Marie Bacigalupo

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NonSmilingRECROPStruggling for years to conceive and tortured by secret guilt, 33-year-old Queens schoolteacher Dolores Walsh finally gives birth to a daughter . . . only to lose her four years later to cancer. The loss transforms Dolores, once a willowy brunette, into a zombie-like chain smoker with her sanity threatened.

Against the wishes of her well-meaning husband, Joe, she attends the séances of Salvador Esperanza, a charismatic psychic who promises to make contact with her dead child and who ignites a fiery passion in her wounded heart. But who is Esperanza? Is he a selfless savior or a self-seeking seducer?

Joe insists Esperanza is a fraud and pressures Dolores to see a psychiatrist. In the doctor’s office, Dolores finally lays bare the desperate need and festering secret that explain her obsession with the psychic.

When Joe threatens to destroy Esperanza with information about his past, the affair seems doomed. Devastated, Dolores takes to her bed and refuses to eat . . . until she feels a stirring within her. Is her tormented mind playing tricks on her?

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© Marie Bacigalupo

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