Autumn 1918. Rumors of peace are spreading across America, but spreading even faster are the first cases of Spanish influenza, whispering of the epidemic to come. Maureen Ross, well past a safe childbearing age, is experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Her husband, Troop -- cold and careless of her condition -- has battered her spirit throughout their marriage. Into this loveless ménage arrives Troop's niece, Mary Oliver, who has come to help Maureen in the last weeks of her confinement. Horrified by Troop's bullying, she realizes that her true duty is to protect her aunt.
As the influenza spreads and the death toll grows, Troop's spiteful behavior worsens. He terrorizes the household, but when Mary fights back he begins to go over the edge. Maureen rallies, releasing a stunning thunderstorm of confrontation and, ultimately, finding spiritual renewal.This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
About the Author
Kaye Gibbons was born in Nash County, North Carolina and attended Rocky Mount Senior High School, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her first novel, "Ellen Foster", was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction of the American Academy and Institute of the Arts and Letters and a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. She has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and was recently awarded the PEN/Revson Fellowship for "A Cure for Dreams". She is writer-in-residence at the Library of North Carolina State University. She and her husband, Michael, and their three daughters Mary, Leslie and Louise, live in Raleigh.
“[A] harrowing and explicit declaration of the power of a woman wronged.”
-Daily Press, Inc. Newport News, Va.
“The most powerful writing yet from Gibbons.”
-San Antonio Express-News
“With lean and graceful prose, Gibbons gives flesh to the meanings of love and resilience and oppression and cruelty.”
-Memphis Commercial Appeal
“It is vinatage Gibbons gorgeously written, filled with insights about women and memorable characters.”
-Newhouse News Service
“Gibbons has once again given stimulating voice to women.”
“DIVINING WOMEN is a compelling tale of female friendship and the confines of social expectation.”
-Denver Rocky Mountain News
“Gibbons’ sentences are... wonderfully lucid and lyrical at once.”
“[R]ich and complex.”
“[A] work of grace and intelligence...all readers who appreciate fine writing will enjoy it.”
“One of her best...A book this good comes along very rarely.”
“Gibbons once more uses her remarkable talents to walk a fine narrative line, one that runs betwween heartbreak and hope.”
“[R]eading Kaye Gibbons invariably provides pleasure...[S]he is a great literary companion.”
“[H]earkens back to the Bronte sisters. Gibbons’s tale is atmospheric and unsettling...and ornamented with period flurishes.”