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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Fair and Tender Ladies


Fair and Tender Ladies Cover

ISBN13: 9780345362087
ISBN10: 034536208x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"A tour de force."


Ivy Rowe may not have much education, but her thoughts are classic, and her experiences are fascinating. Born near the turn of the century in the Virginia Mountains, Ivy's story is told completely through letters she is forever writing, and that you will forever want to read....

"Few readers will be dry-eyed as they watch this extraordinary woman disappear around that last bend in the road."



Returning to Appalachia, Lee Smith, author of Oral History, creates an unforgettable heroine: Ivy Rowe. From girlhood to old age, Ivy nourishes her family with her passion, imagination, and strength.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Mentalfloss1, July 28, 2008 (view all comments by Mentalfloss1)
This is the life story of Ivy Rowe, a woman of Appalachia, and the story of those around her, and it's told entirely in the form of letters written and received. We can see right away that Ivy is intelligent, empathetic and uneducated then over the years we see her learning more and more, both from life and from the letters she writes and receives.

I very much enjoy Lee Smith, and to me this is her best book.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
lovingreader, January 11, 2007 (view all comments by lovingreader)
I've read this book at least four times since it came out when my children were little babies. Now my daughters are old enough that they love it too. You know when an actress plays a part so convincingly that you use the character's name instead of the actress' name when you discuss the movie? In that same way Ivy Rowe, the main character, is incredibly real to me. She has been my companion as I've learned to be a grown-up. I love her endurance and humor and her pleasure in life. She describes music in a way that makes me hear it. Sometimes her felicity of description brings tears to my eyes. There are other books by Lee Smith that I've enjoyed, while some seem a bit shallow, but Fair and Tender Ladies is one of my top 10.
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Product Details

Smith, Lee
Ballantine Books
New York :
Virginia Fiction.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
no. 97-178
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
6.85x4.17x.91 in. .36 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Fair and Tender Ladies Used Mass Market
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Product details 336 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345362087 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Returning to Appalachia, Lee Smith, author of Oral History, creates an unforgettable heroine: Ivy Rowe. From girlhood to old age, Ivy nourishes her family with her passion, imagination, and strength.
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