Evening

Susan Minot, Author Alfred A. Knopf $23 (264p) ISBN 978-0-375-40037-7
A dying woman's abiding passion for a lover she met in her 20s propels this eloquent third novel by the gifted author of Monkeys and Folly. As 65-year-old cancer patient Ann Grant Lord drifts in and out of a morphine-induced haze, her recollections range back and forth between 1954 and 1994, mulling over the influences that have shaped her life. In particular, she clings to the memory of Harris Arden, the young doctor she met at the wedding of her best friend, Lila Wittenborn, and their brief affair, which he ended to marry another. Resigned to a life without bliss, Ann subsequently sang in cabarets and accumulated husbands, survived motherhood, widowhood and the death of her 12-year-old son but never knew another passion like the one she felt for Harris. With insight and sensitivity, Minot sketches the small daily travails of the deathbed vigils shared by Ann's friends and step-siblings and keeps tension high by skillfully foreshadowing (or back-shadowing) certain of the novel's largest, saddest events, all the while withholding longed-for particulars. The day after the wedding, we eventually learn, the Wittenborns suffered a crushing loss. The juxtaposition of Ann's heartbreak with the more universal tragedy that affected her friend's family accentuates the novel's achingly poignant climax. As the end nears, Ann's drug-induced hallucinations, memories and imagined conversations with Harris all merge into one roiling stream in which Minot's flair for dramatization comes to the fore, rendering her heroine's experience of love at first sight plausible and enviable. Minot has created in Ann a woman whose ardent past allows her to face death while savoring the exhilaration that marked her full and passionate life. Editor, Jordan Pavlin; agent, Georges Borchardt; Random House audio. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 175 pages - 978-0-307-75878-1
Hardcover - 350 pages - 978-0-7862-1891-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-40438-2
Compact Disc - 3 pages - 978-0-7393-4408-8
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-375-70026-2
Paperback - 264 pages
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