Lisa Gornick

A Private Sorcery

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A psychiatrist falls into a dangerous double life and his family must step up to save him in this “first-rate novel” by the author of Tinderbox (Colum McCann).
Saul Dubinsky has been arrested for trying to steal drugs from a hospital pharmacy. No one is sure how this shy, sensitive, and dedicated doctor fell from grace. There was a patient who had attempted suicide—but the roots of this downward spiral may go back far further, and now his loved ones are trying to figure out what went wrong.
Saul’s emotionally remote wife, Rena, must confront the failures of their marriage—and in the process, face her shame over her own past. Saul’s father, who long ago gave up his own psychiatric practice, blames himself for his son’s breakdown, and finds himself tormented by memories of a troubled patient—and his complicity in his family’s long-simmering problems.
As Rena and Leonard each grapple with the impact of Saul’s arrest, they are drawn closer together—and a delicate transformation begins to occur in each of them—in a profound novel in which “none of the characters is flawless, even those we most love; they can be self-absorbed, lustful, weak, or afraid of intimacy, both spiritual and physical. Yet they are human in all their complexity, and they are beautifully rendered” (Library Journal).
“Gornick’s beautifully constructed novel is an expert balance of humor and pathos that will leave readers anxious for her next work.” —Booklist
“A wonderfully honest book, deeply felt, with characters carved from the true stuff of what we are. A first-rate novel, all the more surprising since it is Gornick’s debut.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
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405 printed pages
Original publication


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