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The open door by Elizabeth Maguire

The open door (2008)

by Elizabeth Maguire

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I was pleasantly surprised though there is a lack of subtlty where you really want it and I found the ending most unfortunate. Toibin handled the ambivilence much better in The Master.

Still, very interesting to learn more about Woolson and all plausible enough. I liked how Henry and Alice co-conspired to make Constance a Jamesian heroine - all disappointment and unrequited love. They really were a self-centered bunch.
( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I learned that I don't really like books about historical authors, I just like books by them. ( )
  cat-ballou | Apr 2, 2013 |
A slim, engaging novel about real people -- primarily Constance Fenimore Woolson, who has gone down in history as a minor writer who pursued Henry James. According to this book, she was a lot more and I'd like to believe this version, if only because she seems like a remarkable, determined and admirable woman. It was especially interesting to read this fairly soon after reading "The Five of Hearts" by Patricia O'Toole, which includes several of the same people, especially Clarence King.
It may or may not be relevant, but the novel does deal with the main character's awareness of and acceptance of mortality -- and the author reportedly completed it just before she died of ovarian cancer at a way-too-young age. ( )
  keywestnan | Sep 10, 2008 |
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Henry is somewhere on the continent flirting with Constance.

-Alice James to William James
November 4, 1888
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After the death of her mother, Constance Fenimore Woolson leaves the United States for Europe in pursuit of Henry James, not because she's in love with him, but because she's transfixed by his writing. And while he does eventually give Constance his attention, it's not without a price.… (more)

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