The Last Odd Day [NOOK Book]

Overview

From the Bestselling Author of Friendship Cake Comes a Remarkable Story of Love, Loss, Infidelity, and Forgiveness

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The Last Odd Day

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Overview

From the Bestselling Author of Friendship Cake Comes a Remarkable Story of Love, Loss, Infidelity, and Forgiveness

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this hushed tale of love and duty, Hinton (Friendship Cake, etc.) tells the story of Jean Witherspoon-half Cherokee, half white-who learns that her husband of 57 years has kept a secret from her for decades. Growing up in an isolated North Carolina mountain home, Jean is awed by her parents' deep love for each another. She herself meets O.T., a "handsome, attentive" soldier, who marries her just before he leaves for World War II. When he returns, he is a changed man, and Jean, lonely, grows desperate for a child. She finally conceives, but the tragic birth of a stillborn baby changes their relationship. Decades later, O.T. is in a nursing home after a stroke. When a nurse asks an innocent question about the visits of a woman the nurse thinks is Jean's daughter, Jean begins to guess at the truth. Her feelings of betrayal and anguish at her husband's infidelity are made worse when he dies, leaving her to face his daughter alone, but in the end she finds an unexpected peace, convinced that O.T. loved her as best he could. Hinton convincingly evokes a love that is based more on shared experiences and obligation than passion, but the novel's glacial pace and muted prose cast a veil over her story. 8-city author tour. Agent, Sally Hill McMillan. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Eschewing the folksy charm of her previous titles (The Things I Know Best, 2001, etc.), Hinton serves up death and despair, with only an occasional ray of light. The author looks into the heart of Jean Witherspoon, an old woman who finds that her husband, the incoherent victim of a stroke, has a grown daughter he never mentioned. It's too late in the day to ask O.T. whether he knew of Lilly's existence, but to Jean's surprise, Lilly has been visiting him in the nursing home. Lilly's mother waited a lifetime to tell her daughter the truth, and if a health aide had not inadvertently mentioned the younger woman's visits, Jean never would have known. This revelation brings up poignant memories of the childhood deaths of Jean's siblings and Jean's stillborn infant daughter. Consumed by profound grief, she turned away from her husband. He then turned to another woman, Clara, and fathered Lilly, though he told Clara he would never leave his wife. Jean's recollections of growing up desperately poor in the Appalachians with a blind father and a Cherokee mother add another layer of gray to the somber atmosphere of this depressing tale, though Hinton's prose tends to positively purple in spots (it's not just snow, it's "a bounty of white flecks shaken from the ripped belly of the sky"). There's a mystic streak to all this, but it's shallow, as is the fair amount of high-minded pontificating about the inevitable disappointments of married love, finding one's true self, and so on. Jean reaches out to Lilly, and the two form a tenuous bond. Eccentric neighbor Maude sums it up: "In the end, it isn't how you count things that matters, it's how the things that matter count." Which would mean?A slightstory, and a dreary one. Author tour. Agent: Sally McMillan/Sally Hill McMillan & Associates, Inc.
Penelope J. Stokes
“Swoops and soars with...quirky humor, compelling characters, and a lyricism so powerful it can take your breath away.”
Pamela Duncan
“[A] thoughtful, wise exploration...a story that beautifully and poignantly traces the defining moments of one extraordinary woman’s life.”
Guy Johnson
"A poignant and lyrical novel...."
Kathi Kamen Goldmark
"Hinton paints a loving portrait of the unlikely yet inevitable friendship between two remarkable women...a sweet and soulful gem."
— —Guy Johnson
“A poignant and lyrical novel....”
—Kathi Kamen Goldmark
“Hinton paints a loving portrait of the unlikely yet inevitable friendship between two remarkable women...a sweet and soulful gem.”
--Kathi Kamen Goldmark
“Hinton paints a loving portrait of the unlikely yet inevitable friendship between two remarkable women...a sweet and soulful gem.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061945069
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 94,358
  • File size: 296 KB

Meet the Author

Lynne Hinton

A retreat leader and writing teacher, Lynne Hinton is the author of numerous novels including Pie Town, Wedding Cake, Christmas Cake, Friendship Cake, Hope Springs, and Forever Friends. She also writes a mystery series under the name Jackie Lynn. She lives in New Mexico.

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Read an Excerpt

The Last Odd Day


By Hinton, J. Lynne

HarperSanFrancisco

ISBN: 0060563389

Chapter One

11.19.99

Even if the phone hadn't rung at all, the date itself is memorable because Peter Jennings on ABC World News Tonight had said it was the last completely odd day until the year 3111. Month, day, and year, all odd numbers, and it wouldn't happen again for another millennium.

Maude, the neighbor across the street, however, was the one who figured out things weren't right. She was the one who saw the unusual chain of events beginning to take shape; and even though she couldn't name what was coming, she certainly warned me that something out of the ordinary was on its way. She did that hours before ABC reported it, hours before the call.

She met me outside at the driveway when I went out to pick up the morning paper. She's usually up long before I am anyway since I'm accustomed to second-shift hours; and she always comes out to greet me even though she knows I'm not a morning person. That day she ran all the way out to her mailbox, her hair already combed and sprayed.

"I had one of my dreams," she said, all breathless and excited.

"What's that?" I asked, trying to pull my robe together to keep out the chill and Maude's unwanted comments about still being in my pajamas.

"My dreams," she said, walking across the street to meet me. "I had a water dream and you were in it." She looked at me, and I knew she was thinking I stayed in the bed much too long. "It's about you. Your water was troubled."

Now most people consider Maude slightly irregular. She lets homeless people stay in her house. She wanted to invite a psychic woman who read tarot cards to speak to the women's circle at her church. She has seven cats, all yellow and white. And she claims she can predict disorder and upcoming unlikely events based upon dreams she has that consist of bodies of water. I don't know how she knows where the chaos will be or who it will affect, something about seeing the stirred water at a particular identifying location. Regardless of her process of interpretation, she never hesitates to announce what it is she believes is coming in your direction.

"It was green and brown. Definitely troubled," she added with a dramatic touch.

I rolled my eyes and bent down to pick up the paper. "Good morning, Maude."

"Are you up to date on your insurance policy?" Now she was standing right in front of me. She smelled like pine.

"You burning leaves?" I asked and glanced over in her yard.

"No." We had turned around and were walking together toward my house. I guessed she would be coming in for coffee. "It's an old remedy for sinus problems -- boiling pine straw, then sticking them in the foot of an old pair of hose and tying it onto the water faucet in the bathtub."

Maude had lots of recipes for ailments and treatments.

"You got sinus problems?"

"Always this time of year. It's the goldenrod. Mr. Thaler has it growing at the fence. I try to get him to pull it, but I think he enjoys seeing me suffer." She is short and has to walk twice as fast to keep up with me, even in the morning.

"Then maybe you need to make sure your policy is up to date." I opened the door and she walked in.

"Oh, no need to worry for me. I took out an extra policy, even with what I got from Arrow. I got coverage for everything." She went right over to the cabinet and pulled out a mug, the one with the cow in the middle, and poured herself a cup of coffee. She had worked at the local rubber factory most of her life.

"You got any milk?"

I pointed over to the refrigerator with my chin and poured myself a cup and sat down at the table.

"You know, you really should clean out these drawers down here at the bottom. You can get poison from the mold that grows on this cheese." She found the milk, checked the date on the side of the carton, and poured almost half a cup in her coffee. "Clarence Tupper had to be hospitalized because of something he ate that had been in his refrigerator too long," she added.

"Clarence Tupper was in the hospital because he weighs four hundred pounds. There ain't nothing that stays in his refrigerator too long." I unfolded the paper and began poring over the news.

Maude moved near the table and sat down next to me.

"I'm serious, Jean," she said, and she pulled the paper away from my face. "Something grave is about to happen."

I glared at her, then snapped the paper back so that I could finish reading the front-page headlines and the temperature and weather forecast in the top right corner.

"Cold front's moving across the Piedmont." I thought I could change the subject. "You already brought your porch plants in?"

"Did that three weeks ago when the first frost came. Cats eat the leaves off my geraniums every year; they'd probably last longer outside."

I took a sip and kept reading. There had been a fire in an apartment on the other side of town.

"Maybe it's O.T."

I heard a chair being pulled out across from me, but I didn't move the paper to see exactly where she was sitting.

"He has been in there a long time."

I still didn't say anything.

"Jean Witherspoon, are you listening to me?"

I dropped the paper and sighed. "Yes, Maude, I am listening to you. You had a water dream and it's about me and you think O.T. could be dying."

"Well?" She wrapped the coffee mug with both hands and bowed her head while she kept her eyes on me.

Continues...

Excerpted from The Last Odd Day by Hinton, J. Lynne Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

The Last Odd Day
A Novel

Chapter One

11.19.99

Even if the phone hadn't rung at all, the date itself is memorable because Peter Jennings on ABC World News Tonight had said it was the last completely odd day until the year 3111. Month, day, and year, all odd numbers, and it wouldn't happen again for another millennium.

Maude, the neighbor across the street, however, was the one who figured out things weren't right. She was the one who saw the unusual chain of events beginning to take shape; and even though she couldn't name what was coming, she certainly warned me that something out of the ordinary was on its way. She did that hours before ABC reported it, hours before the call.

She met me outside at the driveway when I went out to pick up the morning paper. She's usually up long before I am anyway since I'm accustomed to second-shift hours; and she always comes out to greet me even though she knows I'm not a morning person. That day she ran all the way out to her mailbox, her hair already combed and sprayed.

"I had one of my dreams," she said, all breathless and excited.

"What's that?" I asked, trying to pull my robe together to keep out the chill and Maude's unwanted comments about still being in my pajamas.

"My dreams," she said, walking across the street to meet me. "I had a water dream and you were in it." She looked at me, and I knew she was thinking I stayed in the bed much too long. "It's about you. Your water was troubled."

Now most people consider Maude slightly irregular. She lets homeless people stay in her house. She wanted to invite a psychic woman who read tarot cards to speak to the women's circle at her church. She has seven cats, all yellow and white. And she claims she can predict disorder and upcoming unlikely events based upon dreams she has that consist of bodies of water. I don't know how she knows where the chaos will be or who it will affect, something about seeing the stirred water at a particular identifying location. Regardless of her process of interpretation, she never hesitates to announce what it is she believes is coming in your direction.

"It was green and brown. Definitely troubled," she added with a dramatic touch.

I rolled my eyes and bent down to pick up the paper. "Good morning, Maude."

"Are you up to date on your insurance policy?" Now she was standing right in front of me. She smelled like pine.

"You burning leaves?" I asked and glanced over in her yard.

"No." We had turned around and were walking together toward my house. I guessed she would be coming in for coffee. "It's an old remedy for sinus problems -- boiling pine straw, then sticking them in the foot of an old pair of hose and tying it onto the water faucet in the bathtub."

Maude had lots of recipes for ailments and treatments.

"You got sinus problems?"

"Always this time of year. It's the goldenrod. Mr. Thaler has it growing at the fence. I try to get him to pull it, but I think he enjoys seeing me suffer." She is short and has to walk twice as fast to keep up with me, even in the morning.

"Then maybe you need to make sure your policy is up to date." I opened the door and she walked in.

"Oh, no need to worry for me. I took out an extra policy, even with what I got from Arrow. I got coverage for everything." She went right over to the cabinet and pulled out a mug, the one with the cow in the middle, and poured herself a cup of coffee. She had worked at the local rubber factory most of her life.

"You got any milk?"

I pointed over to the refrigerator with my chin and poured myself a cup and sat down at the table.

"You know, you really should clean out these drawers down here at the bottom. You can get poison from the mold that grows on this cheese." She found the milk, checked the date on the side of the carton, and poured almost half a cup in her coffee. "Clarence Tupper had to be hospitalized because of something he ate that had been in his refrigerator too long," she added.

"Clarence Tupper was in the hospital because he weighs four hundred pounds. There ain't nothing that stays in his refrigerator too long." I unfolded the paper and began poring over the news.

Maude moved near the table and sat down next to me.

"I'm serious, Jean," she said, and she pulled the paper away from my face. "Something grave is about to happen."

I glared at her, then snapped the paper back so that I could finish reading the front-page headlines and the temperature and weather forecast in the top right corner.

"Cold front's moving across the Piedmont." I thought I could change the subject. "You already brought your porch plants in?"

"Did that three weeks ago when the first frost came. Cats eat the leaves off my geraniums every year; they'd probably last longer outside."

I took a sip and kept reading. There had been a fire in an apartment on the other side of town.

"Maybe it's O.T."

I heard a chair being pulled out across from me, but I didn't move the paper to see exactly where she was sitting.

"He has been in there a long time."

I still didn't say anything.

"Jean Witherspoon, are you listening to me?"

I dropped the paper and sighed. "Yes, Maude, I am listening to you. You had a water dream and it's about me and you think O.T. could be dying."

"Well?" She wrapped the coffee mug with both hands and bowed her head while she kept her eyes on me.

The Last Odd Day
A Novel
. Copyright © by Lynne Hinton. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2004

    A book of loss, pain and redemption

    I personally found this book to be very profound and meaningful. I am a grief specialist (counselor) and I plan to give this book to any clients who might benefit from it. I loved it. I cherish this little book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    It was shortt

    Wouldn't call 122 pages a book

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    Not only did I find this book to be a great escape, helping me to relax and unwind at the end of a long day, but it was also so positively inspiring. Not sappy, but encouraging. Loved it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    Arianna Rue

    Hi.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    May i join hello?

    Hello?

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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