Women of Granite

Women of Granite

by Dana Andrew Jennings

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jennings ( Mosquito Games ) employs evocative imagery to illuminate the unenviable, hardscrabble lives of a Granite, N.H., family. Fearsome matriarch Nanna Page bestows on her three daughters a legacy of concealed emotions and withheld affection as she scornfully intimidates her husband and two sons. Only harm comes from her touch, only disdain from her glittering black ``snapping turtle eyes''; however, she sternly upholds her moral code, going so far as to punish one son with death when he rapes a family member. In awe of Nanna even after she dies of cancer, the Pages cannot imagine leaving the cluster of meager shacks that constituted Nanna's domain. Sarah Huckins, Nanna's granddaughter, is a quintessential product of this harsh provincial upbringing. Her recollections of Nanna and the ways these affect Nanna's great-grandchildren make up the bulk of this tale. Readers hear how Sarah's mother abandoned her, how Sarah's son breaks her heart by selling his only child, and how Sarah's uncommunicativeness frustrates her husband. Jennings's on-target dialogue and his rural characters' extreme behavior will impress devotees of American gothic literature. Most exceptional here, though is the ominous atmosphere, featuring ``dead quarries'' filled with still water and a boarded-up shack that houses a dead man's cursed pickup truck. These elements are tremendously effective, daring readers to turn each page. (July)
Library Journal
The author of Mosquito Games (Ticknor & Fields, 1989) opens his new novel with the rape of an 11-year-old girl by her uncle in a poverty-stricken New England village. The village matriarch, Nanna Page, exacts jus tice by locking the perpetrator--who hap pens to be her favorite son Billy--in a shack and setting it on fire. This grim tone permeates Jennings's entire disjointed saga of poverty, cruelty, depression, and weak ness. The family tree on the first page proves essential to keeping track of the multitude of characters, who repeat their parents' mistakes--baby-selling, break downs, and murder--as the story moves through the generations. Not a necessary purchase.--Kathy Ingels Helmond, Indi ana Univ.-Purdue Univ. at Indianapolis Lib.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.64(h) x 1.19(d)

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