The Assembler of Parts

A Novel

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About The Book

A dual Kirkus Best Fiction and Best Debut Fiction selection, this stunning novel is an emotional fable about love, forgiveness, and what most makes us human.

At the outset of this extraordinary first novel, eight-year-old Jess finds herself in heaven reviewing her short life. She is guided in this by a being she calls the Assembler of Parts, and her task seems to be to grasp her life’s meaning. From the moment of her birth, it was obvious that Jess is unlike other children, for she suffers from a syndrome of birth defects that leaves her flawed. But by her very imperfections, she has a unique ability to draw love from—and heal—those around her, from the parents who come together over her to the grandmother whose guilt she assuages, to the family friend she helps reconcile with an angry past.

Yet, it is only when she comes to her sudden death—for which her parents are suspected of neglect, unleashing a chain of events beyond her healing—that her sense of her life truly begin to crystallize. And only then does the Assembler’s purpose become clear. With prose that is rich in emotion and eloquence and that distills poetry from the language of medicine and the words for ordinary things, Raoul Wientzen has delivered a novel of rare beauty that speaks to subjects as profound as faith, what makes us human, and the value of a life.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Arcade (March 2015)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781628725094

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Raves and Reviews

A dual Kirkus Best Fiction and Best Debut Fiction Selection
Semi-Finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novel Award

“Astonishing . . . this is one of those books you stop what you're doing to finish, take a breath to ponder its profundities, and start again.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The Assembler of Parts is a remarkable modern fable of grief, redemption, and the durability of family love. With humor, insight, and a touch of the bizarre, the narrator makes us think about the ways we are loved despite our imperfections, and the spark of the divine that makes us human. Raoul Wientzen is a heavenly writer."
—Jessica Handler, author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir and Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss

“Without pulling any punches, The Assembler of Parts and its wise and unforgettable narrator, Jessica Mary Jackson, will teach you that what could be perceived as tragic is in truth a great opportunity for love, acceptance and healing. I loved it!”
—Barbara Esstman, author of The Other Anna and Night Ride Home

“It is a miraculous book that turns our universe inside out, allowing us to view it from an entirely new angle, and Raoul Wientzen brings us such a story. The Assembler of Parts examines that fulcrum where faith and medicine balance, bringing forth the most uniquely humane of answers. Wientzen's book is a jewel that allows us fresh hope.”
—Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer’s Daughters and The Comfort of Lies

A dual Kirkus Best Fiction and Best Debut Fiction Selection
Semi-Finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novel Award

“Astonishing . . . this is one of those books you stop what you're doing to finish, take a breath to ponder its profundities, and start again.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The Assembler of Parts is a remarkable modern fable of grief, redemption, and the durability of family love. With humor, insight, and a touch of the bizarre, the narrator makes us think about the ways we are loved despite our imperfections, and the spark of the divine that makes us human. Raoul Wientzen is a heavenly writer."
—Jessica Handler, author of Invisible Sisters: A Memoir and Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss

“Without pulling any punches, The Assembler of Parts and its wise and unforgettable narrator, Jessica Mary Jackson, will teach you that what could be perceived as tragic is in truth a great opportunity for love, acceptance and healing. I loved it!”
—Barbara Esstman, author of The Other Anna and Night Ride Home

“It is a miraculous book that turns our universe inside out, allowing us to view it from an entirely new angle, and Raoul Wientzen brings us such a story. The Assembler of Parts examines that fulcrum where faith and medicine balance, bringing forth the most uniquely humane of answers. Wientzen's book is a jewel that allows us fresh hope.”
—Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer’s Daughters and The Comfort of Lies

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