Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - The Late Interiors

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review - The Late Interiors

About the Book
Do we ever really finish growing up? Is there ever a point where we sit back and let life run its course, having passed all of the speed bumps and evaded all of the potholes that cause us to stop, slow down, or change courses? Are we ever truly home?

In honest, funny, and beautiful language, critically-acclaimed author Marjorie Sandor addresses these universal questions in an intimate, approachable memoir. The Late Interiors: A Life Under Construction explores the pleasures and perils of discovering a new, fragile, domestic paradise in middle age, among intimations of mortality – both in the family and in the neighborhood.

Making a new life together, the author and her beloved buy an old house on the border between the large university which employs them both, and a small, urban student “wilderness.” Sandor’s young daughter, Hannah, divides her time between her father and her mother’s new home.  Almost immediately, Sandor’s partner, Tracy, undergoes very sudden heart surgery, which he survives, but as they marvel at the fragility of their new life together, they discover that a developer plans to build a multi-story student apartment complex just behind their small, nascent back garden, where a cluster of Arts and Crafts cottages stands. The development threatens the newfound haven Marjorie and Tracy had hoped to make for themselves and Hannah.

The Late Interiors tells the story of five seasons of change and renewal in a woman’s life, braiding entries from a garden journal with lyric meditations and full-blown essays on our eternal – and contradictory – hunger for adventure and refuge. Making life in art, finding domestic harmony in a new partnership, discovering how a neighborhood comes together to take on seemingly unbeatable developers, and how to move forward through hardship and fear to embrace life in its fullest are the enduring themes of this witty, beautifully crafted, and thought-provoking novel.

Sandor uses the evolution of her budding garden as her narrative base for weaving together stories of making new life, struggling with the loss of loved ones, battling change, and defining her home. Her story is skillfully written and passionately told. Her work contains personal truths that will make readers both laugh and cry out loud in recognition.

About the Author:
Marjorie Sandor is the author of four books, including Portrait of my Mother, Who Posed Nude in Wartime: Stories (Sarabande Books), 2004 winner of the National Jewish Book Award in Fiction, and the forthcoming memoir. Her earlier book of essays, The Night Gardener: A Search for Home (The Lyons Press), won the 2000 Oregon Book Award for Literary Nonfiction. Her work has twice appeared in Best American Short Stories, as well as in The Pushcart Prize and other anthologies. Recent magazine publications include stories and essays in The Georgia Review, TriQuarterly, AGNI and The Hopkins Review. She teaches in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Oregon State University in Corvallis. 

My Take on the Book  
This book was well written and I was completely impressed with the style of writing of the author. She tends to have a way with words that draws the reader into the story itself. She also has a way of getting the reader to see the events unfolding in the book in living color and as a reader you are drawn in waiting for the next story to unfold on pins and needles. 

This story, though more geared toward the female audience was very well written and is full of many honest revelations about life and the world around us. The author in this book has weaved a beautiful tapestry of characters as well as plot that sustains the reader and encourages them on from the beginning to the end of the book. You will not want to put this book down!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.
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