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Beneath the Pines
     

Beneath the Pines

by Janet Beard
 

“A thoroughly engaging read by an enormously gifted storyteller.”—Julie Mars

In 1957, Mary Alice was a rebellious teenager in love with a rich Yankee boy who had just moved to her small Virginia mountain town—much to the chagrin of her God-fearing mother, Lavinia. By 2004, Mary Alice has become a spinster biology teacher who hasn’t

Overview

“A thoroughly engaging read by an enormously gifted storyteller.”—Julie Mars

In 1957, Mary Alice was a rebellious teenager in love with a rich Yankee boy who had just moved to her small Virginia mountain town—much to the chagrin of her God-fearing mother, Lavinia. By 2004, Mary Alice has become a spinster biology teacher who hasn’t spoken to her mother in over forty years.

When Lavinia dies, Mary Alice’s niece, Claire, inherits the family house and moves to Virginia, bringing along a deep curiosity about her family’s dark past—and plenty of emotional baggage of her own.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

An aging spinster biology teacher and her 20-something niece spend a summer getting to know one another in this careful and plodding debut novel. Mary Alice McDonnell fits every stock description of the lonely, middle-aged schoolmarm: dowdy and prickly, devoted to her mundane, hermit-like routine. It works for her until her niece, a perky graduate student named Claire, inherits a house from Mary Alice's recently deceased mother. Mary Alice and her mother had been estranged for 40 years following a mysterious event, dangled through alternating flashback chapters; needless to say, Claire's sudden appearance in the small Virginia town brings back unwanted memories. In an extraordinary coincidence, Claire also reintroduces a piece of her aunt's history: the e-mail address of Michael Harrison, Mary Alice's erstwhile beau, now a famous New York poet. When everything blows out into the open at last, readers may be too wary to notice; too rich with contrivances and expository dialogue, the book falls short of its potential. (Sept.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780976389545
Publisher:
Two Dollar Radio
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
245
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Janet Beard graduated from NYU's Dramatic Writing program and received an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Beneath the Pines is her first novel.

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