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McPhee, Martha

214 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0679450084 / ISBN 13: 9780679450085
Published by Random House, New York, 1997
Used Hardcover
From Rare Book Cellar (Pomona, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Fine in a Fine dust jacket. Stated First Edition.; 0.9 x 9.4 x 6.3 Inches; 244 pages; Original unclipped dust jacket protected by archival Brodart cover. All domestic orders shipped protected in a Box. Bookseller Inventory # 30396

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Random House, New York

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title


This magical novel about three daughters struggling with divorce, dislocation, and the radical new lifestyle their mother adopts introduces an exceptional new author. Bold and wonderfully written, Bright Angel Time is rich in original imagery and humor, with a strong and visceral sense of place.


"Mom learned to fall backward into the arms of strangers without hesitating or looking over her shoulder. She learned to fall freely, with her muscles relaxed and her mind open..." So begins Martha McPhee's first novel, Bright Angel Time, a story rooted in the freewheeling, free-falling decade of the 1970s. For Kate, the tale's narrator, life starts to crumble the day of the first moon landing. That is when her father takes off with his lover and leaves his family high and dry. Soon after, Kate's mother, Eve, falls in love with Anton, a man with a smarmy charisma that draws one in even as it invites second thoughts. A hippie pied piper, Anton lures Eve and her three daughters into a cross-country odyssey from New Jersey to a commune in Big Sur. There his own children from a previous marriage join the menagerie.

McPhee captures the era when women's liberation mixed with notions of free love led to sexual license, and Gestalt therapy promised enlightenment. Seen through the eyes of Kate and her two sisters, this is not so much a time of freedom as one of confusion, adult carelessness, and neglect. Kate's steely-eyed view of her parents' world, combined with McPhee's brilliant imagery and deft characterization, makes this '70s-era tale a book for the '90s.

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