Rowing In Eden: A Novel

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9780060195502: Rowing In Eden: A Novel

Rowing In Eden

Lately, more and more, "cool" struck her as conjured, a thing that hurt the soul of both its practitioners and admirers. Franny wanted passion. Passion could hurt you, too, of course, but passion was not fake.

Pynch Lake is quiet nine months of the year but bursts into life each summer when the vacationers arrive. In the summer of 1965, year-round residents Harold and Peg Wahl find the world that once belonged to them is now being taken over by their older daughters, returned from college for the summer. Cool and self-possessed Rosamund is receiving the attention of the family friend who formerly courted Peg. Martie is filling the house with parties and houseguests of her own. No one in the family is paying much attention to the precocious thirteen-year-old Franny, who sets out to find a life of her own -- and, in the process, turns the Wahl family upside down.

In rich and lyrical language, Elizabeth Evans, author of the critically acclaimed novels Carter Clay and The Blue Hour, has created both a profound meditation and a haunting story about the promises and betrayals of love.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Evans has received many grants and fellowships for her writing, including an NEA Fellowship, the James Michener Fellowship, and fellowships at Yaddo and MacDowell. She is the author of The Blue Hour and lives in Tucson, Arizona.

From Publishers Weekly:

It's the summer of '65 in Pynch Lake, Iowa, when Evans's perceptive coming-of-age novel opens. The Wahl family are year-round residents in the summer-tourist town: Peg Wahl, a faded beauty queen, and her appropriately named husband, Brick, an alcohol-soaked lawyer who doesn't pay his bills, have always been stars in the community's small social firmament. But now their two college-age daughters are taking over center stage. Rosamund is sought out by a former suitor of Peg's, and Martie is quickly blossoming into a reckless party girl. Nearly invisible in the glare of emotional turbulence is 13-year-old Franny, the youngest Wahl daughter, who observes the world around her with an adolescent's fantasies and misconceptions. Trouble arrives in the form of reckless college freshman Ryan Marvell, who takes a romantic shine to Franny, precipitating shocked disapproval from her peers and one family disaster after another. By having Franny chart her own unique course between the examples of her two sisters (nice-girl Rosamund is discreetly boy-crazy , while Martie is more overtly rebellious), the novel goes beyond the sentimentality of a '60s era coming-of-age tale. Evans knows the language of teenage confusion well, and Franny's resiliency is appealing. Depicting the domestic chatter, tensions and emotional shifts of the Wahl family unit, Evans creates a textured portrait of one family's painful acclimation to changing sexual mores. Ryan's passionate attraction to the decidedly immature, if charming, Franny is never quite convincing, however, and without this essential credibility, the novel falls short of its potential. Agent, Lisa Bankoff. Author tour. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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