So begins Linda Donaghue’s new novel, “Resurrection,” a bittersweet love song inspired by her childhood hometown, Lowell, MA, and dedicated to her father, Jimmy Donaghue.
For a retired detective, an unsolved case suddenly thrust into the present threatens to become the legacy of his career. For his daughter, police sergeant Mary Elizabeth Muldoon, the same case may be her last. An informer and recovering drug addict is found dead 20 years after the brutal slaying of a young man who moved in the same circles as the victim. Elizabeth will begin to unravel long-dormant clues that will awaken the histories of the dead but also the guilty, who will go to any lengths to keep the case unsolved. As she and her partner are entangled to degrees that jeopardize their friendships, lives, and careers. Elizabeth struggles with her personal demons and public failings. And the bodies begin to pile up. Set in Lowell, MA the city is a character itself: shadowy and powerful, degraded and rehabilitated, a sort of cultural phoenix with a past that represents all the greatness and grime of an immigrant city on the cusp of reinventing itself or continuing a sad decline, not unlike Elizabeth herself.
Donaghue has been living in rural Vermont for a number of years. Many valley residents recognize Donaghue as a contributor to The Deerfield Valley News, which often features pieces Donaghue writes about local history and denizens. She is also the author of “A Goodly Heritage,” a collection of stories about Whitingham residents.
Nonetheless, as a native of Lowell, Donaghue has never forgotten her experiences of growing up there. Lowell and its stories, its hardscrabble neighborhoods, its strong, funny, pragmatic, loving, and sometimes lost characters have never left her. The colleges, the churches, the auditorium, the majestic city hall, the Merrimack River itself, Lowell is steeped in the histories of one ethnic group after another, one grand plan after another, all hoping for the same thing: a future that is prosperous or safe or just better.
Join the author and the staff of Bartleby’s for an afternoon of reading and conversation on Saturday, June 2, at 4. The event is free and open to the public. Bartleby’s Books is located at 17 West Main Street. For questions or to reserve a copy of the book call (802) 464-5425, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit at www.bartlebysvt.com.