- 7,99 €
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.
In this muted, measured debut, Powning captures the sorrow of a grieving widow as she revisits the past to heal present-day wounds. For 30 years, Kate's one constant has been Tom her husband and best friend. A year after his death, 51-year-old Kate, alone in her lovely Victorian house in the Canadian countryside, is still having trouble acknowledging that he's gone. Distraction arrives in the form of a number of hatboxes from her grandparents' attic, full of letters smelling of apples and smoke that take Kate back to the simplicity of her childhood and Shepton, the family's rambling Connecticut home. But when Kate reads of a family tragedy, she sees a parallel between it and her own sorrow, and she begins to work through her feelings. Meanwhile, she grows close to Gregory, an old family friend who can't recover from his son's suicide, though she struggles with her feelings of pity and disgust for him when he makes some clumsy advances. Only a final calamity forces Kate to finally let go of the past and to start living in the present. The novel's leisurely pace takes some getting used to, but Powning does an excellent job of portraying Kate's sadness, divulging the tales of her family and focusing on the quiet beauty of her surroundings.