Evening by Susan Minot

Evening by Susan Minot. From reading the dust cover fly leaf Susan Minot has received good reviews from the New York Times for another of her books Monkeys, which I have not read. This book is a read for my Local Library Book Club, which meets once a month and I have been quite negligent in attending.

The story centers around a three day weekend on an island off the coast of Maine, where Ann Lord attended a friends wedding. Fast forward to Ann Grant in her sixties, who lies in bed, suffering from a terminal illness. Her mind moves between lucidity, past events and delirium. Her memories cross three marriages and five children and one special event that overshadowed the rest of her life and loves.

Ann Grant had a circle of friends used to meeting together in their shared summers, all of them more affluent than Ann’s modest background. The story does not really explain how she came to move in these circles of summer houses and motor boats, but she did and here she is for the wedding of her friends. Another invited guest becomes the love of her life, the highest point, she is bowled over, knocked for six and totally swept up in love and surrender.

Arriving late is his fiance, who he finds out, on that very weekend is pregnant. Of course he needs to do the right thing and stand by her, but not by Ann and she doesn’t seem to mind, at least not in an angry way, just that their shared life of love has been lost.

I’m sorry, but you felt no build up of words spoken, beautiful scenes and enduring love. Just a few trysts in the boathouse does not make a life spent in an enduring love for one man.

The whole book was very confusing with the backwards and forwards in time and what she really remembered and what she just imagined, on top of the antipathy of her children, waiting for her to die. Also throw in a tragedy on that weekend and one becomes totally swirled around, where is she heading?

I just thought he was, to use old terminology an absolute bounder and a cad. And no way since somewhere in there it alludes to a son Paul who dies, but even that is buried in the dream world, would a person come out of this dalliance as a couple in love for the rest of their lives. In fact it speaks later on of a friend seeing him in Chicago with a young girl hanging on his arm, not his wife and calls him a ladies man. So even the author portrays him as this.

No this was not the great love story, sorry.

So I guess you by now you realize, I did not like this book.



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