Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. At first he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems. In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. Lou takes up painting, and when their son, Pete, arrives, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. These people are all loving and ironic. Theirs is a simple and bold story. In this moving novel, Dillard intimately depicts nature's vastness and nearness while presenting willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love.More
"Dillard calls on her erudition as a naturalist and her grace as a poet to create an enthralling story of marriage - particular and universal, larky and monumental." (Publishers Weekly)
"As she casts a spell sensuous and metaphysical, Dillard covertly bids us to emulate may trees - the resilient hawthorn - the tree of joy, of spring, of the heart." (Booklist)
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Too formal for an intimate connection
prose so spare it gives us only the bones
- LJ Web