Synopses & Reviews
So begins May Sarton's short, swift blow of a novel, about the powerlessness of the old and the rage it can bring. tells the story of Caroline Spencer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher, mentally strong but physically frail, who has been moved by relatives into a "home." Subjected to subtle humiliations and petty cruelties, sustained for too short a time by the love of another person, she fights back with all she has, and in a powerful climax wins a terrible victory.
"A masterly portrait of a woman's lonliness, helplessness and dispair."
"An important, brilliant novel, dealing with the problem we'd all rather close our eyes to. As I read, I shared the anger and the righteous indignation which I felt behind every line. But more than this, the anger and indignation are recontained by compassion, compassion which purges and redeems." Madeleine L'Engle
"May Sarton has never been better than she is in this beautiful, harrowing novel about being old, unwanted, yet refusing to give up....The problems of old age have been detailed by sociologists but only a novel as searching and deeply felt as this one can bring them so close to the bone." Margaret Manning, Boston Globe
A novel in the form of a diary, this story tells of Caroline Spencer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher who has suffered a heart attack and been deposited by relatives in an old people's home. Subjected to subtle humiliations and petty cruelties, she fights back with all she has, and in a powerful climax wins a terrible victory.
"I am not mad, only old. . . . I am in a concentration camp for the old."
About the Author
May Sarton (1912-1995) was an acclaimed poet, novelist, and memoirist.