In 1909, Henry James published his poignant story of three lonely people; a woman still young and in upper crust society and the other two a man and woman (above forty, which they consider old) clinging to it as best they can. He called it CRAPY CORNELIA, for the amount of crepe the poorer of the two women wears. He makes you want the characters to find a little contentment but leaves them all barely making do.
The author Mary F. Burns, herself a Henry James scholar and a gifted novelist, has decided to carry on with James’ story and has done so wonderfully in a tale called THE GRACE OF UNCERTAINTY. She writes in a style that is tinged by James himself, and yet is her own. The characters come to life just where he laid them off, with new scenes and line after line that makes you sigh with literary pleasure – “the eagerness of retrieving a sense of himself, of a being that he thought long deceased…” “her economically-imposed exile in Sussex.” But under Mary Burns’ skilled pen, we can believe the ghost of Henry James is in sitting in a chair near her desk as a collaborator. He would be a little amazed that if he had been unable or reluctant to bring his characters to fulfillment, his loving, gifted scholar has added to his story and let us know what happened to them.
FOR ALL HENRY JAMES FANS, OR THOSE WHO WANT TO GET TO KNOW HIM