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CONCORD READS: 2012 Book Selection Announced

on Tue, 07/03/2012 - 16:59


2012: One city, one book, two murders

Off New Hampshire's coast, on a foul night 139 years ago, two women were killed in the only occupied house on Smuttynose Island. One was strangled, one killed with an ax. A third woman, Maren Hontvet, fled the home she shared with her Norwegian fisherman husband, John, and passed the night hiding in a sea cave.

The women, Maren Hontvet later testified, were killed by Louis Wagner, a fisherman bent on stealing the Hontvet's savings, and on June 25, 1875, Wagner was hanged. But was he guilty, or can a dark place and a dark past incite an otherwise docile soul to commit a brutal act of violence? Such are the questions that participants in the 11th annual "one city, one book" program, Concord Reads, will ask.

This year's book is The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve, a Massachusetts author whose Maine summer home looks out toward the Isle of Shoals. Read more...