Betsy Recommends

  • $25.00
    ISBN: 9781476799322
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Scribner Book Company - June 9th, 2015

    In a novel of voices, often inventively, expansively footnoted, Kate Walbert weaves together a multitude of tales, at first emanating from a painting class taught by a down-at-the heels artist, Sid, in a down-at-the-heels New York tenement. The one we hear initially is that of Helen, who paints a world catastrophically immersed in water. But two of her classmates, longtime New Yorkers and old friends who survived WWII in Europe and are long-since widowed, form the heart of the novel. They seem indomitable despite their age, listening to each other’s tales, propping each other up, helping each other move forward, however slowly. Until, suddenly, Simone is gone and Marie is left alone. Elizabeth, her upstairs neighbor, provides some comfort, joining the chorus in full-part harmony in the process. As do, Jules, Marie’s son, and others from the neighborhood, an actor, and an architect, all part of their community. Walbert gets at some interesting issues as she scores her latest choral symphony—the ways in which community, whether in a class or a neighborhood, connect people, the ways we remain alone however close our connections, the ways the past informs the present, the ways age and infirmity expand and contract our universe, the ways our profligate ways afflict our world—but most of all the ways our interior lives assimilate and hold, at least in memory, our hurts, our hopes, our satisfactions, our terrors, our loves. Pure Walbert, purely stunning—as always.


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