A virgin child dreamed a woman's dreams in the lush, somnolent backwoods of Louisiana. In a year of war, sixteen-year-old Charlotte embarked on a mission of love, only to be set upon by three soldiers in training in a lonely, isolated section of the forest. And thus was a young life destroyed and remade, leaving Charlotte silent and alone, save for something that now grew inside of her. And nine months later when a babe was born - a demon in her eyes - Charlotte abandoned it to the elements, knowing she could never bear to look upon it.
Most wars eventually end. But some continue to rage internally.
Years later, in a world at peace, a friend's gift of pity brings Charlotte to a very special place in the woods. Every night, sad, damaged, overworked and unappreciated women make their way to The House of Gentle Men. Here they find the solace and chaste kindness they so desperately crave, administered by haunted men wishing to atone for the crimes in their pasts.
But Charlotte's past is alive within these welcoming walls. And her own sins and secrets impel her to consort with one - and only one - penitent soul whose accusing conscience has brought him here: a damaged man, no longer a soldier, who once joined two comrades to defile a teenage girl in the Louisiana woods.
Original title: The House of Gentle Men
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Troubled Lives