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A beautifully written story of love, idealism, and our recent history.Amid the crises of the summer of 1968, two teenagers become lovers. Emily is a good Catholic girl, for whom an incarnate God means joy and contentment in the life of the body. William is preoccupied, in a vague sort of way, with politics and the evils of the System. Together, impelled by physical passion and the idealistic notion that "all our life is some form of religion, and all our action some belief," they run away to create a new life in the wilderness. In their absence, their parents' predictable lives take an entirely different course, and America itself seems to lose its innocence, never to be quite the same again. Not since Alice McDermott's That Night or Scott Spencer's Endless Love has there been a novel that portrays with such immediacy and respect teenagers' first loveits intensity, finely calibrated moods, and worldly innocenceand the elusive nature of adult loveits passion and fragility, comforts and betrayals.
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When William Lowry writes to Emily Byrne-"I don't know if you know that you know me-the seventeen-year-old hardly suspects that his life, along with the rest of America, is about to change forever. But the day Emily receives the letter and composes a response-"I know who you are. In fact, I remember you from a bunch of times-is also the day that Robert Kennedy is shot. In Minnesota, even as the tumultuous summer of 1968 has begun, first love cares little for matters of time and place.
William and Emily fall hard, despite the fact that he and his family are determined to wrestle with the system while she and hers are conservative, God-fearing Catholics. Together, the young lovers grow into each other and decide to escape to the wilderness to start anew. Left behind to grapple with the shifting mores of the nation and the sundering of their families, the Lowrys and the Byrnes must search for both their children and their own lost innocence.
Masterfully rendering both young love and the unrest of the 1960s Robert Clark has crafted a work that is at once intimate and grand.
“A memorable novel; sharply observed and keenly felt.” –Los Angeles Times
“Clark has written a deeply felt portrait of private human feeling.”–The Washington Post Book World
“Mesmerizing and heartbreaking. . . . Clark uses fiction in its highest and best sense, to explore questions that haunt the human heart.”–The Seattle Times
“Shockingly humane, decent, kindly. Yet it’s not soft-minded. And it absolutely works. . . . Clark holds you spellbound with his wickedly clean-hearted tragedy.” –The Baltimore Sun
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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0393020150
Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0393020150