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  • The Splendor Falls
  • Written by Rosemary Clement-Moore
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780375893698
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The Splendor Falls

Written by Rosemary Clement-MooreAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Rosemary Clement-Moore

eBook

List Price: $9.99

eBook

On Sale: September 08, 2009
Pages: 300 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89369-8
Published by : Delacorte Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

Can love last beyond the grave?

Sylvie Davis is a ballerina who can’t dance. A broken leg ended her career, but Sylvie’s pain runs deeper. What broke her heart was her father’s death, and what’s breaking her spirit is her mother’s remarriage—a union that’s only driven an even deeper wedge into their already tenuous relationship.

Uprooting her from her Manhattan apartment and shipping her to Alabama is her mother’ s solution for Sylvie’s unhappiness. Her father’s cousin is restoring a family home in a town rich with her family’s history. And that’s where things start to get shady. As it turns out, her family has a lot more history than Sylvie ever knew. More unnerving, though, are the two guys that she can’t stop thinking about. Shawn Maddox, the resident golden boy, seems to be perfect in every way. But Rhys—a handsome, mysterious foreign guest of her cousin’s—has a hold on her that she doesn’t quite understand.

Then she starts seeing things. Sylvie’s lost nearly everything—is she starting to lose her mind as well?

"Lush with Southern atmosphere, The Splendor Falls expertly weaves together romance, tension, and mystery. Haunting and unforgettable!" --Carrie Ryan, bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

"Sylvie's voice is sharp and articulate, and Clement-Moore . . . anchors the story in actual locations and history. . . . Her ear for both adolescent bitchery and sweetness remains sure, and her ability to write realistic, edgy dialogue without relying on obscenity or stereotype is a pleasure."-Publishers Weekly

"Long, satisfying and just chilling enough, this will please a wide audience and leave readers hoping for more."-Kirkus Reviews


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

Chapter 1


I wanted to hate Alabama, and nothing about my arrival disappointed me.

To be fair, there aren't many places that are easy to fall in love with in ninety-degree heat and eighty-five percent humidity. The bumpy flight from my connection in Atlanta, on a minuscule plane with doll-sized seats, hadn't helped. And that was before some snafu at the gate forced us to deplane on the tarmac and ride a bus to the terminal.

I'd been out of my walking cast for two weeks. My leg throbbed like a sadistic metronome as I limped down the concourse, and the toes of my right foot were swollen like fat pink cocktail weenies. Gigi's carrier bag hung from my shoulder, my fingers white-knuckled on the strap. It's bad enough to dread something; it's even worse when the pain of moving forward is more than metaphorical.

I could rest a minute, sit down between the barbecue restaurant and the souvenir shop with the Confederate flag coffee mugs. For that matter, I was inside the security checkpoint. No one could come in and get me without buying a plane ticket. I could just live here until my mother and her new husband got back from their honeymoon and reported me missing.

Granted, that wouldn't really help convince them I no longer needed to see a psychiatrist.

Settling for a brief rather than indefinite delay, I ducked into the bathroom. It was empty, so I put Gigi's bag on the counter while I splashed water on my face and reapplied some lip gloss. Makeup has never been a priority with me--at least not offstage, which means all the time now. But whenever my mother was losing a fight, she always took a moment to freshen her lipstick. Eventually I figured out this was how she bought time to think up an irrefutable argument.

I was merely stalling the rest of my life.

Gigi gave a soft yip of discontent. I unzipped the top of her carrier so that she could stick her head out, then filled her travel bowl from the half-empty Evian bottle in my purse. The dog took a few indifferent laps, then blinked at me. Her subtext seemed pretty clear: What the hell is your problem?
Was it wrong to have a problem with being shipped off like an unwanted parcel to stay with a relative I'd met only once? I vaguely remembered Cousin Paula from Dad's funeral, pressing my mother's hand in gentle sympathy, even though Mother and Dad had been divorced for three years. But as she'd said on the phone, in her Scarlett O'Hara accent, "Kin is kin," and she was happy to have me visit.

Maybe I shouldn't be dreading this. These were my father's family. This was my chance to learn where he came from, because Dad had never spoken much about his background. Which raised the possibility that he might have left Alabama to get away from these people.

A thin blonde wheeled her carry-on into the restroom. Gigi pricked her ears forward adorably, but the woman just shot the dog carrier a dirty look before disappearing with a sniff into the handicapped stall. It was as though thinking about my mother had invoked her eviler twin.

I should correct that. My mother is not evil. She's merely self-absorbed. I can be, too.

For sixteen years, our self-interests coincided more often than not. I lived to dance, and she loved having a ballet prodigy for a daughter. So her lack of maternal instinct didn't really affect me until The Accident (it was hard not to think of it in capital letters) ended my skyrocketing career right as it left the atmosphere.

The Accident had also turned me into a child again. I'd been a professional dancer. I'd traveled to Europe and Asia with the company. Nine months of surgery, casts and titanium rods later, I was a seventeen-year-old "unaccompanied minor"--thanks a lot, Delta Air Lines--pawned off on distant relatives to be babysat.

The infuriating thing was, Mother knew very well how self-sufficient I was, because she'd taken full advantage of it while dating her new husband. I think if it had been up to her, she would have left me on my own while she went off on her two-week honeymoon.

But "Dr. Steve" hadn't considered it an option. I was emotionally fragile, at a crossroads, major cognitive realignment, blah blah blah. God, I hated shrinks.

He wasn't even my shrink, just my new stepfather.

So, I couldn't be left alone for two weeks in our Upper West Side apartment with only Gigi, the security staff, the doorman and all the take-out food in Manhattan for company.

It would do me good, he said, to get away from the City, the reminders of my old life, and have a change of scenery.

The unspoken thread in this pronounced sentence was that the godforsaken wilderness of the Deep South was the perfect place for me to dry out. A drastic measure, just because I drank myself unconscious at their wedding. Imagine what he would have suggested if he knew about the hallucinations.

* * *

If I hadn't broken my leg, Mother wouldn't have married Dr. Steven Blakely. She'd known him casually through one of her arts organizations, and since he was a premier child psychologist, she'd called him after The Accident. Dr. Steve had referred me to his colleague one floor down, and asked my mother out to dinner and a show.

They were married while I was still in a walking cast, but Mother insisted that I process down the aisle with the wedding party. That wouldn't have been a big deal if she had gotten married in an intimate little chapel like a normaldivorcee of . . . let's just say thirty-nine. But eighteen years ago, she and my dad had eloped; maybe she thought a big wedding would make marriage stick the second time around.




From the Hardcover edition.
Rosemary Clement-Moore

About Rosemary Clement-Moore

Rosemary Clement-Moore - The Splendor Falls

Photo © Silver Screen Photography

Maggie Quinn: Thank you for letting me interview you.

Rosemary Clement-Moore: I’m just glad that the character of my novels is a journalist. It means I don’t have to write about myself, which can be so awkward.

MQ: Right. Awkward. Like that Starfleet Academy sweatshirt you’re wearing.

RCM: Only inside the house, I swear. I’m a closet nerd.

MQ: I guess I don’t need to ask if you were popular in high school.

RCM: Like you, I wasn’t part of the “in crowd,” but I had friends and activities. My grades weren’t as good as yours, though, because I was always writing stories when I should have been doing my algebra homework.

MQ: So, you’ve always wanted to be a writer?

RCM: While other girls were having runway shows with their Barbies, mine went on fantastic adventures in space or battled evil overlords to free their kingdoms (of which they were all princesses in disguise).

MQ: In other words, you were always weird.

RCM: I prefer “eccentric and creative.”

MQ: But you have a master’s degree in science–how did that happen?

RCM: The usual. A pessimistic but convincing guidance counselor who said, “But what’s going to be your day job?” So, I picked something that sounded interesting, then loaded up on electives. My transcript is all over the place, and I had a blast learning new things. Researching my books is like staying in school forever, but without as many final exams and keg parties.

MQ: Speaking of jobs, you have a really random collection of hobbies and skills.

RCM: I’m a fifth generation Texas rancher on one side, and a first generation American on the other. Being the child of a cowboy and a city girl contributes to my weirdness. I can ride, shoot, sail, tie knots, pitch a tent, and build a campfire and then cook on it. I can also serve high tea, embroider and sew, tap dance, and sing random selections from Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. I love history, archeology, literature, ballet, musical theater, horses, and dogs. Plus the whole sci-fi/fantasy obsession.

MQ: Did you always want to write for teens?

RCM: That’s just how it turned out. I enjoy stories about discovering your talents, and how you’re going to use them to save the world, sometimes literally.

MQ: Yeah, what’s up with that? Monsters and demons? Evil cheerleaders? Do you keep yourself up at night?

RCM: Well, I don’t believe in literal monsters and demons, just figurative ones, which are even more frightening. It’s scary to realize that horrific things like the Holocaust or 9/11 or the Virginia Tech shootings aren’t caused by supernatural forces, but by human beings. Giving evil a face and defeating it in fiction is very satisfying.
The good/evil line isn’t as clear-cut when it doesn't involve automatic weapons. Sometimes the little decisions–kind words over hateful ones, unprompted generosity, honesty when no one is watching–are harder than the big obvious ones. But I think they’re just as important, which is why my characters are often faced with the choice of doing the easy thing, or doing the right thing.

MQ: Way to bring things down. Let’s lighten it up a little. Why give up your glamorous job as a youth theater director for writing books?

RCM: Well, you don’t have to worry about a special effects budget in a book. You can do whatever you want. You can also go anywhere, be anything or anyone–the same things that appeal to me about drama, except I don’t have to stay on a diet, and I get to work on the couch, wearing my Starfleet Academy sweatshirt. Though the puppy in my lap does make it hard to type sometimes.

MQ: I have to say, your dog, Lizzie, is probably the cutest dog on the planet.

RCM: How nice of you to agree with me!

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