The Done Thing
Lida Stearl prides herself on always knowing the most appropriate thing to do in any given situation, confidence that has served her well in building her career as an orthodontist, maintaining a happy marriage, and raising her young niece in the wake of a violent tragedy. But now she’s a widowed, retired, empty-nester and the small perfections of an orderly life are not quite enough to stop her from feeling adrift. Then a well-intentioned birthday gift leads to the discovery that Clarence Lusk, on death row for the murder of Lida’s sister, is seeking penpals from the outside as he prepares for his final appeal. And so, for the first time in her life, Lida crosses a line: she begins to write him, pretending to be naïve, twenty-three, and just the slightest bit flirtatious. As letters pass steadily between Lida and Clarence, her preoccupation with his crime and its echoes intensifies, and she finds that crossing one line makes the ones that follow all the more tempting to cross.
About Tracy Manaster (Portland, Oregon Author)
Tracy Manaster is a graduate of Wesleyan University and The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of the novels You Could Be Home By Now and The Done Thing. Tracy lives in Portland, OR with her husband and twin daughters. Her earliest ambition was to be a balloon seller in Central Park, followed by dreams of being a whitewater guide on the Green River, and then an archaeologist; now, she writes. Her family plays an elaborate, ritualized card game involving maracas, she will share the secret to a perfect blueberry pie with anyone who asks, and she spends way too much time trying to map a road trip that hits each National Park during its most beautiful season.