The Lives of Edie Pritchard

Larry Watson. Algonquin, $27.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-61620-902-5
Set mostly in eastern Montana, Watson’s vibrant character study (after As Good as Gone) reads like a trio of scintillating novellas, each set 20 years apart. In the late 1960s, young bank teller Edie Linderman is married to Dean, a domineering sporting goods clerk. Their wobbly marriage is beset with maybes and ifs. Maybe she should have married Dean’s more ambitious twin brother, Roy, a flirtatious furniture salesman. If she hadn’t gone with Roy to buy a pick-up, maybe he wouldn’t have had the crippling accident, the murky circumstances of which ignited Dean’s jealousy, and maybe she wouldn’t have left town with a one-way bus ticket west and married smarmy insurance agent Gary Dunn, as she does in the second part of the novel, set in 1987. Edie and Dean have a daughter who, by 18, wearies of her dull life. Edie leaves Gary, hoping to develop a better relationship with her rebellious teenager. In 2007, now 64, Edie relies on her life experiences to rescue her self-absorbed adolescent granddaughter who becomes embroiled with yet another set of battling brothers. Like in the best works of Richard Ford and Elizabeth Strout, Watson shows off a keen eye for regional details, a pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, and an affinity for sharp characterization. This triptych is richly rewarding. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/16/2020
Release date: 07/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-64375-142-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-6620-0240-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-6620-0244-1
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