Sarah and Harriet have led parallel lives ever since they went to boarding school together. Now in their fifties, they are widowed within three months of each other. Sarah and Harriet gradually come to terms with each other, the men they buried and the life that continues to go on around them.
About the Author
Shelby Hearon was born in 1931 in Marion, Kentucky, lived for many years in Texas and New York, and now makes her home in Burlington, Vermont. She is the author of fifteen novels, including Footprints, Life Estates, and Owning Jolene, which won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award. She has received an Ingram Merrill grant as well as fellowships for fiction from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and she has twice won the Texas Institute of Letters fiction award. She has served on the literature panels of both the Texas Commission on the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. Married to physiologist William Halpern, she is the mother of a grown daughter and son.
"The special bond that exists between a woman and her best friend would be hard for anybody to put down on paper; however, in her new novel, Life Estates, Shelby Hearon has done it beautifully with her touching portrayal of Sarah and her lifelong friend Harriet."
-- Fannie Flagg
"Here she explores the mysteries and ironies of marriage, friendship, parentage and love with a frank, searching and compassionate eye...Hearon writes with energy and acuity; her wit takes the form of sharp apercus about human nature and society. If her themes are darker here than in previous books, her voice is stronger, more outspoken, and she wisely eschews easy answers to life issues. The narrative speaks instead of grace under pressure, of carrying on after loss and grief, of affirming the day and looking bravely at the future. It's a thoughtful and honest book, with real relevance to our lives."
-- Publishers Weekly
"In Life Estates Shelby Hearon has written an unblinking and graceful novel of contemporary widowhood, filled with the pleasures and sorrows, loves and deaths of three generations of coping women."
-- Alix Kates Shulman