STILLNESS by Nicholas Delbanco


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The final book of Delbanco's trilogy (Possession, Sherbrookes) about the odd-fated Vermont manorial family, the Sherbrookes. Maggie Sherbrooke, 55, the much younger wife and now widow of old Judah, is still living in the family mansion with grown son Ian and her two-year-old illegitimate daughter Jane. Maggie is losing hold of reason, though; and Ian, alarmed, has called for help from Jane's father and Maggie's ex-lover, Andrew Kincannon, a rich New York talent agent. Andrew drives north and fetches both Jane and Maggie back to the city with him, leaving Ian his strange relationship of faith with the mansion (now part of the National Preservation Trust and thus open to visitors once every two weeks) and the shaky Sherbrooke lineage. Like the previous installments, the story this time often seems to waver between soap-opera and heavily artful interior landscaping. And, though Delbanco's prose continues to become less mannered--here it is generally steady, sturdy, and sensitive--the narrative effects still seem skittery, more than a little half-hearted. Required reading, of course, for those who enjoyed the previous two volumes (and Delbanco does a firm job of closing out the trilogy for them), but the author seems understandably eager to wrap up and move on--perhaps to richer, livelier material.
Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1980
ISBN: 0688009786
Page count: 222pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1980


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NonfictionLASTINGNESS by Nicholas Delbanco
by Nicholas Delbanco
FictionSPRING AND FALL by Nicholas Delbanco
by Nicholas Delbanco