The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide—for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul.
A beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and insists that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly injured mercenary and she was a nun and scribe in the famed monastery of Engelthal who nursed him back to health. As she spins their tale in Scheherazade fashion and relates equally mesmerizing stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England, he finds himself drawn back to life—and, finally, in love. He is released into Marianne's care and takes up residence in her huge stone house. But all is not well. For one thing, the pull of his past sins becomes ever more powerful as the morphine he is prescribed becomes ever more addictive. For another, Marianne receives word from God that she has only twenty-seven sculptures left to complete—and her time on earth will be finished.
I'm more than halfway through, which is incredible for me, as I usually read books quite slowly. This one, however, is a real page-turner. I highly recommend it.
In other news, my sister will be in town for the next few days. She's out East for some appointments and will be staying with us for the next 3 days or so, so she can visit with mom who lives about a half hour away. I am going to try to take tomorrow off so we can both do things with mom. Probably bring here here to the city for lunch and maybe some shopping. Hopefully we'll be able to take her over to the lake on Saturday. That's where she lived until last October. Two of my siblings have cottages right on the lake, so it will be a nice outing for her. We'll also have to try to get her hearing aid fixed. The girl at the home broke it the other day as she was trying to change its battery. LOL. There's always something extra when it comes to mom: canned spinach, stewed prunes (home-made, not canned), large-print library books (with pages that are not shiny, if you please), etc. She's a high-maintenance old gal and, to Brad's horror, I'll probably be just like her when I am 89 years old!