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The Hatbox Letters por Beth Powning
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The Hatbox Letters (original 2004; edición 2006)

por Beth Powning

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1475148,859 (3.59)11
A luminescent debut novel following one woman's journey through love, loss, grief, and renewal In her rambling Victorian house, surrounded by heirloom gardens and the gentle sounds of a river, fifty-two-year-old Kate Harding faces her second winter since the untimely death of her husband. In her living room are several hatboxes filled with letters recently brought by her sister from the attic of their grandparents' eighteenth-century Connecticut house. Kate remembers the sense of permanence and refuge that she felt in her grandparents' apple-scented world, as well as, more recently, with her husband. As she begins to read the hatbox letters, she discovers that what to a child seemed a serene and blissful marriage was in fact founded on a tragic event. As Kate's eyes clear to the truth of the past, a new tragedy unfolds, and her own house, filled with the shared detritus of marriage and motherhood, becomes the refuge where Kate can connect the strands of her unraveled life.… (más)
Miembro:CatieN
Título:The Hatbox Letters
Autores:Beth Powning
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2006), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 368 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
Valoración:*1/2
Etiquetas:literary fiction

Work Information

The Hatbox Letters: A Novel por Beth Powning (2004)

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Mostrando 5 de 5
I just finished this book and it's one of those that will be resonating through my brain for a long time. So I'm not sure I can do justice to it but I'll try.

Kate's husband, Tom, died of a heart attack a year and 3 months before this book starts but Kate is still grieving. Kate lives in a big house in a small town in New Brunswick but she was born and raised in Connecticut. Recently, Kate has been given a collection of hatboxes that contain letters and other items that came from her grandparents' house. By reading through these letters, Kate learns things about her family but also learns about the grieving process. Then, into her life, comes Gregory who used to live near Kate and Tom when their children were little. Gregory is also dealing with the loss of a loved one as his son disappeared while climbing in the Rockies and his body was found the next year. As Kate and Gregory work through their grief Kate also works in her garden, which is described in luscious detail. The writing is lush and full-bodied and demands slow enjoyment.

This is that rare book that makes you feel like you are right in the house or the garden or at the seashore with Kate. Beth Powning should be celebrated from coast to coast. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
Because Powning is “almost local” I read this when it was first published in 2004. I was disappointed on that first reading, expecting the letters of the title (letters her grandparents wrote to each other in the nineteenth century) to play a bigger part.

But the book is really about grieving. Kate Harding, 52, is facing her second winter since the untimely death of her husband.

A personal friend of mine, not much older than Kate, facing the same situation mentioned that this book really hit home with her so this reread was to pick up what I had missed the first time around. This was the only “non-France” book I read this month, but it was important to me to try to understand.

But even knowing the real theme of the book, I was not particularly touched by Kate’s emotions. Of course, each situation is unique, and I have not gone through losing a spouse but even so, I found Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking or M.T. Dohaney’s When Things Get Back to Normal both more adept at capturing and relaying a widow’s sorrow to me. 3½ stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Nov 13, 2016 |
Brilliant book. Best book I've read all year and one of the handful of all-time top books. Beth Powning is very insightful about relationships and I found myself saying "yes, yes" all the time. The word pictures she paints have such verisimilitude that the story and the people in it came to life for me in a very powerful way. The constant theme of the book is grief and separation and Powning really weaves this theme into every aspect of the story. I guess not everyone will like this book, but it will appeal most to those who have experienced loss and grief or, as in my case, are expecting someone close to die soon.
One particular chapter of this book really stood out for me: Chapter 15: Sally's Café. I don't think I have ever read better. ( )
  oldblack | Jul 1, 2014 |
3.5 stars. Not quite what I expected from the review I had read prior to the book's release, but still enjoyable. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Apr 7, 2013 |
A good, reflective book. Suitable for "mature" adults. ( )
1 vota LDVoorberg | Nov 7, 2007 |
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Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
      Dylan Thomas
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To
my grandparents,
Roger Wolcott Davis (1890-1959)
and
Helen Merriam Davis (1885-1969)

and to Peter
with love
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Kate leans in the doorway of the living room, arms crossed, the sleeves of a cotton sweater shoved to her elbows. Her forearms are sinewy--brown, dry-skinned, thorn-scratched. She wears two silver bracelets and a thick gold wedding band. Some women, she realizes, remove their rings.
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A luminescent debut novel following one woman's journey through love, loss, grief, and renewal In her rambling Victorian house, surrounded by heirloom gardens and the gentle sounds of a river, fifty-two-year-old Kate Harding faces her second winter since the untimely death of her husband. In her living room are several hatboxes filled with letters recently brought by her sister from the attic of their grandparents' eighteenth-century Connecticut house. Kate remembers the sense of permanence and refuge that she felt in her grandparents' apple-scented world, as well as, more recently, with her husband. As she begins to read the hatbox letters, she discovers that what to a child seemed a serene and blissful marriage was in fact founded on a tragic event. As Kate's eyes clear to the truth of the past, a new tragedy unfolds, and her own house, filled with the shared detritus of marriage and motherhood, becomes the refuge where Kate can connect the strands of her unraveled life.

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