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Souvenir of Cold Springs : a novel
Kitty Burns Florey
Adult Fiction FLOREY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Florey's seventh novel (Duet; Vigil for a Stranger; etc.) follows a family's complicated, often troubled history through the lives of several generations of its women, starting with young Margaret Neal's dramatic departure from Harvard in the mid-1980s and ending with her great-aunt Peggy's girlhood, which resembles Margaret's in more ways than one. The dramas of each generation are revealed in chapters assigned to the principal female characters at different points in the family's timeline vignettes of individual lives, steeped in the mundane and magical, each of which could easily stand alone as a tightly crafted short story. Of particular interest is another aunt, Margaret's great-aunt Nell, who hosts the annual (and typically disastrous) Thanksgiving dinner and seems to tie the members of the family together in some surreptitious way. Nell and the "souvenir" she offers prove the link between Margaret and her mysterious namesake. Florey has a particular gift for characterization and imbues her protagonists' simplest moments of self-reflection with telling detail and startling awareness. The result is a smart and absorbing novel that rings true. Most impressive is that the many falls and foibles of this clan do not serve to create an air of tragedy nor does the female-driven narrative lapse into sentimentality. Florey's forthright and witty prose buoyantly carries the tale. The reverse narrative structure and the plethora of friends and family can make it quite difficult to keep all of the characters and their respective relationships straight, but the effort is worth making. (Aug. 15) Forecast: Fans of Alice McDermott will appreciate this honest and graceful book. The rather earth-motherish cover art doesn't effectively represent what's inside, but it shouldn't hurt sales either. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


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main characters Margaret Neal
Female
Age: Young adult
Single
Junior at Harvard.
College student

Aunt Nell
Female
Age: Senior citizen
Retired
Teacher



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