Michael Farris Smith @ Oxford Conference for the Book

  • Lafayette County Courthouse on the Oxford Square Oxford, MS

The Hands of Strangers

In the tradition of The Stranger and The Old Man and the Sea, this masterful novella by critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith explores the human spirit and its capacity for faith and forgiveness in an imperfect world and begs the question: how do you survive when hope is lost? Jon and Estelle walk the picturesque Paris streets but are living through the cruelest of realities—the disappearance of their nine-year-old daughter, Jennifer, abducted from the Musee d'Orsay during a class field trip. Jon spends his days slugging through bus terminals and metro halls, posting flyers of his daughter, while Estelle has become a recluse, unwilling to leave the apartment in case the telephone rings.  Their relationship suffers as the passing time chips away at the hope of Jennifer's return. Then, a free-spirited artist enters their lives as unexpectedly as Jennifer has left it, luring Jon down a reckless path as he searches desperately for courage in the smallest signs. If their daughter is ever returned to them, will Jon and Estelle both be there to welcome her home?