It's 1993 and Alec Thompson is traveling to Maine, to witness at the marriage of his painter friend, Webb Hartley. When Alec arrives at the wedding scene, he is surprised that no one-including Pru Mackenzie, Webb's 30- year younger bride-to-be-is on hand to welcome him. He soon learns the reason; his best friend has suffered a fatal heart attack, and the wedding is off.

Webb's death sends Alec in search of Jenny Grant, Webb's first wife, to announce the news. The journey takes him from Webb's Maine farmhouse to a northern California horse ranch and leads him through both men's pasts, from college to the present. As he re-explores the events that had bound the three of them-both men had been rivals for Jenny's affection-Alec discovers, in the murky context of those days, that their lives were far more entangled than he had imagined. What Alec learns-and what Webb apparently wanted him to know-cuts to the very essence of the rest of Alec's life. Understanding what happened thirty years earlier is more important to him than ever.

Along the way, Alec's quest introduces him to a precocious twelve-year-old, an ultra-sophisticated divorceť, a Native American psychic. All are part of Webb's legacy for Alec to comb his memory, and the memories of everyone still living, in order to realize the truth.

Vivid, poetic, and written with the same care and craft as the author's elegant short stories, Splendid Omens is both understated and shocking-and a deeply beautiful book that examines how different versions of the truth are like holograms that can re-create a life.


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Splendid Omens
by Robley Wilson

Dunne Books
February 1, 2004
ISBN #0312321678
272 pages
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