"The glaciers are receding," she said. Nora peered though the window as if she could see the progress of said glaciers some ten thousand miles north. "I read it in the paper. This morning".
The view, Harrison had noted before he'd sat down, was of still-green lawns and dormant rosebushes, of a wrought iron fence and a garden bench, of ornamental grasses and white pines. Beyond the considerable acreage was a steel ribbon of river and beyond that a range of mountains, blue-gray in the morning light.
I picked up A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve in the Italian translation (sorry I can't remember the name of the translator, and I already returned the book) at the library. I thought I'd never get to write the review. It is "an immensely readable book, but not a memorable one".
The novel centers around a wedding between two high school sweethearts, Bridget and Bill, who ten went on to marry other people. The wedding takes place in a Massachusetts inn in December 2001, and brings together a group of former friends, now forty-something people, who attended Kidd Academy together. They are Harrison, an editor; Agnes, a History teacher at Kidd Academy who's also writing a novel; Rob, a pianist who found fame and success after coming out; Jerry, an arrogant businessman; and Nora, the owner of the inn.
The wedding takes on a particular meaning because Bridget, the mother of a fifteen-year-old son, suffers from breast cancer and might not live longer than a couple years. To add to the melancholic mood, the group remembers Steven, a friend of theirs who used to be Nora's boyfriend and died in a tragic accident before graduation. Things escalate when the group gets snowed in, and some ugly secrets are revealed.
I found the book easy to read, but not extraordinarily likeable. In particular, I disliked the way the narration is alternated to the work of fiction which is being written by Agnes, dealing with the early 20th century Halifax tragedy. The author parallels the events in Halifax with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, with which the characters are still getting to grips; still, I found that the Halifax bits interrupted the natural flow of the rest of the novel, which I was more interested in.
This was my introduction to the works of Anita Shreve. I read somewhere this is not her best novel, so I'm going to try and read something else by hers.