Bernard Elliot, a poet, and Frances Reardon, a fiction writer, meet at a writers' colony during the summer of 1957 and begin a friendship and correspondence. Bernard, well-born and Harvard-educated, is gregarious, reckless, and passionate; Frances, the precocious daughter of a middle-class Irish family, is circumspect, wry, and more than a little judgmental. What starts as an exploration of faith eventually becomes a romance, a development complicated by Bernard's fall into manic depression and Frances' struggle to decide whether she is strong enough to weather the illness with him for the long term.
The novel is anchored by two deeply imagined, fully inhabited characters who give voice to a love story that is as emotionally powerful as it is intellectually spirited.
©2012 Carlene Bauer (P)2013 AudioGO, Ltd.
I always enjoy stories told through a series of letters. This story and the characters were well developed through the letters between Frances and Bernard as well as letters to their friends. I was initially turned off by the frequent references to religion but their religious devotion, or lack thereof, became almost a 3rd character in the book. The author had so many pithy insights. I often wished for a pencil and paper so I could record them. And I cried at the end-something I rarely do with a recorded book.
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