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The birthing house
Christopher Ransom
Adult Fiction RANSOM

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Summary: It was expecting them. Conrad and Joanna Harrison, a young couple from Los Angeles, attempt to save their marriage by leaving the pressures of the city to start anew in a quiet, rural setting. They buy a Victorian mansion that once served as a haven for unwed mothers, called a birthing house. One day when Joanna is away, the previous owner visits Conrad to bequeath a vital piece of the house's historic heritage, a photo album that he claims "belongs to the house." Thumbing through the old, sepia-colored photographs of midwives and fearful, unhappily pregnant girls in their starched, nineteenth-century dresses, Conrad is suddenly chilled to the bone: staring back at him with a countenance of hatred and rage is the image of his own wife.... Thus begins a story of possession, sexual obsession, and, ultimately, murder, as a centuries-old crime is reenacted in the present, turning Conrad and Joanna's American dream into a relentless nightmare. An extraordinary marriage of supernatural thrills and exquisite psychological suspense, The Birthing House marks the debut of a writer whose first novel is a terrifying tour de force.

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main characters Conrad Harrison
Age: 30s
Trying to deal with the sudden death of his estranged father; in a troubled marriage; bought a turn-of-the century house; discovers the house has a bloody past; haunted by visions; becomes obsessed with the girl next door; torn between his wife and Nadia.

Joanna Harrison
Age: 30s
Conrad's wife; moves into a Victorian house with her husband; leaves on business for a few weeks.

Nadia Grum
Age: Teenager
Conrad's neighbor; spends a lot of time with Conrad; running from her ex-boyfriend.

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