A Century of November
2004 Michigan Literary Fiction Award Winner
W. D. Wetherell
University of Michigan Press
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". . . the tale of a parent?s struggle to find a reason to go on in the wake of war and death."
"Marden?s journey to face the specter of death becomes a race against time to save the future."
Spring was full of promise with apple trees bowed beneath a wealth of blossoms, but November brought a miasma of death that coated the ripening apples with blight, a precursor to death that stalked the world and silenced a generation’s expectations of hope.
Charles Marden has just lost his wife to the Spanish Influenza in 1917 when he receives word his son, Billy, was killed in Gheluvelt in Belgium. Stunned in the wake of the destruction of his family and the devastation of a promising apple harvest, Marden decides to see the place where his son was killed. He needs to stand where his son died so he will know life is futile and to expect nothing but pain and loss. A few miles from Billy’s regimental headquarters in England Marden discovers his son knew love before he died. Marden’s journey to face the specter of death becomes a race against time to save the future.
A Century of November is the tale of a parent’s struggle to find a reason to go on in the wake of war and death. It is a silent and solitary journey through the human heart. W. D. Wetherell portrays Marden’s stolid struggle with dignity and a dark poetry that glimmers with quiet love and lingers in the memory and the heart long after the last words have been read.
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