"Audaciously insightful... Ambitious, unique, and beautifully written." Ann Beattie.
In this, her thirteenth novel, National Book Award-winning author Mary Lee Settle takes the measure of the twentieth century, as seen and lived by Melinda Kregg Dunston, a brave and remarkable woman of the South. When her father kills himself during the Depression so that his family can live on his insurance money, Melinda realizes that she will not be happy leading the genteel life desired for her by her mother. Joining the Red Cross rather than making her debut, she becomes embroiled in a bloody coal-miners' strike in Kentucky, where she witnesses firsthand a poverty and desperation she scarcely knew existed. Then she volunteers for the Republican cause in Spain, where amid the horrors of war she falls in love with and marries Tye Dunston, an idealistic young doctor. As the war reaches its tragic end, she escapes Spain with barely her life and a demure little orphaned girl in tow. And in the turbulent sixties, she returns to America to champion the civil rights cause, aiding a brilliant young man whose only crime is his skin color. A narrative borne on the exhilarating currents of memory, Choices is not only the story of a courageous woman who puts compassion ahead of society's expectations of her, it is also the story of this century, told with an unflinching eye and an unstinting heart.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I learned so much in this novel. Ironies and awfulness of miners fighting the system(s)(whether it be Capitalists, Communists or Liberals!) and the complexities of the people Spanish War and WWII....and all with a sympathetic heart. But it seems like there is a distance between the author, the ever busy Melinda and the rest of the cast. Melinda sees so much death at each stop. Somehow I didn't 'feel' her losses. Even when she loses her first and second husbands.