Title: The Cove
Author: Ron Rash
Publisher: Ecco (April 10, 2012)
Laurel Shelton and her brother Hank are living out on farmland the locals say is cursed. And maybe it is. Laurel is born with a large birthmark that neighbors take as a sign of witchery. Hank loses an arm while serving overseas in WW I. When Hank falls in love with a woman who refuses to live there, Hank secretly plans to leave his sister behind.
But Laurel’s fate is forever altered when she comes upon a stranger in the woods one day, a stranger she saves from a near-fatal accident. With only a simple haversack of worldly belongings, including his treasured flute and note explaining that he is mute and bound for New York, the stranger slowly insinuates himself into life in the Cove, helping Hank on the farm, playing his ethereal music in the long twilit evenings, and, eventually, bringing Laurel the only real happiness she has ever known.
But where Laurel stumbles onto his real identity, she realizes the profound danger they are in, not only from an army recruiter determined to show his mettle by stoking fear and outrage over all things German (harassing an aging language professor at the nearby college, purging the library of any suspect foreign material), but also from her own brother, Hank, whose rage at the enemy who maimed him is barely contained beneath his placid surface.