The Enchanted

A Novel

Denfeld, Rene

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Enchanted
The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him. A female investigator searches for buried information from prisoners' pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, and reveals shocking secrets of her own.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062285508
Branch Call Number: FICTION DENFELD 2014
Characteristics: 237 p. ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

A powerful, wrenching novel set on death row. Beautifully written. It will stay with you long after you are done reading it.

From the critics

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Jan 23, 2015
  • samdog123 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

On occasion you come across a book that is unexpectedly quite wonderful--this is one of them. Set in the most unlikely of places--an old prison, it gives us heartbreaking insights of how a few of the death row prisoners got to where they are. 'The lady,' a death row investigator searches for past answers that might revoke death sentences. Somehow the language and storytelling transcends the underlying corruption within the prison. This book deserves all the positive reviews and then some.

Jan 04, 2015
  • Michael Colford rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Even in the darkest prison, where men await their execution and never hope to see the light of day again, there is enchantment. Rene Denfeld has spun a tale of darkest acts and the repercussions that come with them. In this dark place we meet Arden, one of our narrators, who committed unspeakable crimes and has lost the ability to speak. He tells us about the mystical horses that shake the prison during each execution. Of the flibber-gibbets who crawl through the walls chattering and driving men mad. We meet York, next up for execution, an act he looks forward to. Enter The Lady, the woman lawyers hire when men who are sentenced to die need to be spared. The Lady ignores York's desires and sets forth on a quest to, if not exonerate him, spare his life. Denfeld explores the darkest impulses of man even while making readers see that even the most vile of men could still have a soul.

Dec 12, 2014
  • aliceinoz rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Well-written book that is hard to put down. Definitely is more of a dark mystery and an interesting look at death row than anything "enchanting." Some of the reviews had lead me to believe this would be adding an element of fantasy, but although it did have a bit of magical realism, it was a very insignificant amount and I felt that actually took away from the story rather than added to it.

Nov 20, 2014

This story is not for those who like sweetness, light and happy endings. But, the writing is amazing, and while the subject matter is dark, the author never steps into the "horror" genre. Months after reading this, I still think about the story, the characters and the book.

Nov 12, 2014
  • rusty_13 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of those books that's hard to put down, yet not one I'd choose to read before going to bed because, frankly, it's a pretty harsh read. Told in part from the point of view of a prisoner on death row, the language, despite the tough subject matter, is both sensitive and poetic.

Sep 16, 2014

Agree with previous comments but no longer have the will to read about human cruelty especially when children are involved. Put it down a third of the way in.

Aug 03, 2014

an uncomfortable and, at times, harrowing read about a human rights lawyer working with death row inmates in a facility in the US. It is written from the perspective of an inmate who listens and understands what is happening on an intuitive level as he does not speak to anyone. So a lot of it is his thoughts, opinions but it works really well. The lawyer has the unusual problem of the inmate she is trying to save from the death penalty actually wants to die- a rather perverse stance from the norm. The author, Rene Denfeld, has worked for years with death row inmates and brings her insight, knowledge & experience together in a sharp, stark and beautifully written first move. well worth reading in spite of the theme and what comes across as very much reality on death row.

Aug 02, 2014
  • Deacon01 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Read it in one sitting. Awesome!

Mar 13, 2014
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Haunting, intense, & dark. The writing is strong and I thought the ending was very well done.

Mar 11, 2014
  • clipshie175 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A magical, sad, lovely book.

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