Preservation

Preservation

by Cynthia Lang
Preservation

Preservation

by Cynthia Lang

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Overview

Why would anyone leave Manhattan for a town in Maine �where no one goes and nothing ever happens�?

And yet Lee Baldwin does. After the sudden disappearance of her husband, and against the advice of friends, Lee resolves to escape from Manhattan. She moves from the city she knows to Limmington Mills, a Maine town she drove through once. Her plan? To revel in a tide of solitude and brood about her missing husband. �All his earlier confusion had morphed into one legend: men who need to find themselves go down to the sea in ships. Sea and salt air would be his cure the way they�d been for men through the generations�this being Charlie�s rather generous take on centuries of arduous work in the maritime trades. Who could argue with such a manic whirlwind, half Captain Aubrey, half Robert Bly?�

Lee soon discovers that life has other plans.. While never forgetting about Charlie or the past she cherishes, Lee finds herself pulled into the daily dramas of her flighty landlady Dolly and Dolly�s brother, a taciturn welder at Bath Iron Works. Befriended by Maxine, grocery store proprietor (and de facto town manager), she meets a trio of boys running wild and their mother June, a woman rumored to have heard a saint speak. Most of all, Lee feels the impact of her relationship with Hazel, an ill, elderly woman whose fierce grace and grip on life may be just the thing Lee needs to move forward with her own.



The Limmington, running through the center of town, is �one of many rivers that once powered American industry. Fueling an appetite for cotton and cheap labor, New England mills helped keep slavery alive in the south and offered work to immigrants in the north. . . A house with lemon-slice windows stood on a rise so the mill owner who built it could look out his window at the Limington and see an inexhaustible supply of energy, if not the changes that would one day close his mills.�

The town affects Lee deeply and without meaning to, Lee begins to have an effect on the town. Until one day, speaking with a woman she�s barely met, �her worn loafers placed well apart for balance, a corn casserole pressed against her ample stomach,� Lee has an idea that will lead to her own preservation.

Lang is the author of Sarah Carlisle�s River and Other Stories, a collection that looks at legacies of many kinds; the title story is based on a document from 19th century Maine; the other stories, contemporary, unfold in places like Maine and Manhattan, Florida and Edinborough. Preservation, returning readers to 1987 Maine, explores intriguing themes of a culture before today�s electronic times and the instant gratification of text messages. The value of old buildings to a community, for instance, the prevalence of small examples of commerce, and the economic reach of the Bath Iron Works. Dynamic characters, with their complex struggles, and enduring spirits, evoke the lives of New Englanders who live in the shadow side of prosperity. Preservation again reminds readers that like a Maine river, life�s current brings events good and bad, and sometimes even new chances for a brighter future.



About Sarah Carlisle and Other Stories

�It�s the vocal textures: nimble sentences, sometimes buoyant, sometimes poignant, always with the sense that the momentum is the story. Cynthia Lang writes of aspiration, chagrin, fleeting contentment. . . often the equilibrium her people seek is just millimeters out of reach. . . These stories open themselves across 200 years, two continents and the Caribbean, commingling ethnicities and temperaments so deftly that we may forget we�re being edified.� � Virginia Euwer Wolff, winner of the 2001 National Book Award, Young People�s Literature for True Believer (Simon & Schuster/Atheneum)


Product Details

BN ID: 2940149311200
Publisher: Mill City Press
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 302
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Cynthia Lang graduated from Smith College, won a Vogue Prix de Paris, and worked as a staff writer on Glamour. After free-lancing (Glamour, Parents, Mademoiselle, Vogue Children, and New York Times Magazine), she wrote publications for the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and taught at the College of Communications, Boston University. Author of Sarah Carlisle�s River and Other Stories, she is co-author with Jerome Kagan of Psychology and Education: An Introduction (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) and with Harry Levinson, Executive (Harvard University Press). She�s traveled in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Turkey and lived in Manhattan, Cambridge, Gloucester, and Maine. With her husband John, a photographer, she lives between Gloucester and Tucson; takes classes at the University of Arizona�s Humanities Seminar Program; and plays soprano recorder in an informal quintet, "The Ice Cream Wagon."
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