The Mercury FountaineBook - 2012
"An enchanting first novel exploring a fractured utopian community on the Texas/Mexico border at the turn of the twentieth century. THE MERCURY FOUNTAIN takes place at the turn of the twentieth century in a remote and beautiful stretch of Chihuahuan desert near the border of West Texas and Mexico. Owen Scraperton, a passionate Yankee seeking to atone for his misspent youth, leaves the comforts of Boston's Beacon Hill for a fresh start in the wilderness. The story follows Owen's pursuits as he struggles to establish Pristina, a utopian community that attempts to resolve the great questions of labor and race by upholding the ideals of "clarity, unity, and purpose." The economic foundation of this new world is based on the mining of mercury, a metal that Owen upholds for its usefulness, fluidity, and beauty, while disregarding its darker and more harmful aspects. Although Owen's thinking may not always be rational, his heart is sincere, and his voice is rich and seductive. He attracts followers from both the Northeast and the local population, just the heterogeneous mix he needs to test his social theories. BUT A DARK CLOUD GATHERS OVER PRISTINA soon after Owen's marriage to Dolores, a Mexican beauty from an impoverished aristocratic family. While Owen is deeply in love with her, Dolores quickly becomes dismayed by her predicament. She had thought she was marrying an American millionaire who would take her on trips to Paris, but instead finds herself stranded in the desert and cut off from the civilization she so yearns to be a part of. As the mercury market bottoms out, Dolores can only find solace in her burgeoning friendship with Badinoe, the town's cynical and hard-drinking doctor, and soon musters enough courage for an act of defiance against Owen that divides the community's allegiances. ENTERING INTO THIS COMBUSTIBLE MIX is the birth of their only child Victoria, a remarkably talented girl who inherits her father's romanticism and her mother's independence. Owen grooms Victoria to be the inheritor of Pristina, a role she embraces with zest and earnestness. Yet this ardor will be Owen's downfall. As age, love, and experience cause Owen to modify his original vision, Victoria remains true to Pristina's founding principles--setting them up for a major conflict that captures the imagination of the entire town. A SWEEPING EPIC THAT BLENDS the noirish sensibilities of Cormac McCarthy with the seductive language of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and featuring an unforgettable protagonist who would be at home next to Daniel Day-Lewis in the film There Will Be Blood, The Mercury Fountain combines realistic modern writing with elements from American and Greco-Roman mythology, taking its cue from Mercury, the most slippery and mischievous of gods, who rules over science, commerce, eloquence, and thievery."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Brooklyn, NY, USA : Akashic Books, 2012
Characteristics: data file 1 online resource (280 pages)