Sunday, January 31, 2016

Remembering Stegner

I recently read an essay by Wendell Berry in which he discusses and praises Wallace Stegner's first novel, Remembering Laughter, published in 1937. It is very different from Crossing to Safety and Angle of Repose, both of which I read years ago. 

The novel centers around Margaret and Alec Stuart, a prosperous couple living on a farm in Iowa.  When Margaret's younger sister Elspeth arrives to live with them, a chain of events are set in motion that ultimately leads all three of them to live separate and unfulfilled lives.   This was a very beautiful book - exquisite writing, crystal clear scenes, a brilliant capturing of unspoken grief, hurt, and love.  This is an early contender for one of my favorite books of 2016. 

The novel reminds me of other books featuring love triangles, such as One Foot in Eden and Ethan Frome - might be interesting to read these books back to back.  All are brilliantly written!  

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