With effortless warmth, and loving respect for characters that defies easy sentiment, Never Change melds the emotional depth and gentle intensity of poetry with the rich satisfactions of finely wrought fiction.
You know people like me. I'm the one who sat in a folding chair out in the hall selling tickets to the prom but never going, the one everybody liked but no one wanted to be with.
A self-anointed spinster at fifty-one, Myra Lipinsky has endured the isolation of her middle life by doting on her dog, Frank, and immersing herself in her career as a visiting nurse. Myra considers herself reasonably content, telling herself, It's enough, work and Frank. And it has been enough -- until Chip Reardon, the too-good-to-be-true golden boy she adored from afar, is assigned to be her new patient. Choosing to forgo invasive treatment for an incurable illness, Chip has returned from Manhattan to the New England home of his childhood to spend what time he has left. Now, Myra and Chip find themselves engaged in a poignant redefinition of roles, and a complicated dance of memory, ambivalence, and longing.
From the author whose work The New Yorker calls "strong" and "timeless" comes a wry and beautifully distilled portrait of one woman's resilience in the face of loneliness, and of a union that transcends life's most unexpected and challenging circumstances. With effortless warmth, and loving respect for characters that defies easy sentiment, Never Change melds the emotional depth and gentle intensity of poetry with the rich satisfactions of finely wrought fiction.
You know people like me. I'm the one who sat on a folding chair out in the hall with a cigar box on my lap, selling tickets to the prom, but never going -- even though in the late sixties only nerds went to proms. But I would have gone. I would have happily gone; I would have been so happy. I wanted the phone call with the rough voice asking "Would you...?" I wanted to finger row after row of pastel dresses in silks and chiffons -- their sweetheart necks, their wide ribbon ties. I wanted to have some shoes dyed; I thought it was a miracle they could do it. I wanted to put a wrist corsage in my refrigerator, lock the bathroom door, and bathe in perfumed water with rollers in my hair and the transistor at the edge of the sink blaring "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch." I wanted to allow an hour for the application of all my new Maybelline, suffer the flash-bulbs of my parents' eager camera, stay out all night, and eat breakfast before I came home, bleary-eyed and in the know.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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