From Publishers Weekly
Stonich's rich debut is a romance in the best sense of the word: it's a tale of love and adventure set in a remote time. From her hospital bed, 99-year-old Isobel Howard recalls her unexpected friendship with Cathryn Malley, a childless, Chicago-born heiress who shunned her family, attended art school and married an Irishman with no pedigree. During the summer of 1936, the women find themselves alone in Cypress, a mining town on the edge of a glacier-fed lake in Minnesota. Isobel is the wife of a tailor, mother of three young children and a milliner by training whose husband, Victor, has taken their two boys away to an island he has purchased--an extravagance that has become a sore point in their marriage. Left behind with her quiet daughter, Louisa, Isobel revives her interest in hatmaking, and Cathryn helps her. During their shared days, Cathryn introduces Isobel to literature, art and a more cosmopolitan view of life, ultimately making Isobel an accomplice to the affair she is having with a local forest ranger. But there is a darker side to this idyll, and as the elderly Isobel reflects on the ensuing events, it is clear that this summer has exacted a heavy price. Sticklers for logic may question some turns of the story, and Stonich's prose, despite an eye for exquisite detail, occasionally succumbs to flights of lyrical fancy. But once past the unsteady opening chapters, the novel gains its footing and opens up into atmospherically rendered, carefully observed scenes. Stonich unfurls a complex, many-layered and suspenseful story; and, like Susan Minot and Anita Shreve, she handles flashbacks and contemporary details with equal precision. (Mar. 7)Forecast: Storich is a talented writer whose affecting novel is bound to create conversation--and to appeal to readers of serious women's fiction. With the push promised by the publisher (including a 3-city author tour), it could have legs.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Isobel Howard is 99 and has outlived her husband and two of her three children. As she lays dying in a St. Paul hospital, she has time to reflect on her long life: her childhood, her courtship and marriage, and her career as a milliner. She also remembers the summer of 1936 when wealthy, beautiful, sophisticated Cathryn Malley came to the northern Minnesota mining town. The most exotic friend Isobel had ever had, Cathryn was also deeply troubled. When Cathryn's passionate love affair with a local man ended in tragedy, Isobel was forced to examine her own standards of family, love, and fidelity. Isobel tells the story to her youngest son, thereby unburdening herself of the secrets of more than 60 years. Her tale interweaves threads from past and present. Narrator Melissa Hughes deftly varies Isobel's voice so the listener can keep the layers straight. A good choice for popular collections.Nann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.