Joyce Carol Oates returns with a dark, romantic, and captivating tale, set in the Great Lakes region of upstate New York—the territory of her remarkably successful New York Times bestseller The Gravediggers Daughter.
Set in the mythical small city of Sparta, New York, this searing, vividly rendered exploration of the mysterious conjunction of erotic romance and tragic violence in late-twentieth-century America returns to the emotional and geographical terrain of acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oatess previous bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and The Gravediggers Daughter.
When a young wife and mother named Zoe Kruller is found brutally murdered, the Sparta police target two primary suspects, her estranged husband, Delray Kruller, and her longtime lover, Eddy Diehl. In turn, the Krullers son, Aaron, and Eddy Diehls daughter, Krista, become obsessed with each other, each believing the others father is guilty.
Told in halves in the very different voices of Krista and Aaron, Little Bird of Heaven is a classic Oates novel in which the lyricism of intense sexual love is intertwined with the anguish of loss, and tenderness is barely distinguishable from cruelty. By the novels end, the fated lovers, meeting again as adults, are at last ready to exorcise the ghosts of the past and come to terms with their legacy of guilt, misplaced love, and redemptive yearning.