Adult Fiction HOWARD
Summary: Maureen Howard's most recent novel, the widely praised A Lover's Almanac, was the first of a quartet of fiction that is based on the four seasons. Big as Life, the second book in the series, presents three tales of moral resonance and magical enchantment, united by the sense of regeneration that marks the advent of spring. "Children with Matches" tells of a history professor whose discovery of the hard lessons of the past enables her to take her rightful place beside her lover in the world. "The Magdalene," a story of willful innocence and loss of faith, contrasts the lives of Nell Boyle, a young Irish beauty who is sent to New York in the 1930s to live with her newly rich relatives, and her pious cousin Mae. The central figure in "Big as Life: A Story in Three Panels" is the American artist and naturalist John James Audubon, whose ambition and genius devour those around him. In this final tale Howard also writes of a contemporary couple searching for the right balance between life and art as well as offers an autobiographical contemplation of her own life in the natural world. These three beautifully written and boldly structured tales evoke those of Chekhov and Flaubert and are marked with the distinctive intelligence that makes Howard one of the most esteemed and admired writers in America.
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