When Merlyn the turtle meets Leonard the man in the summer of 1968, neither of them can possibly know how their friendship will deepen and endure. Merlyn himself has no idea how he can talk. All they know, after a very short while together, is that they need one another. Each of them proves to be a willing listener to the other's litany of pain and lost relationships.
Several years before, Leonard's wife was badly injured in a terrible motorcycle accident. When the story opens, Leonard doesn't know where Carla is or what condition she's in. After the accident, Carla's father demanded that Leonard stay away from her forever.
Not long before that, Merlyn lost touch with Angela, the human girl he had grown up with. After her family was killed in a car accident, Angela was the only survivor. But where is she now?
Will man and turtle be reunited with the woman and girl from their pasts? And if they are, what will they find?
Complicating things for Leonard is that he has fallen in love again — this time with Kira, the nurse who cared for him after he himself was badly hurt in the motorcycle accident. Only gradually does he learn that she feels the same about him.
Throughout the book, Merlyn the Magic Turtle remains true to himself: often smart-mouthed, but always smart. He might well outlive all his human friends, but by the end of this imaginative and moving story, it's plain that he has enriched the lives of all of them.
Leonard Tuchyner was born in New Jersey in 1940. He has watched the world change dramatically yet remain, in some ways, much the same. His lifelong studies of spiritual and human issues have been strengthened by the counseling work he has done for 60 years. His own gradual path into blindness has brought him to an ever-growing understanding of disability and inequity, as well as compassion for self and others. His work as a counselor is now followed by a second vocation of writing poetry and prose, combined with facilitating writing critique groups and a long–continuing "Writing for Healing and Growth" group.
He has one published book of poetry, Journey to Elsewhere. Merlyn is his first published novel. In addition, he has had hundreds of poems and short stories published in magazines and anthologies.
Leonard lives in Virginia with his wife and two old dogs. His extended family includes four adult children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He is an avid gardener and enjoys playing the harmonica, with his wife on the piano.