Title: The Gargoyle
Author: Andrew Davidson
Length: ~400 pages
Genre: Literary fiction
Plot Basics: This captivating novel tells the story of a former playboy who is burned and disfigured in a fiery car accident. As he struggles to recover in the burn unit of the hospital, he meets a woman named Marianne Engel -- a possible psychiatric patient -- who tells him stories of loves found and lost... and a compelling story of their past lives when she was a nun and he a mercenary in Germany and the exquisite love story that blossomed around them. As she descends farther into her illness, he may just recover and learn what it is to love for real.
Banter Points: Word Nerd remembers reading really good reviews of this book when it first came out and it just took her awhile to get to it. The reviews, it's fair to say, were spot on. The Gargoyle is Davidson's first book, but it reads like a masterpiece. The characters are vivid and lyrical, the writing nimble and poetic as the story moves across time periods, countries and lifetimes.
Bummer Points: At first, Word Nerd really didn't like the fact that the narrator never has a name. By the end of the book, it was clear why he didn't.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Thumbs way up on this one. Definitely a top-ten book of 2009, with plenty of potential to be in the number one or two slot.