Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1996
Out of print; limited availability
As she proved in her first novel, Little Jordan, Youmans can employ lyrical prose and a terse narrative to produce powerful writing. . . . Catherwood’s staunchness in the face of death earns her a ravishing and near-miraculous ending, a second rescue, as it were. This is a subtle but magnetic novel, at once a fable, a historical romance (with time and place authentically and indelibly rendered) and a study of motherhood’s most primitive impulses . . .
review, Publishers Weekly,
In her second novel, Marly Youmans has created a work of great lyrical beauty and spiritual grace. . . . Youmans develops both character and landscape with quiet emotional power. . . . Youmans renders the wild, rich landscape and the intensifying relationship between Catherwood and her daughter with an exquisite austerity that transcends sentimentality or melodrama.
. . . Feeling herself “the
newest of all created things,” the young woman confronts her new home, outside
New York Times Book Review
. . . It is a tale that offers suspense, happiness, and tragedy, and Youmans tells it in a style that complements it as handsomely as musical accompaniment. Neither laconic nor gorgeous, her sentences deliver narrative and atmosphere in careful, easy phrases. . . . The considerable power of “Catherwood” lies in its portrait of its heroine, in its vision of society as a frail pulse of life in a stony loneliness, and in its unobtrusively beautiful language. This novel is one more proof that serious artistry can make serious themes entrancing reading.
--Fred Chappell, The
an impressively honed debut novel about an adolescent girl, Little Jordan, Youmans defeats the
traditional second-novel slump with an equally spare but even more overpowering
tale, this one transporting the reader back in time to a century before the
Revolutionary War in colonial
--Brad Hooper, Booklist
This beautiful little book brings to life a 17th century woman and her world with such warmth and clarity that all sense of distance disappears. . . . A lovely book despite its tragic theme, Ms. Youmans’ second novel is a small masterpiece indeed.
--Barbara Hodge Hall, The
A Literary Guild Alternate Selection
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