YEARS ARE FOR THE LIVING by Margaret Banister


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A seemingly endless, placid account of events in the life of a quiet little woman who lived out er one hundred years in a Virginia town. The old house in which Janie Meade Darby was born, lived with her family, gave birth to her children, grieved and rejoiced had seen six generations. There had been deaths -- from that of General Meade, Janie's grandfather, whose bearing in death routed the Yankee invaders; the violent death of Avery, Janie's first husband and the peaceful death of Henry, the second, and the death of beloved daughter, Jane. Children were born -Janie's five, and the children's children. There were many departures -so long ago Emily, Janie's oldest sister, had left her grief-stricken parents to marry a Yankee; Janie's son Avery, happily entered the ministry; and daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters announced their intentions to marry. Throughout Janie remains a calm passive reactor with just a fashionable amount of will. Unfortunately no character breaks loose from the dogged density of domestic events -- no hearts are opened to reveal a grasp of realities. No lessons are learned and Janie reacts with the predictability of a ping pong paddle. There is certainly a market for this long, long, journey, however, for those who find surcease in the gentle family affairs seen in retrospect. A long plateau -- but peaceful.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1963
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin