- File Size: 9558 KB
- Print Length: 343 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Sheer Hubris Press; 1 edition (November 29, 2016)
- Publication Date: November 29, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LWTNYC1
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #715,764 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Bardwell's Folly: A Love Story Kindle Edition
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From the Author
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None of the latter elements would resonate so effectively with the reader, however, without the presence of two of the author’s most likable main characters. Dori Bardwell is a twenty-something woman in a small New England town, naïve and headstrong in equal measure, who lives a life with an almost fairytale dimension. Orphaned when most of her family is killed in a plane crash, she lives in a house that is really a museum, a replica of an antebellum mansion maintained by a board of trustees in tribute to Dori’s father, an award-winning author of pre-Civil War southern fiction. Her life is one of genteel poverty and restlessness. Joe Gagnon is her opposite number in every way, a handsome, level-headed landscaper with little patience for drama.
But drama is what he gets with Dori, as the two rekindle a long dormant romance. On the one hand, her father’s literary reputation and her own precarious financial situation are at stake as an unscrupulous publisher seeks control over both her father’s estate and an unfinished novel. On the other hand, a foolish and insensitive racial remark turns the white-hot glare of media attention upon her, putting her in danger and forcing her to go into hiding. In her travels, Dori will find out who her real friends are and discover some uncomfortable truths about her father’s legacy.
Will Dori find her way home? Will love triumph in the end? No spoilers here, except to note that Hutchison’s stories are always surprising and rewarding. Sandra Hutchison is the best sort of writer, an adept spinner of a good romantic tale and a principled thinker drawn to considering larger themes. I look forward to her next book.
This is ALSO the story of Dori, a white, underemployed, racially clueless solitary woman living in a mansion in the Berkshires willed to her by her father who won a Pulitzer for writing a Great American Novel about plantation slavery. Dori starts off likable enough; she’s always thought of herself as liberal, but she’s been blind to continuing racial injustice, wrapped in her small, white, rural Massachusetts life. She becomes woke to contemporary U.S. race relations through both witnessing discrimination at her work place, and via her new black friend, Maya, who brings her up to date on current events. Then, through a news report, Dori finds herself cast as a racist across social media, which allows her to grow and transform through the book. I also really like Maya, an educated and opinionated foil to Dori, whose education is limited and whose opinions are kept to herself. Overall, this is a good, solid story.
Alas! The two stories didn’t mesh well together for me. Or perhaps each of these stories deserve their own book. Or this book deserved to be 800 pages long. Ultimately, there was too much going on. Hutcheson’s deft literary style had me invested equally in both story lines, but woven loosely together in one book they felt sparse and unfocused. I wanted more.