BPLNextBestAdults

“Regret encloses me within the prison of my choices” writes the first person narrator in the epilogue of this first novel. Her life is certainly fodder for regret. She is left alone, by her husband’s mysterious disappearance, to raise two children and work a farm in a Hudson River community, rife with gossip. Then the American Revolution begins, dramatically affecting her life and limiting her choices even more. This is a beautifully written story; it has a lyricism that defies the stark landscape and emotional stoicism of the abandoned farmer’s wife. The novel begins slowly, but gains power as we are drawn into the protagonist’s life and begin to empathize even though she remains nameless. Her daughter is equally compelling. She evolves from the self- interest of her youth , told in short interjections to her mother’s narration, to become a more compassionate woman. She narrates the concluding chapter, seeking to understand both her parents and their absence from her life. Wade has written a unique historical fiction with real staying power. Written by JM

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