Synopses & Reviews
Harriet Scott Chessman's Ohio Angels
, the book she wrote before her bestselling and critically acclaimed Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper
, is an intimate and a lyrical story about friendship and family struggles. Hallie, a painter who now lives in Brooklyn, returns to her family home in Ohio, where she unearths a secret about her parents. Her discovery sheds light on her mother's depression, which shadowed her own childhood, and helps her understand her own inability to have children. In her hometown, Hallie reconnects with a beloved childhood friend, Rose, who is now a writer and pregnant with her third child.
Chessman beautifully evokes the childhood memories of the two friends, illuminating their very different lives. As in Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper, Chessman's compassionate and perceptive gaze reveals an entire new world for us one that is subtle, alive, and deeply honest.
"Chessman is adept at setting a mood, but she too often allows her lyricism to lapse into preciousness." Publishers Weekly
"Chessman captures the inner workings of the mind and the processes by which decisions are made. Her prose...is thoughtful, and her characters are beautifully constructed." Library Journal
"Chessman's language flows like a summer river, slow moving and poetic." Booklist
In this arresting first novel, Harriet Scott Chessman creates a luminous and sometimes disturbing world out of an Ohio landscape of mulberry trees and mowed lawns. The result is a moving portrait of the intricacies of marriage and friendship, and of the surprising possibilities for compassion and renewal.
About the Author
Harriet Scott Chessman teaches writing at Yale University and is on the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. She has written a book on Gertrude Stein, The Public is Invited to Dance, as well as essays on modern literature. Chessman lives with her family in Connecticut.