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Posted March 28, 2011
Unconventional Love Story
The quixotic suitor on the cover of this edition is a perfect intro to this unconventional love story. Why the cover was changed (see other copies available at B&N) I cannot fathom. As the story unfolds,the author slowly brings the quirky postmaster, Norris Lamb, to realize a romantic side he has never known before. And Vita, the object of his affection, is equally unconscious of her own desires, hidden by years of caring for the mentally handicapped son of a wealthy widower. Brown does a wonderful job of bringing the two together with her eloquent prose and understanding that the capacity for love remains, no matter ones' age or circumstances. A beautiful novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 26, 2004
Fantastic novel; warm, intricate story
Carrie Brown again picks us up and carries us (no pun intended) into her world. It's an amazing tale of love, loss, and hope. Brown's words are like magic. Read a little and you'll see. It's a phenomenal book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 2, 2001
A WARMLY WISE AND UPLIFTING STORY
The golden promise of Carrie Brown's debut novel, Rose's Garden (1998) is more than fulfilled with Lamb In Love, an affecting tale of two very ordinary people transformed by the power of love. Choosing Hursley, a small English village as her setting, Ms. Brown again writes with eloquent grace in spare, prismatic prose - an intriguing glint here, a revealing glimmer there as she artfully sketches the emotional terrain of her characters. Fifty-five year old Norris Lamb is the village postmaster, a position he undertakes with the utmost respect and solemnity, viewing the mails as 'a marvelous system of common trust,' keeping 'his postal scales highly polished,' and employing 'a new rubber stamp frequently so as to avoid smudges.' He is also a philatelist, the volunteer organist for St. Alphage,, and a self-described '...stick whom his neighbors consider a confirmed bachelor. Terrified of women, perhaps? Or maybe a queer? (So careful with his appearance, etc.)' But then, on the night of the 1969 American moon landing when Norris walked outside to get a closer look at the galaxy, he saw an even more remarkable sight - 41-year-old Vida Stephen dancing nearly naked in a garden. Norris had known her all his life, 'But he'd never seen her like that before. He'd never seen anything like that before.' And, quite suddenly, 'He is Norris Lamb in love. Lamb in love.' Vida lives at Southend House, a derelict mansion, where for twenty years she has served as nanny for Manford Perry, a retarded young man who is also mute. His mother dead and his architect father often gone, Manford is totally dependent upon Vida who is devoted to him. Never having had a holiday or ventured far beyond Hursley, the routine of Vida's life is relieved only by letters from her one living relative, Uncle Laurence, who lives on Corfu, a seemingly unbelievably beautiful locale of which she can only dream. Old enough now to be considered a spinster, Vida is viewed by fellow villagers with pity. 'But Norris knows - he believes he alone knows - what is there to be rescued and revived. He imagines that he sees what others, lacking the wondrous prism of his passion, cannot.' The question that torments him is how he will win her. Unable to declare himself in person, Norris enjoins fellow postmasters to help him - he pens love letters which are posted to Vida from foreign lands. He leaves bouquets of flowers on a bench that she frequents. Finally, he ventures beyond Hursley, to Winchester where he buys Vida a gift - a nightdress an intricately patterned robe of Oriental silk. Norris finds himself emboldened by love. Not allowing 'reason to interfere with the anticipation of adventure, even danger, that accompanies the matter of delivering his gift,' he sneaks into Southend House and artfully arranges the robed gown on her bed. At first puzzled then frightened by these unfamiliar attentions, Vida confides to Norris that she feels stalked. He is desolate, 'utterly undone.' Later thinking, 'Oh, you're a bungler, Norris Lamb. Nothing but a bungler. Go on, step aside. Give it up. She won't look twice at you!' But look twice she does, and in an unexpected way. With a warmly wise and uplifting denouement, Carrie Brown reminds us of love's transcendency and the unquenchable strength of hope. A writer with luminous gifts, not the least of which is a painterly attention to detail, Ms. Brown has imbued the heartwarming Lamb In Love with whimsy, passion, and noble spirit.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.