Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos

4 Stars!

Nathan Price is a college professor with crippling impairments, seeking escape from his prison of necessity. One day, in a package of seventeenth-century documents from Salem Village, he stumbles across a letter by his best friend, Jamie, who had disappeared six months before. The document is dated 1692—the height of the Witch Trials. The only potential lead: a single mention of Carthage, a tiny town in the Wisconsin northern highland.

The mystery catapults Nathan from Chicago to the Wisconsin wilderness. There, he meets Alanna, heir to an astonishing Mittel-European legacy of power and sacrifice. In her, and in the gentle townsfolk of Carthage, Nathan finds the refuge for which he has long yearned. But Simon, the town elder, is driven by demons of his own, and may well be entangled in Jamie's disappearance and that of several Carthaginians. As darkness stretches toward Alanna, Nathan may have no choice but to risk it all...

Moving from the grimness of Chicago's South Side to the Wisconsin hinterlands to seventeenth-century Salem, this is a story of love, of sacrifice, of terrible passions—and of two wounded souls quietly reaching for the deep peace of sanctuary.

Christopher Zenos is a pseudonym. The author is a well-published university professor who has contended with mental illness all his life, and knows the beastie well. Hence the mask: As this novel's protagonist puts it, successful Passing is now a survival imperative for crazies like him. "Autumn in Carthage" developed, in large part, from his need to sing of this world he inhabits: The realm of the stranger, the odd one. The man standing at the window, bracing against the wind as he gazes in wonder at the light and comfort on the other side.

Well this was one of those books. It started out good but then turned really slow for me and I honestly didn't think I was going to like it. While it did take me a long time to get into it - I finally did!
Part of the problem was that I really didn't like the main character. I tried to like him but he just wasn't my thing. The one character I did love was Hilde. I thought she was great - perfect. She was the older, matriarch of the bunch, she was also funny, quirky and wise!

I did not expect this book to be about time travel! The book starts out in present time and ends up at the Salem Witch trials. This was all done nice and smoothly.
My only complaint was that there was not enough about the Witch trials, it was really only a small portion of the book and that was my main reason for reading it. - but still a very good book in the end!
"Hilde snorted. "Doctors are just glorified car mechanics, boy. Trained only to deploy prepackaged protocols aimed at standardized outcomes - not to think through individual-level complexity from first principles."
Thank you "The Cadence Group" for sending me a copy of this book free for my honest review!

Get your copy form Amazon - HERE
Or from B&N - HERE


  1. In a strange kind of way this book reminds me of Michael Crichton's book, Timeline, which I really enjoyed.

    This book sounds very intriguing and I'm really tempted to read it. I'll keep your warning in mind though.


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