IN A STRANGERS HANDS

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The police scour the area with no apparent clues. No one seemed to have captured a glimpse of her leaving the museum. Months pass and Jon has taken to the streets with daily trips through the neighborhoods putting up posters of Jennifer. He hands out flyers to passers-by bearing the image of his missing child. Jon finds it harder and harder to stare at this face with chin upturned offering so much promise.

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Estelle rarely leaves their apartment with its tunnel-like confinement. Her greatest fear is that the phone may ring and they won't be there. She tacks up maps of the neighborhood and highlights the areas where Jon has passed out flyers. Estelle takes her station at the window, smoking and waiting.

Michael Farris Smith presents the story of a young couple torn apart as they go through the motions of trying to deal with the abduction of their only child. The impossible weight of that reality is almost too much to bear. Putting one foot in front of the other every day is a profound effort for one. Giving additional care and comfort to the other is a massive undertaking as a couple. There is little left in the well of hope.


  1. Watch: This duo goes around touching the hands of people in mall and their reactions are hilarious!?
  2. The Hands of Strangers – Michael Farris Smith!
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As Jon takes to the streets with his flyers, he spots a painting in a local bar. The bars of Paris seem to beckon him in these days. The owner gives him directions to the artist's studio. It is here that he meets Iris. Smith implements the character of Iris as an impasse between past, present, and future. Loss takes up residence in the hearts and inner sanctums of both Jon and Estelle for which no other soul is bid welcome.

The Hands of Strangers goes deep. Smith has an almost impossible task of leading you into the shadowy recesses of this couple's agony. But it is also here in which Smith catches the faint light of hope with wisps of courage amid the walls of despair. For this we know, the spark of connection dims, but it never dies.

I highly recommend this incredible novella as well as Desperation Road which was my favorite book of I will be reaching for Rivers soon. Smith loops emotion around each sentence and phrase like a cool breeze on a hot day.

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This is talent beyond compare. View all 15 comments. If you haven't read this novella, you are seriously missing out. I started it and couldn't put it down! Smith captures the of pain these two characters brilliantly, and even those of us who don't have children can imagine how terrible the prospect of not knowing where your child is or if she is dead is. The story follows Jon and Estelle in Paris as they search for their child, and I guarantee that you'll feel like you are there with them.

In this gripping tale of a child's abduction and the struggles of one couple to hang on to hope despite all odds, Michael F.


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  • Smith evokes the darkest fears a parent can imagine. His prose is clean and spare, his eye for detail, impeccable. Aug 17, Debra rated it really liked it. Jun 25, Laura rated it it was amazing.

    In the Hands of Strangers by Beverly Wardle-Jackson - Penguin Books New Zealand

    Different from his novels, most noticeably not being set in the south. But still the theme of redemption is at the heart of this novella. This was an emotional love story. This is an excellent, intense novella. The premise is rich with pathos in itself: Smith does a perfect job of building tension in a way that keeps you reading, while digging deep into the characters - their back stories, and their reactions to the crisis.

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    The story is frightening, emotional, and complex. This novella will soon be released as an e- This is an excellent, intense novella. Jun 19, Alex rated it really liked it Shelves: Good psychological work in this short story. You get captured from the beginning. For me the disappearance of the little girl was the main plot. Oct 16, Dem rated it it was ok. Sep 01, Lisa Jo rated it it was amazing Shelves: After reading Desperation Road my favorite book of this year so far, I wanted to read the other books that Michael Farris Smith had written. The Hand of Strangers did not disappoint.

    It just ensures that I will continue to read his books. A beautifully written book about a not so beautiful topic.

    The Hands of Strangers

    One of the most haunting last lines of a book I have read. Smith writes about relationships in a real and raw form. This novella may lack pages, but it does not lack emotions.

    Due to the shortness of th After reading Desperation Road my favorite book of this year so far, I wanted to read the other books that Michael Farris Smith had written. Jul 24, Janna Childers rated it it was amazing. This little book accomplishes a lot. He visits the home of the taxi driver who caused the accident, and after being unable to play the piano for the driver's son, he knocks over and kills the young boy. Next, while at a local fair, Vernon is tortured by images of player pianos and bumper cars , and nearly strangles to death a carnival barker. Finally, after killing another doctor, Vernon retreats to an empty concert hall where his sister and Dr.

    Harding arrive shortly thereafter. He reveals his latest victim, then begins to manically pound on the piano keys, proving that he will never be able to play the instrument again. He then grabs Dr. Harding and tries to strangle him to death, but is shot and killed by Lt. Syms who arrives at the last minute. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Hands of a Stranger theatrical release poster.

    The Good in Holding Hands with Strangers

    Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? Learn more More Like This. The Dark End of the Street Daddy TV Movie Hands of a Stranger Going All the Way Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Joe Hearn Blair Brown Diane Benton Beverly D'Angelo Mary Hearn Michael Lerner Captain Cirillo Philip Casnoff Marty Loftus Arliss Howard Felix Lyttle Sam McMurray Arthur Katz Patricia Richardson Sergeant Delaney Ben Affleck Billy Hearn Tony Rosato