I am not a participant in Oprah's Book Club, so it was with reticence that I picked up Vinegar Hill. But as I am moving through my bookshelf, authors A-Z (because I just cannot decide what to read next and I hate that limbo feeling...), I fall upon this novel.
So why do I even own it if I am unsure? Who can pass up a ten cent book at a yard sale?
I love stories that are realistic. I love settings of cold, wintry weather. I love the investigation into the emotional landscapes of two individuals within their relationship. And I love when the hero/ine is neither a hero, nor a saint.
Ellen Grier moves with her unemployed husband and children into her in-laws home - rigid and bitter living, laced with judgment and hypocrisy. As the story unfolds, layers of their lives are revealed. And while we are afforded the opportunity for compassion and understanding, we find that how we respond to the events of the tale will shock us.
This is the tale of spirit and self-awareness. Amid poetic sentences, we find someone we know and sit with them for the duration. We grow from our time spent on Vinegar Hill.
I would gladly begin another book by Ms. Ansay.
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