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Matters of Chance: A Novel by Jeanette Haien

Matters of Chance: A Novel (1997)

by Jeanette Haien

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A compelling, old fashioned, narrative novel rich in detail which stretches from the late 30s to 1960.The characters are complex and richly drawn, albeit a bit too manipulated in certain contexts. The author's language is a definite plus, setting a charming rhythm; when necessary, she simply invents words. Love is a dominant element: between husband and wife, between good friends, between parents and children. The only quibble concerns a stream in culture in which it is the wealthy who command such detailed attention. The decisions the characters come to, the purchases they so blithely make, the choices they have, the sense of a deep, strong, wide foundation permeates the work. Most people do not enjoy such freedom from want: should I purchase this mansion or that, should I send my daughters to Bryn Mawr or Smith (certainly without the unseemly concept of financial aid!). I'll go on Cunard, I'll live on Fifth Avenue and 73rd Street, I'll make sure my daughters approve of the cook I hire; we should all have such good fortune. Which is not to say that the characters are immune from the same fates as those with less resources. All in all, a fine read. ( )
  neddludd | Feb 17, 2011 |
This is a well-written novel that describes WWII and its aftermath for one couple in Ohio who adopt twin girls shortly before Morgan, the husband, leaves to serve in the military. Jeannette Haien fully develops the main characters so their strengths and weaknesses are clearly perceived by the reader. They endure challenges, joy and sorrow, which we share because we know them well by the book's conclusion. The style is reminiscent of the courtly prose of Reynolds Price, and resonates with qualities of honor, empathy and character. ( )
  pdebolt | Sep 19, 2008 |
1920-50's love story, Maud & Sylvia; twin adoption

2.98 ( )
  aletheia21 | Feb 16, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060929529, Paperback)

Matters of Chance is a glorious, aptivating novel about Morgan and Maude Shurtliff, who fall in love and marry in the years before World War II. Unable to have children of their own, Morgan and Maude adopt twin girls. The four go home to their beautiful house in the country outside of New York City and begin to settle into what they hope will be a long and happy life. When the twins are still young, Morgan is called to serve in World War II, leaving Maude to raise her daughters alone. Jeannette Haien has rendered Morgan's war experiences with astonishing detail, just as she has captured the American post-war era with a precision that is unrivaled in recent fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:05 -0400)

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