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Fair and Tender Ladies (Ballantine Reader's Circle)by Lee Smith
Synopses & Reviews
The story of Ivy Rowe, spanning almost a century in the Virginia backwoods, is told completely through the letters that Ivy never stops writing over the course of her long and varied life. A remarkable portrait of a time, a place, and a person.
"This is about a moving a work of literature as has ever been written." Annie Dillard
"In the old tradition of oral storytelling, Smith has fashioned a dramatic, magical, poignantly true-to-life tale." Publishers Weekly
"Ivy writes with a verve and immediacy which prove that her creator, Lee Smith, is a storyteller supreme." School Library Journal
"This haunting epistolary novel captures the heartbreaking beauty of Appalachia through the voice of an engaging narrator....[Fair and Tender Ladies is] Smith's best work yet; highly recommended." Library Journal
"A TOUR DE FORCE"
- Los Angeles Times
"The story of Ivy Rowe, born near the turn of the century in the Virginia Mountain enclave of Sugar Fork, is told completely through letters that Ivy is forever writing family and friends...Lee Smith exhibits her own understanding and affection for the traditions of the Appalachians. She is at home with the down-home speech and ways of her characters. They come vividly to life, and none more so than Ivy, whose voice and heart and humor sustain Fair and Tender Ladies."
- Philadelphia Inquirer
"Because of Ivy's narrative ability and her zest for living, Fair and Tender Ladies opens for us like a flower with a gloriously unexpected center. There are unforgettable characters...Few readers will be dry-eyed as they watch this extraordinary woman disappear around that last bend in the road."
"These beautiful letters...display Ivy's soul up close, the way a just-caught firefly illuminates a jar. So real does she become that it is hard to believe that Ivy did not actually live to write her letters."
"This is about a moving a work of literature as has ever been written." ANNIE DILLARD
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