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What a Woman Must Do

Sullivan, Faith

Verlag: Milkweed Editions, 2002
ISBN 10: 1571310371 / ISBN 13: 9781571310378
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Titel: What a Woman Must Do

Verlag: Milkweed Editions

Erscheinungsdatum: 2002

Einband: Soft cover

Zustand: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Set in the Midwest in 1952, Faith Sullivan's novel follows the interconnected lives of three women of three generations. In writing knowingly and appreciatively of small-town life, Sullivan addresses the universal themes of family, love, and loyalty. Buchnummer des Verkäufers ABE_book_new_1571310371

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Inhaltsangabe: Set in the Midwest in 1952, Faith Sullivan?s novel follows the interconnected lives of three women of three generations: Bess, 17, Harriet, 39, and Kate, 59. All have been affected by the death of Bess?s parents in a car accident. As Bess prepares for college, and Harriet for marriage, Great Aunt Kate holds the trio together. In writing knowingly and appreciatively of small-town life, Sullivan, winner of the Milkweed Editions' National Fiction Prize, addresses the universal themes of family, love, and loyalty. “What a Woman Must Do draws the reader in.? — Washington Post Book World

Rezension: Faith Sullivan's thoughtful, slow-moving novel, set in rural Minnesota in 1952, explores the conflicted loyalties of three women: 59-year-old Kate Drew, her dear friend and distant relative, Harriet McCaffery, and Kate's great-niece, Bess, a volatile teenager whom Kate and Harriet have raised from the age of 7 after the car crash that killed Bess's parents. Bess's mother, Celia, had also been orphaned in early childhood and raised by Kate and her husband, Martin. Looking back at Celia's death 10 years ago, Kate regrets not having confronted Celia's surly, hard-drinking husband long before the night that he took Celia's life and his own. Kate had lost her own husband only 8 months earlier and reasoned that putting Archer in his place was a man's job. It turns out to be just the task "that a woman must do," however, and shirking this haunts her for the rest of her life.

When the novel opens, Bess is almost grown, and Kate is intent on getting her out of town to a teachers' college in St. Cloud before she "goes bad," certain that her charge will never live down the family scandal and will instead feel compelled to live up to it. "In a little place like Harvester," as even Bess realizes, "the past never became history, but sat side by side with current events, like an old woman pushing in among the young ones, insisting on being part of things." Although Kate feels ready to say good-bye to her Bess, a second parting is threatened. Unexpectedly, her friend Harriet has become involved with a widowed farmer named Devore Weiss. While Kate anticipates a lonely future, she is able to feel happy for Harriet. But Bess, at just 17, views Harriet's new attachment as an abandonment, and shuts off her love for Harriet like the flow from a faucet.

In this story of the past's influence on the present, Faith Sullivan returns to the setting and the moral climate of her previous novels The Cape Ann and The Empress of One. The quiet rewards of the Harvester series are not immediate in the first half of What a Woman Must Do, but as the novel unfolds, readers who persist will come to understand Kate, Bess, and Harriet not as conventional country women--stock characters in American prairie fiction--but as individuals, shaped, as we all are, by memory and longing. --Regina Marler

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