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About the Book

About the Book

Cranberry Queen

"The butterfly flutters past, its white wings flashing, sprinting toward the lake. I look up and see another one, orange-and-black wings, alighting for an instant on a tuft of green spindly weeds, until it flies away in front of me, until it goes out of sight. I check my watch. I am far away from everything I know. The Fates have (finally) intervened and thrown me here…"

It should not take a tragedy to put life in perspective. As Cranberry Queen opens, Diana Moore, a thirty-three-year-old single woman living in Manhattan, is despairing over an ex-boyfriend and obsessing about her job. She is consumed with the prospect of attending a wedding the following day where her ex and his new girlfriend will also be guests and sees this as a defining moment in her life. Diana is right that the day will be life-altering, but not for the reason she believes. Instead a tragedy occurs that unravels Diana's world and redefines it.

After months spent trying to cope with her grief, Diana tires of the well-intentioned interference of family and friends. She walks out on her life, driving aimlessly through the back roads of New Jersey. She reaches a destination by default when she has a minor car accident, landing in the Pine Barrens in a rural corner of the state. It is here in this oasis of simple living, cranberries, and tradition—and where she tells no one of the tragedy she has endured—that Diana is temporarily free of the confines of her life. Here she can be "someone else, someone new and different. Diana Moore, adventurer."

Embraced by a group of strangers, Diana is asked to stay for the upcoming cranberry harvest and celebration. She meets Rosie, a woman who is dying of cancer yet determined to live life to the fullest; Louisa, Rosie's beautiful and abrasive granddaughter who is hiding out in the Pine Barrens for reasons of her own; Jack, who touches Diana's fragile heart in the most unexpected of ways; and Sam, a mysterious man who gives Diana the chance for a new beginning. In this hidden landscape of intoxicating beauty, and with these newfound friends, Diana is finally able to explore the possibilities of change and renewal.

Cranberry Queen is a poignant and mesmerizing debut novel about life's most complex contradictions—hope and despair, love and loss, life and death. Kathleen DeMarco's vivid prose, laced with sharp wit, a sardonic sense of humor, and compelling candor, brings to life the bittersweet story of a woman's resilience in the most adverse of situations.

Cranberry Queen
by Kathleen DeMarco

  • Publication Date: April 17, 2002
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax
  • ISBN-10: 0786890371
  • ISBN-13: 9780786890378