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Synopses & Reviews
Susan Minot's first works of fiction, Monkeys and Lust & Other Stories, sent the news of her extraordinary talent around the world. Now, with her critically acclaimed novel Folly, she enters the rooms furnished by Edith Wharton and E.M. Forster...and asserts her own clear claim to the premises.
It is 1917 when we first meet Lilian Eliot — immured in her father's solid Beacon Hill home, coming of age among friends and retainers she has known forever. Life is Copley Square, letters written by shadowy light, and tea properly poured. But Lilian senses something more, and is "amazed by the amount of feeling sloshing about insider her. If she let it out there would be a terrible flood...."
Suddenly into her highly polished world strolls Walter Vail, who says and does the unexpected, shattering the fine and consensual order. Lilian, the least foolish of girls, feels compelled to follow. But when Walter Vail goes to war — and marries abroad — Lilian must consider her life from a new, tinged perspective. She marries Gilbert Finch, a rumpled birdwatcher whose main virtue is that he is not a fool, and her life assumes a steadiness like "the balanced hour, half light, half shadow" before darkness sets in. Her children grow, her marriage tightens around her, she watches her own parents age. And then, as suddenly as he departed, Walter Vail returns...
"Dazzling...places Susan Minot beside the most gifted of our young writers..." Chicago Tribune
"Haunting....Folly is a fascinating book, full of the insights one era can offer another." San Francisco Chronicle
"Folly is Minot at her uncanny best..." New Yorker
"Extraordinary writing....Minot packs into a single sentence what other writers take paragraphs to convey....The result is spare and exquisite and an absolute joy to read." Cosmopolitan
"Utterly compelling....Minot's most persuasive, most mature work of fiction." Newsday
"In elegant, eloquent prose, Minot captures the essence and the impact of life's decisions." Library Journal
Minot...is a writer of great charm, empathy, and awareness. Minot's precise, poised prose is almost stately, recalling the fine art of Edith Wharton and Kate Chopin, but with a wholly original spin and keenness." Booklist
"Rich with pleasures from start to end..." Kirkus Reviews
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