THE PLACE HE MADE by Edie Clark

THE PLACE HE MADE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A sweet and gentle recounting of a love affair that ended in the death from cancer of the author's husband when he was only 40 years old. A writer for Yankee Magazine, Clark was married to another man when she first met Paul Bolton. In the small New England town where she lived, Paul was considered strange. Withdrawn, sometimes brooding, he lived with his father and worked as a carpenter. When Paul went to work for Clark's husband Michael renovating houses, Edie saw him every day, and as months passed, they came to love each other. Still married, she took Paul on his first train trip, to New York for the day, and later helped him through a frightening summer when he suffered an episode of schizophrenia. Paul, Edie, and Michael worked on renovating a house where she would eventually live with Paul. They married in the fall of 1984. Paul went on his own as a carpenter; she moved her desk and typewriter into the building that was his workshop. They gardened, went to church, rowed on the lakes, made love, and discovered that Paul had cancer. Years of painful treatment followed, but none staved off the spread of the tumors. Sometime after the first surgery Edie also developed cancer. She recovered; Paul did not. Less than five years after they were married, he died at home, wired to tubes, but brave, dignified, and loving. The potential for melodrama here is great--an abusive first husband, adultery, divorce, medical missteps. But true to the New England tradition of reticence, Clark avoids that temptation. Her memory refreshed by journals she kept, she uses layers of detail to give immediacy and weight to such everyday events as planting a garden, singing a hymn...or waiting for surgery to end. A graceful tribute to a brief but intense relationship that can only be summed up as true love. (First printing of 40,000; first serial to Yankee Magazine; author tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-679-43875-0
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1995