A Dangerous Age
Ellen Gilchrist’s most recent novel follows three women from the Hand family, the Southern dynasty that has appeared in many of her previous works, as they live through and respond to 9/11 and the war in Iraq.
Each of the Hand cousins is confronted with tragedy and loss as the men they love go off to war. Through telephone, letters and e-mail, the cousins carry on conversations across thousands of miles that echo women’s voices from a front porch on a Southern evening, supporting each other with humor and common sense.
The novel reads like a collection of kindred stories, woven together by the spirit of the women in the face of sometimes overwhelming international events. The events are 21st century, but the women’s strength and sensibility is generations old:
“Olivia woke up and put her hand on Winifred’s head and began to pat her. ‘It’s okay,’ she said…”It’s a tragedy but you’ll live through it. Our ancestors lost their loved ones all the time and they pulled through. We just have to relearn how to do it.'”
A winner of the National Book Award for Victory Over Japan, Gilchrist is the author of more than 20 books, including novels, a memoir and collections of short stories and poetry.