Confused, bereft, but following a hunch, Lee Baldwin moves to Limmington Mills to revel in solitude and brood about her missing husband. Life has other plans.
While never forgetting about her Charlie, Lee is pulled into the daily dramas of her imaginative, flighty landlady Dolly and Dolly's brother, a taciturn welder at Bath Iron Works. Befriended by Maxine, store proprietor (and de facto town manager), she meets a trio of boys running wild and their mother, who may or may not have heard a saint speak. Most of all, Lee benefits from Hazel's fierce grace, the elderly woman whose grip on life breathes energy into Lee's own.
Evoking the lives of northern New Englanders who struggle in the shadow side of prosperity, Preservation explores the isolation-and possibilities-of a time before electronics linked us nonstop through the cloud.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite Preservation by Cynthia Lang will appeal to those having to rethink their lives when a drastic change occurs. Lee is a mature adult woman who has somewhat taken life for granted. She and her husband Charlie have certain understandings and, seemingly, it works well for them both. But then Charlie disappears and Lee ruminates about the reasons for his absence as well as possible end results. She decides to leave New York and take a short sabbatical to a small Maine community named Limington Mills. She knows no one and wants to be left alone - or so she thinks. Ever-so-gradually, Lee becomes invested in the people she meets. She studies her landlady and the landlady's brother. She befriends a local business woman. She elects to take a stranger for chemotherapy sessions. Lee begins to believe that another kind of life is possible, one in which a community of friends help and support one another. And then, she receives word about her husband. Cynthia Lang expertly sculpts the community of Limington Mills to the liking of Lee, making future decisions even more difficult. Lee must decide whether to stay in a comfortable, warm environment where people keep track of one another or to venture forth and explore a new way of living. The character of Lee is charming and very realistic. Preservation is the story of timing. It is a story about when to let go and when to preserve what is essential to life. Lee learned that when one tells his or her life story, it is preserved and it is then a life to be honored and respected. This is a beautiful story, quite simple in its complexity.