Angle of Repose - Review by Carole

How wonderful to discover an author that you lovelovelove! This is the chief reason I belong to a couple of book clubs and swap books with Chris. These activities take me out of my normal, chosen reading habits and introduce me to new authors and books.

Through one of my book clubs I discovered Wallace Stegner, and it's been a love affair ever since. How had I gone all of these years and never been introduced? The beauty of his writing in Crossing to Safety was so exquisite that I was almost afraid to read Angle of Repose. Author Repeatitis is a disease I have succumbed to on more than one occasion, and I didn't want to catch it again. But the title was enough to reassure me that I was safe in Stegner's hands. And he didn't disappoint me.

Now, I intend to make up for lost time; I've acquired several more of his books, and I intend to dole them out as treats for myself throughout 2009. Next up is The Big Rock Candy Mountain to be followed by A Shooting Star and All the Little Live Things.

In Angle of Repose, we meet a lovely young woman who has had a refined upbringing, been educated in the arts, and is ready to begin her adult life. She accepts a marriage proposal from a young man who is an engineer for a mining company. His livelihood takes them to the outreaches of American civilization. Her upbringing hasn't prepared her for the comparatively spartan, and at times primitive, existence they share.

Yet, she thrives in drawing the lives around her. Her publishing friends back East buy her work, and she affords readers an eye to a life they would not glimpse otherwise.

The story is told to us by the grandson, who is writing his grandparents' story as a way to escape the realities of his own life as an invalid with a progressively debilitating disease. Stegner's characters compel us as we weave back and forth between the current day and the days gone by.

A fascinating story with heartbreaking relationships--I couldn't put it down.


wookyluvr said...

I'll look forward to reading this soon! I've had it on my list since last year. Glad I brought a good "new" author to you!

Chris said...

I loved Crossing to Safety, so I can't wait to read this one, too. I love Stegner's characters, who stay with me for a long time after the book is lovingly handed back to Carole....