Catamount Bridge

Don Metz, Author HarperCollins Publishers $16.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-06-015878-1
Subtle and vivid, this first novel about three generations of a Vermont farm family in the mid-1960s shines with the clarity of clean New England air. Bodie and Harmon Woodward are twins whose father, Purdy, was killed in World War II. They live on the family farm with their mother Vera, grandfather Leon and Harmon's wife Darlene, who is newly pregnant at the story's start. When their draft notices arrive, Harmon, always the more aggressive and successful, is ready to go to Vietnam. Bodie says he'll flee to Canada. The weeks before Harmon's departure are filled with tension over which brother has fathered Darlene's child. Harmon's doubts are based on a half-hour that Bodie and Darlene spent, with his own drunken encouragement, inside an arch of Catamount Bridge. In unspoken agreement, neither Bodie nor Darlene tells Harmon what happened there, and once he has left, this reticence troubles both their consciences sorely. While Harmon sends increasingly disturbing letters from Vietnam, Bodie ignores additional notices from his draft board and installs a trailer home for Darlene behind the farm house, reflecting as he works on the life he expects to leave. Carefully attentive to local speech, landscape and custom, Metz conveys Yankee reticence along with its underlying passion, building to a conclusion that satisfies on all counts. His powerful and lovely novelin which absence matters as much as presenceis sure to linger in readers' imaginations. Literary Guild alternate selection. (February 3)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 978-0-06-091570-4
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