MORRISTOWN -- A sequel to R.M. Doyon’s highly acclaimed novel, Upcountry, story set in northwestern New York, was released recently.
“Thou Torturest Me” returns readers to the fictional village of Morgantown, N.Y. and the tragic lives of the Schumacher family. It is a sultry Labor Day weekend in 2010 and the clan is gathering by a large lake in the shadows of the Adirondacks to celebrate a milestone in Hubie Schumacher’s life.
Doyon, a former journalist who spent nine summers on the St. Lawrence River near Morristown, says his new novel poses some interesting questions: What could cause cultures to clash? How would the ‘English’ world react? And what about the secret lives of an ultra-conservative society that is today’s old order Amish?
Immediately, Doyon introduces the world of the old order Amish, who have arrived from Ohio by the thousands, searching for inexpensive land and freedom from temptation. But temptation does result, setting in motion a romance between Hubie’s alluring and athletic niece, and a handsome young Amish man, sparking a bigotry-driven clash of cultures that rapidly escalates into violence and strife.
“From the moment that I stepped on to my first Amish farm, I was fascinated by this amazingly prolific group that has settled in such large numbers in New York State,” said Doyon, who lives in Gananoque, Ontario. “Who are they? What are their customs? I’m hoping that Thou Torturest Me will answer some of these modern-day mysteries about the North Country Amish, while telling a page-turning story about regular families struggling to keep their brood together amidst temptation, principle, violence—and yes, passion.”
A narrative that takes readers on a journey through the decades-long malaise of post-industrial New York, Thou Torturest Me weaves fiction with fact: from a lake called Remington Pond to familiar locales such as Syracuse, Watertown, Lowville and the Tug Hill Plateau.