Home for the summer in Dunleith, Alabama, Rhoda Manning's life appears at ease. But the headstrong, passionate 19-year-old refuses to settle for a comfortable, conventional existence. Yearning for a life of profundity, adventure, and beauty, Rhoda breaks from the seemingly secure world of her family to recklessly follow her dreams—but not without tragic and disturbing consequences. A failed marriage, shady abortion, an impulsive decision to sneak into a midnight meeting of the Klan, dates with her shrink, a deluge of booze, and a bout of repentance all seem to vie as the means to Rhoda's own liberation. Gilchrist unflinchingly takes us through the turbulence of Rhoda's formative years, on an outrageous coming-of-age journey of a young white woman in the 1960's South—digging through the bone to reveal the chill of human experience.
"One of the lies we enjoy telling ourselves is that when we were young, we were crazy and wild. But hey, sensitive, too, and reflective, full of conscience, already evolving into the mature human beings we are now. Ellen Gilchrist`s novel, Net of Jewels, provides an uncomfortable reminder that, more likely, we were controlled by brute forces-our raw emotions and emerging libidos, our parents and our desperate need to fit in, whatever that meant where and when we grew up." —Chicago Tribune
"Ellen Gilchrist refracts life through a prism of precious gems, a net of jewels. Her fiction is always a kind of prose poem, a dance of seven veils. Like all of Gilchrist's work, her latest novel dazzles and pulsates, and even in the few passages of below-normal sheen, Net of Jewels still qualifies as an almost imperceptibly flawed diamond." —Los Angeles Times
In her ninth book, which begins in the mid-50's, Ellen Gilchrist tracks a 19-year-old who drinks too much, marries too young, and is bored by her own children. The plucky Rhoda Manning has appeared in many of Gilchrist's short stories; in Net of Jewels she positively struts. ...
She struggles to free herself from the constraints of upper-crust Southern society, yet insists on enjoying all its advantages. Interestingly, Gilchrist chooses not describe Rhoda's transformation into a ''better'' person ... ''If we could understand one thing entirely, we might understand it all.'' Rhoda philosophizes. ... An engaging novel [with] beauty and emotional horsepower. —Entertainment Weekly
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|Size: ||661 KB|
|Publisher: ||DCA, Inc.|
|Date published: || 2013|
|ISBN: ||9781940941165 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|