Best Book of the Week!
Clara Marsh has been wounded by life. She is a mortician who spends her days preparing bodies for burial, caring for them tenderly and tucking a symbolic bouquet of flowers into the coffin of each. But she herself is isolated, afraid to look people in the eye, unable to touch. Her frame is skeletal, her scalp scarred from pulling out her own hair. The only people who seem to care for her are her boss and his wife, Linus and Alma Bartholomew.
One day Clara finds a little girl in the funeral home named Trecie, who says she has been visiting Linus. When Clara asks Linus about the girl, he asks Clara to help her. Soon after, at the scene of a death, Clara finds evidence that Trecie is the victim of child pornographers. When she tells Detective Mike Sullivan that she knows Trecie, he asks her to call him when she sees Trecie again. But Trecie gets away from them.
Mike believes there is a connection between the pornographers and the death of Precious Doe, an unidentified child found murdered after being badly beaten three years before. Soon it begins to look as if he may be right. Unfortunately, a fragile friendship between Clara and Mike is threatened when Mike begins to believe that Trecie doesn’t exist.
Although this novel is framed within a mystery, its soul is within the persona of Clara and her story. Tethered is precisely and beautifully written and absolutely haunting. I was transfixed by it.