Patchwork

Karen Osborn, Author
Karen Osborn, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $19.95 (309p) ISBN 978-0-15-171292-2
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-15-671365-8
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Poet Osborn's engrossing, well-crafted, poignant first novel examines both the harshness and the joy that meet three sisters in the mill town of Ash Hill, S.C. Full of brisk, true-to-life dialogue and action, the chapters are narrated alternately by Rose, strong and spiritual; Lily, the sexy, restless, good-time girl; June, the sheltered, unstable artist; and Sylvia, the daughter whom June can't remember and whom Rose raises as her own. In old age, Rose shares her home with her sisters once more, as Lily nurses her bitterness after two unfulfilling marriages and June lives in a comfortable fantasy world delineated by her paintings and her selective memory. Sylvia, who has gone to college and built a career as a travel writer, returns to Ash Hill to make peace with her turbulent past, realizing that ``although Lily, June and Rose lived together and had shared much of what had happened in their lives, each one still held on to a separate way of seeing those events . . . . They'd all lived apart, alone.'' (July)
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