In a stark, troubling, yet ultimately triumphant celebration of self-determination, award-winning author A. Manette Ansay re-creates a stifling world of guilt and pain, and the tormented souls who inhabit it. It is 1972 when circumstance carries Ellen Grier and her family back to Holly's Field, Wisconsin. Dutifully accompanying her newly unemployed husband, Ellen brings her two children to Vinegar Hill, the home of her in-laws. It's a loveless house suffused with the settling dust of bitterness and routine. Calculated cruelty is a way of life there, preserved and perpetuated in the service of a rigid, exacting and angry God. Behind a facade of false piety, there are sins and secrets in this place that could crush a vibrant young woman's passionate spirit. Ellen must find the strength to endure, change, and grow in the all-pervading darkness that threatens to destroy everything she is and everyone she loves.More
Set in a small town in Wisconsin, Ansay's debut novel reveals one woman's desperation to free herself from stifling, narrow-minded expectations. Ellen Grier lives with her rigid in-laws. Her resignation resounds as she acts the role of married "lady" in a devoutly Catholic home. Mother-in-law Mary-Margaret is cranky and cruel, portrayed by Monk in a relentless snarl. The other females are equally believable. Monk's male voices, however, are less strong as they are unevenly attempted, but the triumphant struggle for Ellen's spirit is not diminished.
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