A book by Stephen King
I have read other great books by Card (Ender's Game, Pastwatch, The Homecoming Series) and each one seems to have been written by a different writer! Card has an amazing talent for changing his style for each novel. This book hooks you from the very first page and keeps you rooting for the hero throughout.
Quentin Fears (pronounced "fierce") loses Lizzy, his sister as a teenager. Lizzy was the only person that Quentin could relate to. He finds himself stumbling through a very successful, yet unfulfilling life and career because he measures every one against Lizzy and they just don't measure up.
One day when Quentin is about 34, he sees a woman ahead of him in a supermarket checkout who looks remarkably like Lizzy and has Lizzy's mannerisms. He tries to follow her out of the supermarket but loses her in the parking lot. He then drives around blindly thinking about her and somehow ends up in the parking lot for an apartment complex. He looks up and sees the Lizzy look-alike entering one of the apartments. He decides to investigate who lives there and finds that it is impossible because it is a vacant apartment.
The weird chance encounter spurs Quentin to change his life. He decides that he will go to some of the parties that he has avoided and try to see if he can meet a woman and have a relationship (Quentin is totally innocent in the ways of women and never had a girlfriend in his life). Quentin is bored by most of the women he meets at the parties, feeling they are too fake and after something.
He strikes up a conversation with the hostess at one of the parties, a matronly and very wise woman of "society." The hostess seems to have figured out the type of person Quentin is and tells him there is a woman like himself waiting to meet him outside by an oak tree. On a whim, Quentin decides to take a chance and meet her. The woman (Madeline) at first reminds him of Lizzy and then seems to display every single trait that Quentin could ever hope for in an "ideal" woman. Quentin is enraptured with her and immediately starts wanting to see her constantly. Some things are very mysterious about Madeline. She doesn't give any information about herself, claiming she moves about living with friends, doesn't have a phone number other than her cell and gives no information about her home life or any information regarding any family.
This seems not to bother Quentin and he rushes into a swift marriage with her. He thinks that little by little he will get her to give him information about herself. Though she is extremely passionate and shares the same ideals as Quentin she remains just as mysterious as ever. Little does Quentin know that when he does learn something about Madeline he may be sorry for what he wished for because Madeline is everything he doesn't want. For Madeline's purpose is to get Quentin to open a mysterious "treasure box" that does not contain what it implies!
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