Leeway Cottage: A Novel

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9780060539054: Leeway Cottage: A Novel

In this beautifully written tour de force of a novel, Beth Gutcheon takes readers back to the coastal village of Dundee, Maine. There, in a Victorian summer house called Leeway Cottage, we witness the scenes of a long twentieth-century marriage.

In April 1940, as the Nazis march into Denmark, a rich girl of the Dundee summer colony named Sydney Brant marries a gifted Danish pianist, Laurus Moss. They believe they are well matched, as young lovers do, but almost at once, their views of the world and their marriage begin to diverge. Laurus's beloved family is in Copenhagen, hostage to what the fortunes of Hitler's war will bring, especially as his mother is Jewish. When Laurus chooses to leave Sydney in the fall of 1941 to help build a Danish Resistance from London, Sydney is dismayed. By the time they are reunited four years later, Laurus's family and the reader have been through one of the most stirring stories of the war: Denmark's courageous grassroots rescue of virtually all 7,000 of the country's Jews. Meanwhile, in America, Sydney has led a group knitting for the war effort, and had a baby.

In the decades to come, many people, especially their three grown children, will wonder whether these two very different people understand each other at all. If they do, how do they stay together? Laurus likes to claim that in heaven you get to see the movie of your life, with all the blanks filled in. In their old age Sydney fears what he might see and why he wants to know; their children fear he'll die and there won't be any movie.

But there will be.

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About the Author:

Beth Gutcheon is the critically acclaimed author of eight previous novels: The New Girls, Still Missing, Domestic Pleasures, Saying Grace, Five Fortunes, More Than You Know, Leeway Cottage, and Good-bye and Amen. She is the writer of several film scripts, including the Academy-Award nominee The Children of Theatre Street. She lives in New York City.

From AudioFile:

Beth Gutcheon has an elegiac style that envelopes readers entirely in the fictional worlds she creates. In LEEWAY COTTAGE, she takes us back to WWII--to the isolated world of America's moneyed Eastern establishment and to the front lines of the Danish Resistance. These two worlds collide in one complex, unhappy marriage between an American and a Dane. Susan Ericksen offers a lucid reading in a well-modulated voice that is easy to listen to. Admittedly, she has taken the stately quality of Gutcheon's writing a bit too much to heart; one wishes she had picked up the pace a bit. Nonetheless, she has a light, sure touch with the accents, giving just enough to make the dialogue scenes real. And the clarity of her narration is gratifying. This is a satisfying listen. A.C.S. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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