Clara cannot give it. Yet, she must, for more kids are missing, and she knows their pain.

This well-researched story is both a mystery and a love story. MacKinnon's blunt, highly controlled prose reminds me of the writing of Kent Haruf in "Plainsong" and is a perfect fit for her protagonist and the cold basement room where she prepares the dead for a rest she fears she'll never know.

If I worked for the New York Times, I would have included this book on the newspaper's recent list of 100 notable books for 2008. Based on the Precious Doe case of 2001, the novel cries out to be read and understood, and when you finish reading it, you will be transformed by the experience.

--Malcolm R. Campbell, December 2, 2008
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Format: Hardcover
This atmospheric literary thriller features a protagonist who struggles with the events of her youth while finding salvation working as an undertaker in the town of Brockton, Massachusetts. Even as she prepares the dead for burial, Clara Marsh's flaws and insecurities are unexpectedly exposed when she's thrust into grizzly investigation involving the brutal murder of a seven year old girl three years ago. The girl, Precious Doe was never identified, her name and story dying with her even though at the time Clara never told the police who were investigating the death about the birthmark she found on the girl's neck in the form of the perfect pink star.

Although Clara doesn't exactly regret not telling the police, she does lament the fact that no loved one ever stepped forwards to claim the unidentified girl. Even as the events of those years continue to haunt her, Clara's called by the medical examiner to a run-down neighborhood to pick up the body of Charlie Kelly, a local figure in Broxton. It is here that she meets Mike Sullivan, who bravely tells her there have recently been some anonymous calls to the Reverend Greene about the birthmark on the back of Precious Doe's neck.

Shocked and dismayed to find herself at the center of all of the police department investigations, Clara battles her growing attraction to Mike, a man of fierce and violent determination who must also battle his own demons, that of his late wife's ghost who swirls and shifts around him, killed by a chronic drunk driver barely a week before Precious Doe's body was found. While Clara just wants the dead to be left dead, wishing that Mike would accept the finality of death, Mike refuses to shelve the unfinished business of Precious Doe.
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Format: Paperback
This was an excellent read.
I started it lunch time today and havent long finished it, I couldnt put it down.

I was completely shocked by the twist, I was not expecting it, and I loved it. I love not being able to guess whats going to happen etc.

I really liked the character of Clara, she had, had a rough life and she had emotional problems but I couldnt help like her and whilst reading part of me just wanted to hug her. I really liked policeman Mike too, and had guessed that something would possibly happen between the two of thm.

I did also guess who "Victor" was, but I find the more crime books I read etc the better I am at calling it :)

I wish that had been a epilogue as I would have liked to have known how Clara was 6 months later but overall this was an excellent book and I would definately read more from his author.
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Format: Paperback
This was a stretch from my normal reading fayre and I wasn't sure, having read the cover notes, what to expect.

However, with very few misgivings, I found this an excellent book.

The story centres on Clara Marsh who works in a Funeral Parlour and prepares the dead for their final voyage in "life".

Important to the story is that she has a love of flowers (which is carried on throught the book in a very inaginative way).

Her childhood was deeply distressing which has moulded her life into a very insular existence and, as a consequence, she decides to spend her self-imposed solitary life working in a Funeral Parlour (Mortician).

She shares her sheltered life with the ageing owners of the Funeral Parlour who emotionally "adopt" Clara as their own having lost their son at an early age.

In terms of her socialising that's about it!!

However her well ordered life life is disrupted when she discovers a neglected little girl, Trecie, playing in the Funeral Parlour searching friendship.

This sets off a chain of events when Detective Mike Sullivan starts questioning her about a body she prepared three years ago, an unidentified girl - Precious Doe - found murdered in nearby woods.

Further investigaions prove that that there is a child predator on the loose which bonds Clara and Mike closer together in trying to solve this crime.

This book works on a number of levels; a crime thriller, love story and asks questions about faith.

In summary this was a very well written book (a bit laboured to start) which delivered to the reader a great deal more than the unravelling of a murder mystery.

It's certainly different the the norm which is too Amy MacKinnon's credit.
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