A WALK IN THE SPRING RAIN by Rachel Maddux

A WALK IN THE SPRING RAIN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Like the darker folk songs, this is recollection in a minor key. Again, like a folk song, there is room for much speculation between the simply, directly stated lines. Libby Meredith, fifty years old, walks home from the market in a haze of rain and pain to the house in California where her only daughter lies dying. Mixed with this grief is her anguish over a never-to-be realized love. At fifty, in a rented retreat in West Virginia taken over for her (almost faceless here) professor husband's sabbatical year, Libby had fallen in love with Will Workman, the handyman. Libby, while vice-president of the League of Women Voters, is a biologically and spiritually unawakened girl. Will is a married, hag-ridden Lothario, older than Libby, attractive beyond belief, and he has never lost the full response and demand of boyhood. The post-post adolescent idyll started as flirtation, strengthened into total awareness and surged past Will's murder of his own son in defense of Libby. The cancer diagnosed in Libby's. daughter rescued or doomed her, but the Merediths left. Innocence and guilt, the sustained undercurrent of irony and the suspicion of retribution are distinct in what is actually a long short story as elemental as its title...or a folk song. A love story for older women.

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 1965
Publisher: Doubleday