Things Too Big To Name by Molly Best Tinsley
Publisher: Fuze Publishing (August 30, 2019)
Category: Literary Mystery, Psychological Drama
Tour dates: Sept. & Oct, 2019
Available in Print and ebook, 289 pages
Description Things Too Big To Name by Molly Best Tinsley
Margaret Torrens trades academia for early retirement and the solitude of a cabin in the Oregon mountains. Four months later, she is locked in a ward for the criminally insane undergoing assessment, and a charge of murder is in the air. Pried out of her by an impatient young psychologist, Margaret’s story features Jane Farrow–a former student, who showed up at the cabin uninvited with an odd, mute child in tow–and Victor–Margaret’s alleged victim, who put his claim on both. As Margaret works to control this narrative of the recent past, she is waylaid by secrets, borne by the ghost of her young husband, lost decades before.
Advance Praise Things Too Big To Name by Molly Best Tinsley
“The psychological drama of Things Too Big to Name plunges us into the mind of Professor Margaret Torrens as her plans for rural retirement unravel and she’s forced to confront the life choices she’s made since the death of her musician husband years before. One of her first students, Jane Farrow, appears at her mountain cabin with a strange child and asks to be taken in. Days later, disruption threatens to explode in violence when Victor Primo barges in looking for them. Molly Tinsley’s distinctive braided narrative offers intense story-telling, studded with surprises, that keeps us on edge until the end.”-Merrill Leffler, poet, Mark the Music and publisher, Dryad Press
“A prickly but appealing narrator unspools events from her recent—and distant—past. The plot’s gradual unfolding vibrates with the tension of unwilling confrontation and detonates with a satisfying jolt. A fun and absorbing read; I zoomed through it. –Allyson Booth, Postcards from the Trenches and Reading The Waste Land from the Bottom Up
“A recently retired English professor must explain to a Qualified Mental Health Professional the events leading to her arrest and commitment to a mental hospital. The more this brilliant psychological thriller excavates the layers of Margaret’s mystery, the more we understand how we all hide parts of ourselves. Molly Tinsley’s established talent for narrative and her familiarity with classic literature fold into one of the best novels I’ve read.”-Sheila Bender, poet and memoirist, A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief.
from Day 1.
Alec leaned in: Actually as your Qualified Mental Health Professional, my job is to help you find a way back to your Life Path. We both know you don’t belong in a place like this.
My voice pretty firm here: Speak for yourself.
He did, of course, and full of zeal. Fresh from some post-doc conference on criminal rehab? He praised the value of writing down one’s experiences. Hoped that with his coaching, I would commit to reconstructing events that brought me here. Promised this exercise would enable me to clarify confusion, assert mastery over a past that has overwhelmed me. Help me reconnect with who I am (have I ever known? do I want to?) and set some goals for the future. He actually clapped his palms together like orchestral cymbals when he was finished—as if, once again, he’d proven who he is: the smartest guy in the room.
I let his nonsense about The Future splatter across a blank face; fear-knot strangling my chest loosened some: maybe this will be easy. He’s playing to my strength.
Tipping head forward to look over his lenses: How does all this work for you?
I didn’t realize our justice system extended to the poetic variety.
I’ve been doling out writing assignments for a hundred years.
He took a beat.
Rhetoric, composition, what I did last summer?
So you get the general idea, he said cheerily. Wonderful. Someone is placing a legal pad and a pen in your room as we speak.
If I were very determined, couldn’t I stab myself with a pen? Smiled to let him know I was joking.
With a moist grin in return as he closed my folder: You might even manage to smother yourself with your pillow. He shoved my folder aside with a friendly, Till tomorrow then.
So the little project between two sane people in search of the truth was on track? I couldn’t let that be it. Didn’t move except to clench fingernails into palms until I blurted: Maybe you can help me with something else.
A nod: yes, he could, but make it fast.
I am being haunted by Ben.
Grin straightened to slit. Ben?
My Life Husband.
He didn’t appreciate the term.
It’s a recent development. He died eons ago, when we were young. So young I thought the best thing to do was banish him from memory and move on. For years, he’s been just a smudge at the end of a tunnel, but now . . .
Alec’s eyes half-closed, as if he were being forced to take in a serious accident, didn’t want to be interested, but was a little: Now, what?
Well, I just wondered, if Ben should happen to . . . I don’t know, show up in some way, would our conversation qualify as acceptable subject matter for . . . you know.
Silence except for blood thumping in my ears.
Then the sound of shoes scuffing the tile floor behind me.
Wherever you choose to begin, he said, the path will lead us where we need to go. He winked—I was used to it now, but when he slapped those hefty palms on the table, a flinch took me to my feet.
I said, Since we’ll be working together, I should probably warn you, I have some trouble remembering things.
Nodding, nailing me with those beady eyes: I suspect you have good cause for that. Now if you’re ready, the CO will take you back to your cell.
I inched toward the door in reverse, every few steps, a geisha bow, hands clasped over the pain in both palms.
His official face shifted into puzzled. Careful, he said, right before my heel caught the guard’s toe behind me.
Spun round, stammered apologies to her gaunt, impassive face.
He interrupted. Just to be clear: a Life Path doesn’t imply pre-meditation. You take an honest look over your shoulder, and there it is. He tucked his upper chin deeper into the pillow of the lower, darted his eyebrows: Watch for that one on the final exam.
About Molly Best Tinsley
In an episode of sanity, award winning author, Molly Tinsley resigned from the English faculty at the US Naval Academy and moved west to write full-time. .
She is the author of MY LIFE WITH DARWIN (Houghton Mifflin) and THROWING KNIVES (Ohio State University Press), she also co-authored SATAN’S CHAMBER (Fuze Publishing) and the textbook, THE CREATIVE PROCESS (St. Martin’s). Her more recent books are the memoir ENTERING THE BLUE STONE and another Victoria Pierce spy thriller, sequel to SATAN’S CHAMBER: BROKEN ANGELS.
Her fiction has earned two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sandstone Prize, and the Oregon Book Award. Her fiction has been widely published and her plays have been read and produced nationwide. She lives in Ashland, Oregon.
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This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends November 1, 2019, midnight pacific time.
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