Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Years of Grace (Pulitzer Winning Novel)

Love. Expectations. Men Who Love Married Women. Generations. Durable Satisfactions. Important Women.

Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes won the 1931 Pulitzer Prize for the Novel. It has the feel of a more modern novel that is set in an earlier time.—At times, I was reminded a little bit of Debbie Macomber and Alexander McCall Smith. — It deals with the timeless ideas of expectations and love. The characters were interesting and easy to relate to. The book is not overly sentimental or dramatic. What I find fascinating is that, despite being told in the third person, the narration grows up as the characters age.

Briefly, the novel follows the life of Jane Ward from the time she is 14 until she is in her earlier 50s. We see her friends and family age. We see her falling in love with Andre, Stephen, and Jimmy. Finally, we see how her children respond to life in ways that are very different from her expectations.

When I finished the book, I felt like I was leaving friends that I had just met. The novel is a pleasant read.

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