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Clair de Lune: A Novel (P.S.) by Jetta…
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Clair de Lune: A Novel (P.S.) (edition 2012)

by Jetta Carleton

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4410262,368 (3.78)1 / 14
Member:sjmccreary
Title:Clair de Lune: A Novel (P.S.)
Authors:Jetta Carleton
Info:Harper Perennial (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, historical, Missouri, 1940's

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Clair de Lune by Jetta Carleton

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There are countless stories about male professors and young impressionable girls that fall for them. In this book it is the impressionable female teacher, who falls in with two of her male students. And then goes a step further and falls in love with one of them.

The feminism is striking on two levels. On the first level is the story of a bright young woman who pursued a career in education and suceeded, at a time when such an accomplishment was rare. On the second level is the young woman who loved innocently and realized how much her life was still curtailed by society.

The writing is beautiful, the characters enduring, and the journey worth taking. ( )
  Angelina-Justice | Feb 3, 2014 |
I loved this book almost as much as I loved the Moonflower Vine. I have to admit that the setting is almost exactly where I live and I can imagine the college as one of the state colleges near by. That in itself gives a comfortable feel about the book. However, that is where the comfort ends. The early 1940's are a long way from here. Allen, the protagonist, is such an innocent with big dreams it is almost hard to fathom that she is real, but she comes across as very real. In actuality, the 1940's aren't all that long ago, but what great strides our culture has made in the choices, hopes and dreams of women. Ok, there may be some backstepping for the choices of women today, but the restrictions that bright capable women lived under in those times is almost heartbreaking. Today's culture does provide some choices; the culture of a small college in rural America during that time provided only a very narrow track for women, and often it was other women who made that track so narrow.

The colleague who is marrying the "catch" of the town is especially interesting as is all the wedding preparation and the wedding itself. Carlson has great ability to put the reader right in the middle of the setting; one could almost hear the organ music and smell the flowers while sweat trickled down the back from heat. I do feel Carlson does a slightly better job in constructing her female characters than the "average" males. My only complaint might be that George and Toby, Allen's students and "soul mates" don't have the depth that most of the other characters do. Dr. Ansel, her colleague who lives with his mother, could come straight out of the Andy Griffin show. But, that does provide some comic relief in a sad way (if there is such a thing). In short, good story, believable characters, and a chance to walk in the shoes of a talented young woman who could be one of those women who helped pave the way for those of us that were able to appreciate more choices in our lives. ( )
  maryreinert | Aug 23, 2013 |
One-book-wonder Jetta Carleton was actually a two-book wonder, as it turns out. A draft manuscript for Clair de Lune (then called The Back Alleys of Spring), was discovered in the custody of an old friend of Carleton’s and published in 2012 by Harper Perennial after some “cleaning up.”

It’s a slighter work than The Moonflower Vine, but for me more enjoyable to read, simply because I identified with the main character, Allen, a community college instructor, and her desire to escape the small-minded philistines of rural America and pursue a life of learning and art. I liked how Carleton played with the teacher-student relationship and challenged the reader to defend traditional notions of propriety. (Carleton wrote two novels and both involve inappropriate student-teacher relationships…what’s that about?). As I said, I enjoyed it, but at the end of the day, my impression of the book was that it was a hair jejune, maybe a little self-serving, definitely of its time – not timeless. ( )
  CasualFriday | May 27, 2013 |
I thought Moonflower Vine (which I loved) was Jetta Carleton's only book so I was thrilled to find that a second book had recently been discovered. I enjoyed it and its look into the past but it wasn't nearly as well developed as her first one. ( )
  MelissaMcB | Aug 19, 2012 |
I really, really wanted to love this book instead of merely liking it. It is set in my neck of the woods of Southwest Missouri and is about a teacher in the 1940s. All pluses in my reading world that were offset by the three strikes against it: too sentimental, too dramatic, and a disappointing ending.

The moon cast its spell on the main character, Barbara Allen Liles, known by her middle name in honor of her deceased father. She was away from home for the first time and made some bad decisions. I wavered between forgiving her inappropriate behavior and wanting to shake some sense into her! Hope of redemption for the book came in the middle when her "lunacy" was overtaken by the growing awareness of World War II and the threat of American involvement. Too little, too late, however, to raise it out of its mediocrity.

In Ms. Carleton's defense, this manuscript (in draft form) was discovered after her death. She had been working on it for over twenty years. Perhaps it was unfair to publish a work in progress that had to be tweaked by an editor. It certainly didn't measure up to the excellence of The Moonflower Vine, which garnered a rare 5-star rating from me. ( )
  Donna828 | Jun 17, 2012 |
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Book description
The time: 1941, at the cusp of America's entry into World War II. The place: southwest Missouri, on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. A young single woman named Allen Liles has taken a job as a junior college teacher in a small town, although she dreams of living in New York City, of dancing at recitals, of absorbing the bohemian delights of the Village. Then she encounters two young men: George, a lanky, carefree spirit, and Toby, a dark-haired, searching soul with a wary look in his eyes. Soon the three strike up an after-school friendship, bantering and debating over letters, ethics, and philosophy—innocently at first, but soon in giddy flirtation—until Allen and one of the young men push things too far, and the quiet happiness she has struggled so hard to discover is thrown into jeopardy.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062089196, Paperback)

An unexpected treasure: A long-lost novel of innocence threatened, by the author of the beloved classic The Moonflower Vine

The time: 1941, at the cusp of America's entry into World War II. The place: southwest Missouri, on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. A young single woman named Allen Liles has taken a job as a junior college teacher in a small town, although she dreams of living in New York City, of dancing at recitals, of absorbing the bohemian delights of the Village. Then she encounters two young men: George, a lanky, carefree spirit, and Toby, a dark-haired, searching soul with a wary look in his eyes. Soon the three strike up an after-school friendship, bantering and debating over letters, ethics, and philosophy—innocently at first, but soon in giddy flirtation—until Allen and one of the young men push things too far, and the quiet happiness she has struggled so hard to discover is thrown into jeopardy.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"A novel of small-town love by Jetta Carleton, the author of the recently republished classic The Moonflower Vine"--

(summary from another edition)

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