Ann Grant is in her sixties and remembering the past. Her husbands, her children, her friends, triumphs and tragedies. Above all her mind goes back to the days when she was 25, swimming, sailing, and dancing. Her friend Lila was getting married, and it was at the wedding that Ann fell in love.Ann Grant is in her sixties and remembering the past. Her husbands, her children, her friends, triumphs and tragedies. Above all her mind goes back to the days when she was 25, swimming, sailing, and dancing. Her friend Lila was getting married, and it was at the wedding that Ann fell in love.Read Less
This was truly a striking story. I didn?t like it much at first, but as I continued reading I saw there was something beautiful being realized. I had a good feeling after I finished reading it ? I enjoyed the story and admire Susan Minot?s confidence to write a novel in this way ? her loose, rambling style captured the subconscious mind.
It?s true that this is a sprawling story which was sometimes hard to follow but I think that often, that?s the way memories get tangled up at the end of life after an illness. It gives the reader an inside view of dying, which is very thought-provoking. I?m intrigued to see the movie and to see how their treatment affects the plot and storyline.
Nov 18, 2007
I thought this book was wonderful. At moments it made me wonder if I had ever felt those feelings and then the next moment I knew I had. It's a definite read.
Jun 27, 2007
A life in review
This diminutive novel will hook you like an unwitting fish on a line. Once caught, all you can do is go along for the ride and experience the finest romance and secret life of a dying woman from all sides. Her children have no idea what secrets she holds in her breast, but we do. She invites us past the gauzy curtain of past, present, and the inevitable future. This novel is cast and being made into a film. Don't wait for the film. Read this now and be amazed, startled, and drawn into a web so finely spun that you will never be the same again.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-31 A dying woman's abiding passion for a lover she met in her 20s propels this eloquent third novel by the gifted author of Monkeys and Folly. As 65-year-old cancer patient Ann Grant Lord drifts in and out of a morphine-induced haze, her recollections range back and forth between 1954 and 1994, mulling over the influences that have shaped her life. In particular, she clings to the memory of Harris Arden, the young doctor she met at the wedding of her best friend, Lila Wittenborn, and their brief affair, which he ended to marry another. Resigned to a life without bliss, Ann subsequently sang in cabarets and accumulated husbands, survived motherhood, widowhood and the death of her 12-year-old son but never knew another passion like the one she felt for Harris. With insight and sensitivity, Minot sketches the small daily travails of the deathbed vigils shared by Ann's friends and step-siblings and keeps tension high by skillfully foreshadowing (or back-shadowing) certain of the novel's largest, saddest events, all the while withholding longed-for particulars. The day after the wedding, we eventually learn, the Wittenborns suffered a crushing loss. The juxtaposition of Ann's heartbreak with the more universal tragedy that affected her friend's family accentuates the novel's achingly poignant climax. As the end nears, Ann's drug-induced hallucinations, memories and imagined conversations with Harris all merge into one roiling stream in which Minot's flair for dramatization comes to the fore, rendering her heroine's experience of love at first sight plausible and enviable. Minot has created in Ann a woman whose ardent past allows her to face death while savoring the exhilaration that marked her full and passionate life. Editor, Jordan Pavlin; agent, Georges Borchardt; Random House audio. (Oct.)
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