Lincoln at Mercy, a novel
It’s a Friday in June, 1963. At the corner of Lincoln and Mercy, in the large Cicero house and garden, intense preparations are underway for 15-year-old Benny’s return home. Benny is Ella and Alfie’s son, he’s mentally disabled, and he’s been living in an institution since he was 3. Through the voices of his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and 11-year-old cousin Alice, we learn a great deal about Benny and the entire Cicero family; then one year later, on another Friday in June, we hear from Benny himself—and see the family somewhat differently—as he walks through empty rooms and gardens searching for his beloved cousin Alice who's now missing, who’s been taken away from him, something he doesn’t understand. Jumping ahead to 1994 and then back to 1951, we observe the ups and downs of the Cicero family, ending with the spotlight on Milo, the uncle whose prescience and altruism once guided the family and whose death was oddly linked with Benny’s fate. A meditation on the nature of family, and the impossibility of truly knowing those closest to us, Lincoln at Mercy is also a musing on the nature of photographs and memory.
Lincoln at Mercy is as yet unpublished; Nancy is seeking representation. Read a few excerpts: