On yet another blizzardy day in Toronto a small group of book lovers gathered at the Harper Collins office to meet author Rene Denfeld and to hear her speak about her new book The Enchanted. Christa (More Than Magic) had really enjoyed the book and I was definitely excited to find out more about it.
Denfeld, opting to forego the armchair in the middle of the room, stayed standing to address the captive audience. She spoke about the inspiration for this novel coming when she was leaving a prison, after visiting her client on death row. Something spoke to her that this was an enchanted place. “The lady” in the novel is based on her actual job, which is a death row investigator. Besides prisons and death row, the main theme out of her book is the need to be seen and heard and loved for who we really are. Through her investigations, she finds it very life-affirming and is often astounded by the courage people have and their ability to find redemption, joy and magic in their lives.
Many of us hadn’t even known an occupation such as this existed and Denfeld gave us a bit of background on herself. She has been a licensed private investigator since 2008 and still works as a death row investigator even though she is currently taking a sabbatical for the book promotion. Her job would entail investigating death row inmates in the hopes of uncovering something to argue for mercy. Her line of work reveals some interesting observations like whether monsters are born or made? She finds it interesting to see the difference between people from bad childhoods becoming good or bad people. She herself had come from a bad childhood but had discovered the library which helped. There seems to be a lack of hope for others.
Talk about not judging a book by its cover. Based on the cover alone, I would have never realized what the book was actually about and I’m even more intrigued now to read it after hearing Denfeld talk about it. That was actually a question that the author was surprised nobody had asked about, as someone had commented to her at another speaking engagement that the reader had been disappointed that the book wasn’t about horses.
What an insightful and eye-opening evening with the fabulous Rene Denfeld. Thank you to her and the Harper Collins team for hosting us on such a blustery evening!