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Gifts for the Dead

Joan Schweighardt

Jack Hopper is holding tight to his secret, though it gets heavier by the day. Nora Sweeny is tired of suffering losses and ready to improvise. Their relationship, based on Jack’s lies and Nora’s pragmatism, builds against a background that includes World War I (as experienced from the docks of Hoboken, New Jersey) and escalates when Jack and Nora travel together to the rainforests of South America seeking closure for a life-shattering event that occurred years earlier. Equal parts romance, adventure, and psychological suspense tale, Gifts for the Dead shines a floodlight on the characters’ deepest yearnings and greatest fears. 



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“A journey to South America to solve a family mystery leads to unexpected revelations and personal transformation in this meticulously researched, exquisitely rendered novel. Gifts for the Dead is a tale of life, death, and discovery in the early 20th century, but it’s also a love story and a sensitive exploration of what human beings will do to move beyond grief.”

—Faye Rapoport DesPres, author of Message from a Blue Jay

“Every elegantly crafted scene in Joan Schweighardt’s Gifts for the Dead is a gift in itself—lush, perfectly detailed, and fitted within a marvelous story of secrets, loss, love, and adventure. This is a page turner whose intriguing and sweeping story immerses the reader in the experience of early 20th-century America while shrewdly observing a socio-political atmosphere that echoes the one we currently inhabit.” 

—Rocco Lo Bosco, author of Staying Sane in Crazy Town

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