Picking Up: By Lucy Honig

Lucy Honig, Author Tilbury House Publishers $15.95 (203p) ISBN 978-0-937966-19-8
This first novel, winner of Dog Ear's 1986 Maine Novel Award, contains elements of the regional grotesque but is most notable for the way it illuminates the interior landscape of its protagonist, whose mother, Sally, named her April Seven to make it easy to remember her birthday. Coming to terms with her life and her mother's sometimes brutal teasing, April is preoccupied with thoughts of nature as she struggles through tedious workdays in the fields, cares for her three sons and copes with her estranged husband: ""Yes, they had had fun for a couple of minutes this afternoon, she and Sally. . . . Why else keep the painful ties, why suffer all the tortured conflicts, the hate, the boredom, the disgust and shame, if not for the hope of one of those fine, spider-web threads of minutes? . . . That was what she lived for. That was the whole thing.'' Honig's perceptive and forthright writing compensates for the grayness of April's story. (September
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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