In her new novel, A Book of American Martyrs (Ecco) creative writing professor Joyce Carol Oates tells the story of two American families — very different but closely tied. Luther Dunphy is an ardent evangelical Christian who envisions himself acting out God’s will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small town. Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic doctor who is killed, leaves behind a wife and children scarred by grief. Oates inhabits the perspectives of these two families defined by their warring convictions, confronting an abiding rift in American society.