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Preview: Comments on Shelf Life: Fair and Tender Ladies, by Lee Smith--a review

Comments on Shelf Life: Fair and Tender Ladies, by Lee Smith--a review





Updated: 2017-06-03T22:09:45.558-07:00

 



I finished this book about 10 minutes ago, and was...

2013-05-12T13:06:21.848-07:00

I finished this book about 10 minutes ago, and was left awestruck at the end. Speachless. Staring at the sky. Then out of nowhere I burst into tears, merely because I was going to miss reading about Ivy's life. And that final line is still ringing through my head, "I walked in my body like a qQueen." Being 18 years old and finishing up high school in three days, I began taking note of how we (meaning people my age), don't really thank God enough for our youth, our beauty, and our intelligence. Simple, but beautiful.

Another reason the book captivated me is because I happen to live in the Appalachians. (This place is so beautiful).



what a excellent book review, my son readed some t...

2011-05-23T11:09:13.914-07:00

what a excellent book review, my son readed some time ago, and he told me that he really love the plot and the characters.



I just posted a blog on this novel at literatimom....

2010-06-22T07:18:31.949-07:00

I just posted a blog on this novel at literatimom.blogspot.com. I used a quote from your analysis of Joli! I'm most interested in the ways that Ivy's sexual transgressions are accepted and incorporated into her family life.



I just finished reading this for school. I'm a fr...

2009-02-08T11:01:00.000-08:00

I just finished reading this for school. I'm a freshman at a Catholic high school and my entire class had to read it. I liked it enough, and actually read the whole book, but the majority of the lower classes (essential) despised it. I've no idea why, though, and try to understand. I think there were a few too many characters, but other than that, I was pleased!



lotus--I am fascinated when writers play with form...

2007-07-01T12:51:00.000-07:00

lotus--I am fascinated when writers play with form, too. This is a very nice epistolary novel if you're looking for one. And I also was impressed with David Mitchell's experiments with form in Cloud Atlas. I've heard that Lee Smith's new novel, On Agate Hill, also uses letters and other documents to tell its story, but one of the people who commented above (katie) said it isn't as charming as this one!



A lovely review, gentle reader! I must confess I ...

2007-07-01T03:52:00.000-07:00

A lovely review, gentle reader! I must confess I haven't read too many epistolary novels, so I might give this a whirl just because I am fascinated at how different authors will use letters or documents, and nowadays, even blog entries, to write a novel. Infact, there have been times when I thought I should write a book review in the form of a letter or a couple of letters...I did do it one time, but I wasn't as successful as I would have liked.

Another confession...I haven't read too many southern novels, and from how you describe it (a sense of place etc) this does look like a good one to try.

Thanks very much, I really enjoyed your review!



katie--I'm glad you found me! I felt the same way...

2007-06-30T08:22:00.000-07:00

katie--I'm glad you found me! I felt the same way--Ivy just grabbed me and didn't let go. I was really hesitant when I first saw this was a novel in letters, but it's a testament to Smith's skill that it never bothered me once I started reading.

Thanks for stopping by!



I found your site through BookGirl's Nightstand, a...

2007-06-30T08:07:00.000-07:00

I found your site through BookGirl's Nightstand, and then I see your review on THIS book! It's one of my favorite books, and I'm always so glad to hear of someone else who has read it. Ivy is such an endearing character, despite her mistakes, and you finish the book feeling like you have come to know a new close friend. The setting is such a powerful force as well, and Smith manages to just naturally unfold the events of teh story through all of the letters. Love it.

I've read On Agate Hill as well, and it's a good read, but it lacks the power and charm of Fair and Tender Ladies. So glad you gave it a try!



dewey--I know, I like john for that too. Maybe yo...

2007-06-27T19:38:00.000-07:00

dewey--I know, I like john for that too. Maybe you can recommend a good epistolary novel for him, since I can't come up with anything much to really recommend...



I have to try this one! I love epistolary novels, ...

2007-06-27T18:09:00.000-07:00

I have to try this one! I love epistolary novels, in spite of also noticing what you mentioned, that it can seem forced at times.

P.S. I like John Mutford even more now because he can admit when he doesn't know something. I love that quality in a person. :)



john--just thought of something--I've never read i...

2007-06-27T15:10:00.000-07:00

john--just thought of something--I've never read it, but many people love Les Liaisons dangereuses, by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos--it's an epistolary novel that was made into the movies Dangerous Liaisons, and also Valmont. It's often held up as an example of the epistolary style, for what that's worth...



kelly--I do think it's worth a try, though I under...

2007-06-27T15:08:00.000-07:00

kelly--I do think it's worth a try, though I understand not loving the epistolary style. This transcended the style, for me, so I'd be interested to see if it holds up for others...let me know if you read it!



I really appreciated this review, Gentlereader. M...

2007-06-27T09:39:00.000-07:00

I really appreciated this review, Gentlereader. My mother has read everything by Lee Smith and gave me this book several years ago. I have never been drawn to it precisely because of its epistolary style. I am intrigued, though, by the centrality of storytelling that you mention. Sounds like it's worth a try.



litlove--Smith is one of those regional writers th...

2007-06-27T09:38:00.000-07:00

litlove--Smith is one of those regional writers that I had heard about when people talked about Southern literature, but I had never read til now. Glad I did!

john--this is a good one, and her new novel, On Agate Hill, is supposed to be similar. There are probably more epic, or more classic epistolary novels to start with, though--I'll think on it and see if I can recommend something!



I have to admit, I had to look up "epistolary nove...

2007-06-27T05:37:00.000-07:00

I have to admit, I had to look up "epistolary novel". I've never read one of these before. Is this a good book to start with?



What a lovely review! I had never even heard of th...

2007-06-27T00:08:00.000-07:00

What a lovely review! I had never even heard of this writer before, but I shall certainly be looking out for her work now. Thank you so much for this!