Off the Shelves – March 9

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit

Adult Fiction

“A Book of American Martyrs,” by Joyce Carol Oates

Luther Dunphy is an ardent Evangelical who envisions himself as enacting God’s will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town. Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic doctor who is killed leaves behind a wife and children scarred and embittered by grief. Author Joyce Carol Oates presents the opposing perspectives of two interwoven families whose destinies are defined by their convictions. “A Book of American Martyrs” is a timely depiction of one of the most hotly debated issues on the national stage.

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Adult Non-Fiction

“Disaster Falls,” by Stephane Gerson

On a day like any other, Stephane Gerson’s eight-year-old son, Owen, drowned during a rafting expedition in a spot known as Disaster Falls on Utah’s Green River. That same night, as darkness fell, Stephane huddled in a tent with his wife, Alison, and their older son, Julian, trying to understand what seemed inconceivable. “Disaster Falls” chronicles the aftermath of that day. At the heart of the book is Stephane’s portrait of a marriage critically tested as husband and wife grieve in radically different ways that threaten to isolate each of them in their post-Owen worlds. Stephane shows how the two resist that isolation and reconfigure their marriage from within. He explores how society reacts to the death of a child; he depicts the ‘good death’ of his father; he excavates the history of the Green River — full of hazards not mentioned in the rafting company’s brochures. “Disaster Falls” explores how stories can both memorialize and obscure a person’s life — and how they can rescue us.