ABOUT THE BOOK
The story of a woman on her deathbed, too angry to die. Her family is dominated by her, and her passion influences the next generation.
Both Ellen and Vincent left Ireland in the early part of the 20th century, one bitterly escaping shame, humiliation, and fear; the other filled with hope for the promise and future of America—the “other side”. Together for more than sixty years, they raised a family, savored their dreams, comforted, challenged, and defied each other. Their desires and fears are manifest in the generations that follow–children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, each carrying as a legacy of the past the need to find a true place in the family and in the world at large.
As she writes of passage and change, of the struggle of generations to find a common ground, Mary Gordon reveals that the dramas wrought by social and cultural forces can be resolved only in the realm of the heart.
PRAISE FOR THE NOVEL
“It’s hard to think of a more accomplished novel in recent American fiction… Mary Gordon’s irony is modern. Her knowingness is nineteenth century…. She makes us see, and she gets it right.”–John Leonard, The Nation
“An extraordinary novel… Mary Gordon weaves together many-stranded lives connected by promises and mistakes, fierce pride and keen disappointment”–San Francisco Chronicle
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