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Saint Clements Bay: A Novel of Remembrance

B. L. Lang

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ISBN 10: 0979384524 / ISBN 13: 9780979384523
Editorial: Plangent Press, 2007
Usado Condición: Good
Librería: Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, Estados Unidos de America)

Librería en AbeBooks desde: 3 de agosto de 2006

Cantidad: 1

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Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. N° de ref. de la librería GRP71390415

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: Saint Clements Bay: A Novel of Remembrance

Editorial: Plangent Press

Año de publicación: 2007

Condición del libro:Good

Edición: 1st.

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Her Twentieth Century

We look to fiction for entertainment and escapism but also to expand our understanding of the world and to nourish our sense of what it means to be alive. In her debut novel, Saint Clements Bay, author B. L. Lang has produced a work that satisfies on both counts. The narrative cuts back and forth between different eras: the dramatic past of Della Mabrey and the more serene present, in which Della's grandchildren have come to visit her cottage on the bay for the summer.

We see the past through Della's eyes, in the stories she relates to her grandchildren. The first of her tales takes us back to a previous generation, before Della's own birth, to a time just after the Civil War when her mother struggled to begin life again. Crucial to the narrative technique is an association between events important to the personal lives of the main characters and events that shaped the larger history of the nation and the world. From the Civil War, we move to the turbulent era of World War I and the deadly influenza pandemic of 1918. This is the time during which Della comes of age, while working at the Government Hospital for the Insane. The reader begins to see her both as a strong individual and as a representative of the modern, independent woman. She is not afraid to show her love of her family or her respect for her fellow human beings, even during a time when race and class placed more obvious constraints on interpersonal relations.

Meanwhile, in the narrative present of the summer of 1959, Della's grandchildren, awed by her knowingness, begin to discover their own individuality through their adventures, culminating in an ill-fated boating excursion. Throughout, an evocation of place is central to the novel's atmosphere. Lang describes the natural beauty of the bay area vividly and conjures up a remote, simple (but not necessarily less complex) world of yesteryear. The novel belongs squarely in America's rich tradition of regional fiction, descending from Mark Twain and Kate Chopin to such modern masters as Eudora Welty and Wallace Stegner.

Lang includes as an appendix regional recipes for the various delicious meals that Della prepares for her grandchildren, making the book even more attractive. Saint Clements Bay is a touching, lighthearted, and often funny novel that nonetheless has a quite serious side that shows us much about personal development and the development of the modern world. It will appeal to readers of all ages.

From the Back Cover:

A Summer of Discovery

Saint Clements Bay is a touching and unforgettable story of generations bound together by blood, love, tragedy, and the vibrant resilience of youth. Della Elzina Mabrey, born at the end of the nineteenth century, enchants her adventurous grandchildren with the story of her remarkable life, transporting them and the reader to key moments in American history. Told with style and humor, the novel deftly shifts in time between Della's personal reminiscences and the laugh-out-loud antics of the children while they sojourn with her at her cottage on the bay. As a place, Saint Clements Bay, tucked away in rural southern Maryland, with its remote, sheltered natural beauty and unsophisticated lifestyle, gives the children freedom to explore, to test themselves, and to grow while Della inspires them with her unerring wisdom and unconditional love.

Della's tales begin with the story of her mother's struggle to start again in a remote hollow of Appalachia after the devastation of the Civil War; they proceed to her own challenges as a young nurse at the Government Hospital for the Insane and as a new wife during the deadly influenza pandemic of 1918. Della emerges as a woman who reflects the progress of the twentieth century with her modern independence, strength, and humor.

Meanwhile, her grandchildren embark on a summer of discovery: of their family, past and present; of community, race, and religion; and, above all, of themselves. Saint Clements Bay is at times a comic novel but is also profound. Its nostalgia for times past and especially for a less frantic though not necessarily less complex era has a universal appeal, as do its themes of love, adventure, and development. Embellishing the bright depiction of this culture-rich region are thirteen recipes for the delectable meals Della prepares--the bounty of the bay--to nurture her grandchildren.

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