The Hatbox Letters

3.16 avg rating
( 359 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780676976397: The Hatbox Letters

A luminescent debut novel following one woman's journey through love, loss, grief, and renewal

In her rambling Victorian house, surrounded by heirloom gardens and the gentle sounds of a river, fifty-two-year-old Kate Harding faces her second winter since the untimely death of her husband. In her living room are several hatboxes filled with letters recently brought by her sister from the attic of their grandparents' eighteenth-century Connecticut house. Kate remembers the sense of permanence and refuge that she felt in her grandparents' apple-scented world, as well as, more recently, with her husband. As she begins to read the hatbox letters, she discovers that what to a child seemed a serene and blissful marriage was in fact founded on a tragic event. As Kate's eyes clear to the truth of the past, a new tragedy unfolds, and her own house, filled with the shared detritus of marriage and motherhood, becomes the refuge where Kate can connect the strands of her unraveled life.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:

In this beautiful and deeply moving novel, a young widow struggles to come to terms with her solitary life in the rambling Victorian house she shared until recently with her husband and children in semi-rural New Brunswick.
It is in this house, surrounded by heirloom gardens and the gentle sounds of a river, that Kate Harding, 52, faces her second winter since the untimely death of her husband. Her children, now grown, are living away, and Kate is truly on her own. In her living room are several hatboxes filled with letters and other ghostly ephemera, recently brought by her sister from the attic of their grandparents' 18th-century Connecticut house. Their sweet mustiness tinges the air and makes Kate dream of her childhood and of her beloved grandparents. She remembers the sense of permanence and refuge that she felt in their apple-scented world, as well as, more recently, with her husband. As she begins to read the hatbox letters, she discovers that what to a child seemed a serene and blissful marriage was in fact founded on a tragic event. As Kate's eyes clear to the truth of the past, a new tragedy unfolds, and her own house, filled with the shared detritus of marriage and motherhood, becomes the refuge where Kate can connect the strands of her unravelled life.
In The Hatbox Letters -- which is both sad and exhilarating, touching and illuminating -- Beth Powning offers readers an unforgettable story of love, grief and renewal, both past and present, as well as her extraordinary perceptions of the natural world.
Excerpt from "The Hatbox Letters
"The birds rise with a muted thunder, their wings serrate the light. For an instant, a peregrine falcon zigzags through theflock. Then it drops from the belly of the rising bird-cloud. In its talons is a sandpiper, crumpled like a ball of paper. It is hard to decide which drama to observe, the escape of the falcon with its prey or the flock's display as the birds rush seaward like a single entity, a ballooning flame that rises and falls, expands and implodes, one instant silver and the next black. The flock speeds back towards the beach, passes close to the watchers, makes a dazzling turn, fast as thought. Then, with a diminishing roar, the birds waver, their legs drop, stretch. They touch down. They fluff their feathers, Kate observes, the way humans pull coats up around necks after a shock. Trying to put ourselves back as we were.

"From the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for The Hatbox Letters

"Powning brilliantly illuminates grief in all its shape-shifting pain, and in so doing, expands her characters' lives, and ours...a deeply beautiful book...an extraordinary achievement."
- The Globe and Mail

"Tender and lush. . . . Powning writes about grief with uncanny precision; she gets all its ambushes and piercing aches exactly right."
- National Post

"Powning's subject here is no less than the relationship of life and death, and she engages it with rigor and grace."
- Quill & Quire

Praise for Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life

"A beautiful celebration of natural life. . . . "
- E. L. Doctorow

"In a world increasingly cynical and numb, Powning puts a light in the window for us all. . . . " - Chicago Tribune

"Powning combines an extraordinary understanding and sense of place with an affinity for the world of nature...this book imparts a feeling of serenity; Annie Dillard fans will enjoy it."
- Publishers Weekly

"An eloquent celebration of the rural lifestyle and a joy to experience."
- The Bloomsbury Review

"Powning's choice of language and the rhythm of her prose wondrously evoke the idea of living within a natural setting. . . ."
- San Francisco Book Review

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Powning, Beth
Published by Knopf Canada (2004)
ISBN 10: 0676976395 ISBN 13: 9780676976397
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Fairlane Books
(Saint Albans, VT, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Knopf Canada, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New hardcover, New Dust Jacket, Satisfaction Guaranteed, International Shipping, Photos upon request. Bookseller Inventory # 0394414055

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Beth Powning
Published by Knopf Canada (2004)
ISBN 10: 0676976395 ISBN 13: 9780676976397
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Knopf Canada, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0676976395

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 25.09
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Powning, Beth
Published by Mississauga, ON, Canada: Knopf Canada (2004)
ISBN 10: 0676976395 ISBN 13: 9780676976397
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Mima Mia Books
(Boston, MA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Mississauga, ON, Canada: Knopf Canada, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition..... signed by the author 1st edition, 1st printing Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # 1226

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 40.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds