by Barbara SamuelApril, 2006
Into the heart of loss
Divorced Claire O'Neal lost her only son, 17-year-old Nathan, to a tragic car accident and donated his heart to a waiting transplant patient. Three years later, Claire has not recovered from the blow. The Piano Man by Marcia Preston follows Claire as she attempts to shake herself out of her grief by going on a pilgrimage to find the man who received the heart. When she discovers the despairing Mason playing piano in a grimy bar, smoking and drinking and abusing the body that houses her son's precious heart, she's furious. But Mason's losses are as difficult as Claire's and the broken pair tries to find meaning in a life riddled with holes. This is a well-written, if difficult, exploration of the worst kind of grief. Barbara Samuel, who joins BookPage this month as romance columnist, writes novels from her native Colorado. Her latest book is Madame Mirabou's School of Love.