The Earth and Its Sorrows

The Earth and Its Sorrows

by Crooke Robert Crooke


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In this follow up to his critically acclaimed novel, Sunrise, Robert Crooke tells the heart-breaking story of a man unmoored by losses. The Earth and Its Sorrows is a novel about spiritual reassessment in the wake of tragedy. Two years after the death of his son, Paul, who was killed in a car accident, Ted Devaney visits an old Hudson Valley property he plans to sell. Overcome by memories, especially by a strong sense of Paul’s presence, he defers the sale and decides to stay a few days, confusing and frightening his wife, Diana, and their daughter, Beth. Days become weeks, as old friends, neighbors, and estranged family members slowly gather around him. He meets Elena, his high school girlfriend, who has made her life in the place he left years before. His brother, Tom, arrives with bittersweet memories of his own about their boyhood summers in the valley. Slowly, Ted senses secrets and doubts plaguing his brother, his old girlfriend—all of the people he meets in the valley, where his forgotten past lingers. And as he realizes the effect of his life on theirs, and theirs on his, he understands his fate—some questions the mind answers. Others, only the heart comprehends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450227544
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/27/2010
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Robert Crooke began his career as a sports reporter and columnist for the Long Island Press. For thirteen years, he served as North American press spokesman for Reuters. His two prior novels, American Family (2004) and Sunrise (2007), received generous critical praise. He and his wife live in Bridgewater, Connecticut.

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The Earth and Its Sorrows: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
BobCrooke More than 1 year ago
Nothing remains as it was, or what it seemed. Terrible human events, whether personal or national, find meaning in the passing of time-an often disorienting process that never ends at a single point-a process that outlives us all. These are the themes which I've tried to explore in universal ways in The Earth and Its Sorrows. My story is a kind of fable, or perhaps a romance, in the 19th Century meaning of that term. What seems real and what may be imagined are shockingly close, often blended, or sometimes one and the same. It is not a realistic or naturalistic narrative. The story opens as the main character, Ted Devaney, has reached a spiritual crossroad. Grief-stricken over the loss of his son two years earlier, he is consumed by anger and fear that the choices he's made in his life are the very things that fate has used against him. He has lost his ability to distinguish reality from imagination or memory. He has refused to accept the inevitability of change. But as the novel progresses, Ted comes to realize that all the important people in his life-his wife, Diana, his daughter, Beth, his brother, Tom, and his old girlfriend, Elena, are caught in their own, similar moments of doubt, disorientation and fear-at crossroads of decision-where choices lead to further uncertainty. The Earth and Its Sorrows expresses a spirituality of acceptance in doubt. My characters achieve brief moments of certainty in the good and generous actions they take on each other's behalf. When they contemplate the profound events of their lives, they do it in prosaic situations, in humble, and even somewhat clichéd words of common experience, and what could be called consensus certainty. They reminisce. They comment on the weather, play golf, listen to music over beer and sandwiches. They talk to each other about religion and politics, their love of nature, and family. What they say is meant to sound awkward, not unique, profound or witty. It is meant to sound like certainty offered in the face of doubt-how we all sound when we try to resolve the mystery that we are to each other. Though I found these characters living in a story that came to me, and asked to be written, nothing stays as it was. This story doesn't belong to me any more, nor do these characters. They are yours. Be kind to them. They will be kind to you.-Robert Crooke