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The Grace That Keeps This Worldby Tom Bailey
Synopses & Reviews
On the edge of the Adirondack wilderness, survival is a way of life for the Hazen family. Gary Hazen is a respected forester and hunter, known for his good instincts and meticulous planning. He and his wife, Susan, have raised their sons to appreciate the satisfaction of this difficult but honest life. In spite of this, the boys, men now, are slipping away. His older son, Gary David, is secretly dating a woman of whom his father would not approve even as Kevin, the younger boy, struggles against the limits of his family’s hardscrabble lifestyle, wanting something more. On the first day of hunting season the Hazen men enter the woods, unaware that the trip they are embarking on will force them to come to terms with their differences and will forever change their lives.
In The Grace That Keeps This World, Tom Bailey gives us an emotional page-turner, infused with a deep sense of foreboding. Alternately narrated by the Hazens and their neighbors in Lost Lake, the story perfectly captures the enduring rhythms of life in a rural town.
The Grace That Keeps This World is an October, 2005 Book Sense pick.
From the Hardcover edition.
"This accomplished, moving first novel (after Bailey's collection Crow Man) is about fathers and sons, tough love and compassion, the bonds of community and the solace of belief. Gary and Susan Hazen are natives of Lost Lake, a hardscrabble town in the Adirondacks, high school sweethearts who have raised their two sons on the satisfaction of living off the land. At this suspenseful narrative's outset, Susan recollects a fateful day, the start of deer hunting season, hinting that some tragedy has struck her loving but combustible family. Gary is a highly principled and respected woodsman and hunter, but his self-righteousness brings him into conflict with his sons. Both young men have secrets that will strain the family fabric, and together father and sons weave a tangle of intention and circumstance that will culminate in an act that will test their power to survive. Alternately narrated by the Hazen family and members of the community, the novel sustains an elegiac tone even as events rise to a dramatic denouement. This novel has the validity of deeply felt truths and characters who are bound and motivated by a love that arches the chasm of divergent ambitions and desires. Agent, Jane Gelfman. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Living on the edge of the Adirondack wilderness with his wife, Susan, and two sons, Gary David and Kevin, Gary Hazen, a respected hunter and forester has raised survival to an artform, until a hunting trip into the woods transforms life forever for the three Hazen men. A first novel. 40,000 first printing.
About the Author
Tom Bailey is the author of Crow Man, a collection of short stories, and A Short Story Writer’s Companion, and the editor of On Writing Short Stories. He lives with his wife and three children in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the creative writing program at Susquehanna University. This is his first novel.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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