Provocative and compulsively readable, Michael Goorjian's debut novel Beatrice weaves strands of mystery, romance, philosophy, and magical realism into a wondrous tale of self-discovery and hope. "Something in me knows of a life I was meant to live but for whatever reason, I have not..." Words that ring painfully true for Adam Sheppard, a San Francisco videogame programmer who has spent the majority of his 30-something years sitting in dark cavernous spaces handing over his life to a computer screen. On the verge of a psychotic break, Adam follows a homeless man's enigmatic advice to make a run for it, before it's too late. Leaving behind a loveless marriage and his best friend/business partner who takes credit for his ideas, Adam ends up returning to the land of his childhood, the hauntingly rustic town of Mendocino, California. One night out on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, lost in thoughts of suicide, Adam has a chance encounter with a mysterious woman, only later to realize that she is Beatrice, his long lost-but not forgotten-childhood friend whose fiery spirit and red hair has haunted his memories.Over time Adam discovers that his reunion with Beatrice is not simply a coincidence. As Adam awakens to a hope that his life could be more than a bleak wasteland, he soon finds himself a crucial pawn in a game that pits dark forces that have enslaved humankind against those few quixotic souls who still search for meaning, beauty and magic in the world.