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The Maytrees
Annie Dillard
Adult Fiction DILLARD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Lou Bigelow meets her husband-to-be, Toby Maytree, when Toby returns to Provincetown following WWII. In the house Lou inherits from her mother, they read, cook soup, play games with friends, vote and raise a child. Toby writes poetry and does odd jobs; Lou paints. Their unaffected bohemianism fits right in with the Provincetown landscape, which Dillard, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, describes with an offhand but deep historical sense. Years into the marriage, Toby suddenly decamps to Maine with another local woman, Deary Hightoe; flash forward six years to Lou reading Toby's semimonthly letters (and Deary's marginal notes) "with affectionate interest." Dillard, stripping the story to bare facts-plus-backdrop, is after something beyond character and beyond love, though she evokes Lou and Toby's beautifully. Thus, when Deary's heart falters 20 years later and Toby brings her home to Lou for hospice care, Lou puts up water for tea and gets going. She feels too much, not too little, for mere drama, although people who don't know her misread her. In short, simple sentences, Dillard calls on her erudition as a naturalist and her grace as poet to create an enthralling story of marriage-particular and universal, larky and monumental. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Pulitzer Prize winner Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) is best known for her nonfiction; this 11th book, set on Cape Cod, is a fictional account of a broken family. The plot follows the courtship and marriage of Toby Maytree and Lou Bigelow, who fall in love and settle near Provincetown shortly after World War II. Good-looking, unconventional, and brainy, Toby and Lou share an intense appreciation of the natural world--the Cape's wild sand dunes are major players in the novel--yet husband and wife live most vividly within their own minds, a trait strongly reflected in Pete, their only child. When Toby impulsively leaves with another woman to settle in Maine, none of the Maytrees really knows how to cope. Many years pass before tragedy propels them to achieve reunion and redemption based on selfless love. The poetic language, close observations of nature, and moving, family-centered theme in this short, low-key novel should appeal to a wide readership. Recommended for most fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/07.]--Starr E. Smith, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Lou Bigelow
Inherited her mother's house; was in a happy marriage until Toby fled to Maine with Deary; takes care of Deary 20 years later when Deary falls ill.

Toby Maytee
Fled to Maine with Deary; returns to Lou 20 years later with Deary whe nshe falls ill.

Deary Hightoe
Moves to Maine with Toby; has a bad heart.

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