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Old Lovegood girls : a novel

by Godwin, Gail,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 7 of 19 copies
Available (7)
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Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Fiction FIC GODWIN
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Coraopolis Memorial Library Adult Fiction GOD
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Monroeville Public Library New Books GODWIN GAIL
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Monroeville Public Library New Books GODWIN GAIL
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Penn Hills Library Fiction GOD
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Whitehall Public Library New Book Collection FIC Godwin
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Carnegie Library of McKeesport Fiction CHECKED OUT
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Summary

"As always, wry, beady­eyed, acute." --Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

From the bestselling, award-winning author of Flora and Evensong comes the story of two remarkable women and the complex friendship between them that spans decades.

When the dean of Lovegood Junior College for Girls decides to pair Feron Hood with Merry Jellicoe as roommates in 1958, she has no way of knowing the far-reaching consequences of the match. Feron, who has narrowly escaped from a dark past, instantly takes to Merry and her composed personality. Surrounded by the traditions and four-story Doric columns of Lovegood, the girls--and their friendship--begin to thrive. But underneath their fierce friendship is a stronger, stranger bond, one comprised of secrets, rivalry, and influence--with neither of them able to predict that Merry is about to lose everything she grew up taking for granted, and that their time together will be cut short.

Ten years later, Feron and Merry haven't spoken since college. Life has led them into vastly different worlds. But, as Feron says, once someone is inside your "reference aura," she stays there forever. And when each woman finds herself in need of the other's essence, that spark--that remarkable affinity, unbroken by time--between them is reignited, and their lives begin to shift as a result.

Luminous and masterfully crafted, Old Lovegood Girls is the story of a powerful friendship between talented writers, two college friends who have formed a bond that takes them through decades of a fast-changing world, finding and losing and finding again the one friendship that defines them.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Lovegood College is an all-women sanctuary of southern etiquette and covert subversion. In 1958, the new dean, Susan Fox, who has survived a rough patch, must choose a roommate for a new student, Feron Hood, who also seems to have escaped a dire predicament. She pairs her with tobacco company heiress Meredith Grace Jellicoe, aptly called Merry. As opposites, the girls are instantly intrigued with each other, then find common purpose in their desire to write. Godwin (Grief Cottage, 2017), a word-perfect novelist of exceptional psychological refinement who has published a memoir about her struggles as a writer, infuses this tale of intrepid women with a profound inquiry into the ethics of storytelling and how literature can chart a way through tragedies. Feron and Merry are abruptly separated and end up living radically different lives as they each endure terrible loss. Merry takes over the farm just as tobacco falls from "king" to "murderer," eventually finding solace in a Bible group. Feron works in New York and acquires a generous literary mentor who encourages her to "cultivate the strangeness." The women remain connected in delectably plotted ways and maintain a suspenseful, decades-long correspondence. Secret traumas are slowly revealed, adjacent characters are magnetizing, and Godwin, as fluent in humor as in sorrow, sagely illuminates matters of faith, art, ambition, and generosity while celebrating change and steadfastness, friendship and love.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Godwin's mastery and following grow with each book, and literary fiction lovers will seek out this intricately structured and emotionally rich tale."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Godwin's disappointing latest (after Grief Cottage) examines the trajectory of a friendship between two college roommates from 1958 to late 1999. Feron Hood, secretive and self-contained, is a survivor of a tragic and abusive past and finds comfort in her relationship at the Southern Lovegood College with Merry Grace Jellicoe, a confident tobacco heiress with an open-hearted innocence. Using alternating viewpoints, correspondence between the two, and occasional scenes of reunion, Godwin tracks the push-pull dynamic of their friendship. In 1968, Feron, an aspiring writer living in New York City, grows jealous of Merry for publishing a short story in the Atlantic Monthly. Merry's success fuels Feron's creative impulse, while Merry is intrigued by her friend's experiences in New York. Though Feron purloins Merry's personal history for her own writing, Merry's loyalty to Feron never wavers. Beyond the envy, Feron develops into a genuinely devoted friend, and eventually helps Merry with her family's tobacco business. Repetition of language and dialogue from one scene to the next and dull descriptions of the writing process unfortunately blunt an otherwise moving reflection on long-term friendship. Godwin is not at her best here. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Female friendship -- Fiction.
Authors -- Fiction.
Rivalry -- Fiction.
Secrecy -- Fiction.
Terminally ill -- Fiction.
Death -- Fiction.
College stories.
Historical fiction.
Novels.
Publisher New York, NY :2020
Language English
Description 339 pages : color illustration ; 25 cm
ISBN 9781632868220
1632868229
Other Classic View