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The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel

The Solace of Leaving Early

by Haven Kimmel

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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I wasn't initially that keen to read this, I took it out from the library with a bunch of other books that I knew were going to be good so this one got read last by default. It was such a strange, beautiful book that has stayed with me for ages after finishing it. It has that distinctly American voice that seems to originate in the South and has an undeniable lyricism to it. The subtleties of emotions that exist between people are dealt with so well in this book.
  LindsayCal | Feb 15, 2016 |
An absolutely captivating story. Langston, the main character, is a fascinating character who awakens from her intellectual and emotional coma to become a beautiful (though still quirky) person right before our eyes. I adored the juxtaposition of the Midwestern setting and sensibilities with the theological and philosophical musings, all adroitly woven into the fabric of the story. It's funny, it's sweet and it's smart. ( )
  SonjaYoerg | Oct 1, 2014 |
An interesting first novel with beautiful prose of the consequences of grief and guilt. The main characters, Langston & Amos, are often exasperating, but ultimately likeable as the story slowly draws them out of themselves and their loneliness and forces them to face the world.
( )
  dgmillo | Jun 2, 2013 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Mar 31, 2013 |
Langston and Amos are not a likely couple. They are both intellectuals who look at one another with disgust. Each are living in a small Indiana town for very different reasons. Amos is the town’s minister. He is enamored to the quirkiness and the personalities of small town life. Langston has grown up in this little burg and happily left for academic life. But, her heart was broken and her spirit soon followed. She came crawling back to home with her pride dented and her intellect bruised. She views the world around her as filled with lower life forms. Into this tension two small girls come. They have moved in with their grandmother - Amos’s parishoner and Langston’s neighbor. A terrible tragedy has brought these sisters into Amos and Langston’s lives. Unwillingly they both begin to care about these two children.
I don’t want to give too much away - but I loved this story! The title comes from a moment between Langston and her older brother. His advice to Langston is to leave the drama early - before everything falls apart. This has been Langston’s life motto. Suddenly life has changed!

03/07 ( )
  kebets | Dec 30, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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Pulchritudo eorum confessio eorum: Their beauty is their testimony.
For my children, Katie and Obadiah:

First words
It wasn't given to Langston Braverman to know the moment she became a different person; she only knew later, looking back on the afternoon a simple storm arrived and stayed for days, the afternoon she first saw the children.
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This book is a joyous story about finding ones self through accepting the shortcoming of others.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007152531, Paperback)

A heart rending story of the lives of a few inhabitants of a small American town and the massive effect of one very violent death. Langston Braverman has just walked out on her PhD oral exams and returned home to Haddington, Indiana in a fragile emotional state. She retreats to her parents' attic, unsure what to do with the summer or the rest of her life, but with vague plans to write the great American novel. But it's hot, and she is distracted beyond capacity to think by the banality of this small-town home she has returned to, and plunged deep in the trauma of a self-imposed existential dilemma from which not even news of the death of her childhood best friend, Alice, can rouse her. A few houses down Plum Street, Amos Townsend, the local preacher, is suffering from a crippling crisis of faith, wondering how he can continue in the role of spiritual leader of this community. Traumatised by Alice's violent death, guilt-ridden over his inability to prevent it, he feels a responsibility for the welfare of Alice's two suddenly orphaned young girls, altered beyond recognition from the shock of having witnessed the bloody end to their parents' marriage. Langston's mother, meanwhile, has forced her into the role of carer, and the developing relationship between the damaged children, and these two slightly hopeless adults helps all four embark on a process of recovery and redemption that is heartbreakingly poignant and utterly convincing. 'The Solace of Leaving Early' is a remarkable novel - generous, warm-hearted, smart and ambitious. It is a novel of people and ideas, of family ties, and of how those ties endure for better or worse, of grief and love, of leaving home and returning, of the overwhelming secrets that rest quietly within us. It is so sweet and smart, it's a present.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:16 -0400)

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A poetic first novel that tells the story of two people, at odds with their small-town lives and with each other, who fall improbably in love.

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