Susan Minot Evening

ISBN 13: 9780099273493

Evening

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( 3,919 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780099273493: Evening

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

July 1954. An island off the coast of Maine. Ann Grant—a 25-year-old New York career girl—is a bridesmaid at her best friend's lavish wedding. Also present is a man named Harris Arden, whom Ann has never met . . .

After three marriages and five children, Ann Lord lies in an upstairs bedroom of a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. What comes to her, eclipsing a stream of doctor's visits and friends stopping by and grown children overheard whispering from the next room, is a rush of memories from a weekend 40 years ago in Maine, when she fell in love with a passion that even now throws a shadow onto the rest of her life. In Evening, Susan Minot gives us a novel of spellbinding power on the nature of memory and love.

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Review:

As Ann Lord lies on her deathbed, her daughter delivers a balsam pillow from the attic. At first the ailing woman is confused, but suddenly the scent reminds her of the "wild tumult" she experienced 40 years earlier:

Something stole into her as she walked in the dark, a dream she'd had long ago. The air was so black she was unable to see her arms, it was a warm summer night. Above her she could make out the dark line of the tops of spruce trees and a sky lit with stars. She felt the warm tar through the soles of her shoes. The boy beside her took her hand.
In the porous world between conscious and unconscious the protagonist of Evening revisits the great passions of her life, along with its considerable disappointments. The boy in the dark remains the fixed point--not so much because he is the most important man in her life, but because of the untapped possibilities he represents. Meanwhile, friends and relations come to sit by Ann Lord's side as she veers between clarity and feverish recollection.

In her third novel, Susan Minot takes some new risks--her narrative spanning seven decades of memory and her style ranging from Stegneresque particularity to the exquisite abstraction Virginia Woolf perfected in To the Lighthouse. Equal parts memory and desire, fiction and poetry, Evening is a seductive story made more so by the measured pace of details emerging, one by one, like stars. --Cristina Del Sesto

From the Publisher:

"Her best work yet, assured, supple, exhilarating in its nerve and cool momentum" --Joan Didion

"A stunning novel...a powerful story that cuts back and forth in time to give us both the defining moment in a woman's life and an understanding of how that moment has reverberated through the remainder of her days...Her evocation of her heroine's passion for Harris Arden is so convincing, her depiction of the world she inhabits is so fiercely observed...The difference between [Monkeys and Evening] attests to Susan Minot's growing ambition and
assurance as an artist" --Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"An absorbing drama...Minot writes with quiet perceptiveness and grace, pulling the
reader into Ann's deathbed reverie" --Elle

"A brilliant lyric performance" --John Casey

"In spare and lovely language, Susan Minot has set forth a real life, in all its particularity and splendor and pain. This is the task of the novelist, and in Evening Minot has succeeded
admirably" --Roxana Robinson, New York Times Book Review

"It astounds in its craftsmanship and imprints itself indelibly on the heart...A haunting work of art that moves at the pace of a suspense thriller" --Sheila Bosworth, New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Evening is a beautifully realized work...more mature and confident than anything she has written...An exquisite novel" --Gail Caldwell, Boston Globe

"A wonderful, truthful, heartbreaking book. . .. Evening vindicates the wildest assertions any of us have made about Susan Minot's talent" --Tom McGuane

"Evening is a supremely sensual, sensitive and dramatic novel...So rich in color and motion, music and atmosphere" --Donna Seaman, Booklist

"I was swept up in it...It moved me and made me cry" --D. T. Max, New York Observer

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