In a sequel to his highly acclaimed debut novel, Upcountry, R.M. Doyon returns to Morgan County, New York and the tragic lives of the Schumacher family. It is a sultry Labor Day weekend in 2010 and the clan is gathering at a large lake in the shadows of the Adirondacks to celebrate a milestone in Hubie Schumacher’s life—and to bring some closure to the events of that fateful Thanksgiving nearly four years before.
Upcountry readers will recognize many of their favorite players, including Hubie’s daughter, Joanne, and the new man in her life. Central to the story, as well, is the county sheriff and the daughter he never knew he had. But new to the saga are Hubie’s literate younger sister, Barbara Cahill, her ailing husband, Roger, and their adult children. Daughter Ria is a beautiful and disciplined triathlete and their pride and joy. Her half-brother Brad, on the other hand, is a rudderless, drifting man who has forsaken college to fish, drink and live for the day. Joining them for the weekend—and seemingly beyond—is Ria’s beau, Nick, an angry yet magnetic man with a questionable past.
Immediately, we are introduced to the enigmatic world of the ‘old order’ Amish, who have arrived from Ohio by the thousands, searching for inexpensive land and freedom from temptation. At twenty-one, Joshua Troyer is a strapping, intelligent but unhappy young man struggling with his father’s edict to shun the dangerous ways of the ‘English’ world. Following a chance roadside encounter, however, Joshua accepts Ria’s invitation to join their party by the lake, setting in motion a romance that sparks a bigotry-driven clash of cultures that rapidly escalates into violence and strife.
In a narrative that brings the decades-long malaise of post-industrial upstate New York to life, Thou Torturest Me is a compelling, fast-paced story fueled by prejudice, principle and passion that will leave readers clamoring for more.
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