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Maytrees by Annie Dillard
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Maytrees (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Annie Dillard

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980448,777 (3.49)63
Member:davejohnson
Title:Maytrees
Authors:Annie Dillard
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Maytrees by Annie Dillard (2007)

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English (42)  Romanian (1)  French (1)  English (44)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Toby and Lou Maytree, meet, fall in love and marry, in post-war Cape Cod. The second half of the novel, shows them drifting apart. Much of Dillard's prose is lovely but the tone of the book feels cool and aloof. The characters are kept at a distance. Silhouettes. I wanted more depth and feeling. This may work better in poetry but I don't think it fits here, although other readers have praised this novel highly.
I loved Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, so I wonder if she writes better nonfiction. I did not dislike it. I just wanted more. ( )
  msf59 | Nov 6, 2016 |
This is a signed first edition
  Herbert66 | Sep 6, 2016 |
I found the style off-putting and it was just torture to read. I cared nothing about the characters and did not relate to any of them. I finished it only because it was a book club selection. There are a few memorable passages that show the author has talent (and earned her 1 star). But in general, I did notlike this book and do not recommend it. ( )
  BookConcierge | Mar 5, 2016 |
A short book but not a quick read. I had difficulty with Dillard's style of writing at times. Her reflections on love and relationships and how they can evolve and adapt through the course of a life are insightful. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Beautiful. Annie Dillard writes like no one else I know, except for maybe Marilynne Robinson. Her only weakness is that she only knows how to write one type of character (and the internal monologue of one type of character). :( ( )
  gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Annie Dillard has always been at her best when considering death; the contemplation of mortality gives her writing an extraordinarily fierce and burnished quality. Her central, crucial question remains that posed in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: "What was it, exactly - or even roughly - that we people are meant to be doing here? Or, how best to use one's short time?"
added by eereed | editThe Guardian, Olivia Laing (Dec 8, 2007)
 
Ultimately, their story wins out and there is not the faintest sound of a wheel squeaking. In two beautifully told death scenes, Dillard has managed to achieve what Chekhov did with death in “The Bishop.” He “takes the mystery out of dying, makes it almost an ordinary occurrence,” Foote wrote to Percy. “And in the course of doing it, makes dying more of a mystery than ever.” Now, after a lifetime of probing, pontificating, huffing and puffing, Dillard has accomplished the reader’s payoff she so relentlessly detailed almost 20 years ago in “The Writing Life.” She too has pressed upon us “the deepest mysteries.”
added by eereed | editNew York Times, Julia Reed (Jul 29, 2007)
 
You have to be wise to write in this kind of shorthand. You have to know something about what words can and cannot do. "Love so sprang at her," she writes of Lou, "she honestly thought no one had ever looked into it. Where was it in literature? Someone would have written something. She must not have recognized it. Time to read everything again." It takes depth and width of experience to write lean and still drag your readers under the surface of their own awareness to that place where it's all vaguely familiar and, yes, universal.
 
Annie Dillard's books are like comets, like celestial events that remind us that the reality we inhabit is itself a celestial event, the business of eons and galaxies, however persistently we mistake its local manifestations for mere dust, mere sea, mere self, mere thought. The beauty and obsession of her work are always the integration of being, at the grandest scales of our knowledge of it, with the intimate and momentary sense of life lived.

The Maytrees is about wonder -- in the terms of this novel, life's one truth. It is wonder indeed that is invoked here, vast and elusive and inexhaustible and intimate and timeless. There is a resolute this-worldliness that startles the reader again and again with recognition. How much we overlook! What a world this is, after all, and how profound on its own terms.
 
For Dillard, a sense of exile seems always to accompany intimations of the holy, leaving her to ask, in many different ways, how time can be redeemed or restored, how the broken can be made whole.
 
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For C. R. Clevidence
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The Maytrees were young long ago.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061239534, Hardcover)

Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems.

In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. When their son Petie appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. But years later it is Deary who causes the town to talk.

In this moving novel, Dillard intimately depicts willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love. She presents nature's vastness and nearness. Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Dillard's original body of work.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems. Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. Lou takes up painting. When their son Pete appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. These people are all loving, and ironic. As Dillard intimately depicts nature's vastness and nearness, she presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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