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The Evidence Against Her: A Novel Paperback – September 3, 2002
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Robb Forman Dew reaches far in her fourth novel, The Evidence Against Her. She wants to paint a portrait--at once intimate and sweeping--of a small, turn-of-the-century town. Into the upper crust of Washburn, Ohio, three babies are born on the same sunny day in 1888. Robert, Lily, and Warren grow up as a triumvirate, though their parents are vaguely disturbed by their "threesomeness." Eventually, as seems preordained, Robert and Lily are married, and Warren, left behind, falls for and weds the teenage Agnes. The introduction of Agnes, the interloper, upsets the triangle in unexpected ways. Forman Dew writes of these emotional entanglements in a lush, descriptive prose that owes a lot to the quiet romanticism of Eudora Welty. She wants us to believe in the intense inner lives of these old-fashioned characters; it's as if she's showing us a faded black-and-white daguerreotype and demanding that we imagine ourselves in the high-buttoned shoes of the people we see in the picture. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Appearing after a decade-long hiatus, Dew's latest novel proves well worth the wait. In her vibrant new work, Dew (Dale Loves Sophie to Death) once again demonstrates her mastery of the nuances of family life; her slow, painstaking accretion of detail, like the cross-hatching on a Drer etching, produces a rich and resonant landscape fully representative of its time and place. The setting here is Washburn, Ohio, a small town made prosperous by the Scofield engine manufacturer. Lily Scofield, her cousin Warren, and Robert Butler, son of the pastor of the Methodist church, are born on the same day in 1888, and their lives are intimately intertwined. Headstrong, clever Lily is their leader, first in their childhood and later as they mature. When she marries Robert, townspeople gossip that Warren is heartbroken, but the truth lies elsewhere; Warren carries a secret burden that he cannot acknowledge. His marriage to the much younger Agnes Claytor, eldest child in a dysfunctional family, disrupts the threesome's dynamic. World War I ends; the flu epidemic claims several victims. Another generation of children is born and become inseparable. And an accidental death occurs. Under the surface of these events Dew records minute changes in the emotional atmosphere, epiphanic moments that interrupt quotidian routines and small events, such as an argument over a riding habit, that signal domestic crises with lasting repercussions. A marvel of lyrical understatement, the narrative flows like a river smooth, with surprising depths, some turbulence and the inexorability of time's passing. Does character conspire with fate, or against it? Does love solve problems, or cause them? Both ambiguous and satisfying, the ending is laden with portent, suggesting another novel to come. Meanwhile, the subtlety and complexity of Dew's absorbing story is a signal achievement. (Sept. 19)Forecast: An arresting cover is a plus for this novel, and critical attention will surely be forthcoming for Dew, the granddaughter of poet John Crowe Ransom. Handselling should alert discerning readers.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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in sense of sympathy or empathy in me. My book club members didn't like it either so I find it surprising it is so highly rated.
I WANTED to like this book, really I did. The idea of 3 kids being born on the same day and how that influences their relationships with other people in their lives sounded cool. Lily, Robert & Warren were joined at the hip during their childhood, but I think that the amount of displeasure from various people in their formative years affected them more than anything.
If you are a fan of Ms. Dew's you may enjoy this book, but I don't know that I would ever pick up anything else by her. I will say that I really liked the cover & the ambiguity of the title...