A gentle, quietly narrated family story, rife with recognitions of hometown life during the Depression and war years in a small Massachusetts rural community. In 1935, when Ed Beane loses his job in Holyoke, it's his mother-in-law, Grandmother Howard, who insists that wife Dorothy, their two children--Ruthie, 13, and Virgil, 11--and Ed's mother, Granny Beane, move in with her and unmarried Cousin Vera in Dorothy's old home--a commodious house in the town of Havenhill with its acres of ill-used farmland. But suddenly Dorothy finds, once they've moved, that the old home doesn't measure up: ``Now all the things she cared about, the things that gave shape and meaning to her life were gone--a home of her own,'' friends, and social gatherings. And Grandmother Howard, a doyenne of order and domestic ritual, sets a formal tone that the Beanes carefully respect but resent. Ed particularly is humiliated in a subservient role. Until the 40's, when Ed finally achieves a hard-sought life's work, there will be failures and edgy intrafamilial and marital periods, but on a day in 1941, Granny Beane's birthday, Dorothy feels ``joy and contentment'' in a family finally meshed after those hard places have been made smooth. Then there's the march of generations, and tragedies begin--though by the close, Ed and Dorothy will find their real home. For those who remember rural New England Depression years, a treat with nostalgic recognitions--from hot summer suppers of peas and bread-and-butter to a winter town pageant, attended by such as ``old men in their Sunday suits with black overcoats folded across their knees.'' For others--a quiet chronicle from a vanished era couched in its mores and manners. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Set between 1936 and the WW II years in a small Massachusetts farm town, this warmhearted novel celebrates the old-fashioned virtues of home and family. Dorothy and Ed Beane, plain good folk, share a comfortable Holyoke house with children Ruthie and Virgil and querulous, aging Granny Beane. His hopes of college having been dashed by the Depression, Ed has become a machinist; when he loses his job, they accept the offer of Dorothy's proudly correct mother to live under her roof. Ed labors to restore the dilapidated farm, but the adjustment is severe ("It was hard to feel beholden"). Furthermore, Dorothy's inhibitions in her mother's house threaten the couple's sex life, and Ed feels the lure of Vera, a spinster cousin, and increasingly cheers himself with a whiskey bottle hidden in the barn. Money anxieties--the need to ask Dorothy's mother for every dollar--further imperil the Beanes' equilibrium. Ed becomes a live-in chauffeur for a former bootlegger in a distant town, enforcing a separation. The war intrudes: Virgil goes overseas, and Ruthie marries her soldier fiance far from home. Despite the measure of grief, the family makes hard but satisfying choices. Bittle, who evokes an intimate sense of homespun joys, has written for Good Housekeeping and Family Circle.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Book Condition: Good. This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items such as CD's or DVD's. We ship within 1 business day. Bookseller Inventory # 34FA2O001JUM_ns
Book Description Thorndike Pr, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG1560542942