Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Table of Contents: The Sisters From Hardscrabble Bay

The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay: FictionAuthor: Beverly Jensen
Publisher/Year: Viking, 2010
Synopsis: Spanning the years 1916 to 1987, the novel offers vignettes from the lives of sisters Idella and Avis Hillock, opening with an account of their mother's death in childbirth and closing with Idella's husband, Eddie, now an old man, reminiscing about his life with Idella. The Hillock girls spent their early years in the rough landscape of New Brunswick, Canada, where grief and hard living have damaged their widowed father. Eventually, Idella escapes to New England, where she finds a husband and her own domestic troubles. Younger, more attractive sister Avis has an even harder path ahead; after attracting the ardor of her father's friends as a teen, she embarks on a series of damaging romantic entanglements.

What Others Have To Say

The New York Times
"hard-won wisdom, leavened by sometimes gentle, sometimes boisterous humor, is the core joy of Jensen’s narrative, and it’s in the collection’s final two stories that the emotional payoff is richest."

Elizabeth Strout, Author
“The story of these two sisters, Idella and Avis, travels from Canada to New England, but mostly it travels through their lives and hearts, and it will travel through your heart as well.”

The A.V. Club
"Short stories about rural folks who know more than their city-slicker cousins are a dime a dozen; Jensen understands that they work best when everyone is fumbling toward answers they’re barely able to grasp in the first place."

Reading Guide

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