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A Woman of Means: A Novel
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A Woman of Means: A Novel

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Gerald Dudley is an executive at a hardware company in St. Louis, living the quintessential bachelor life with his young son, Quint. He is also a man who aspires beyond his means and class. When Gerald meets the wealthy divorcée Ann Lauterbach and the two marry, life changes irrevocably for Quint. He enters a social world of private schools and debutante balls known to him ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 15th 1996 by Picador (first published 1950)
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Jun 03, 2011 Lobstergirl rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Jonathan Yardley
Shelves: fiction
Sometimes you read a 19th century novel and it feels wonderfully current, relevant, and real. Other times you read something published in 1950 and it might as well have taken place on Uranus, its situations and language are so remote from 21st century experience. That was the case with this novella, which came highly recommended by Jonathan Yardley. For me it had small echoes of other works, such as The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen (an excellent book), and A Separate Peace, works dealin ...more
Jo Ann Hall
This sad, sensitive novella set in 1950s St. Louis is the story of a young man's coming of age and simultaneous break-up of the marriage of his father and his wealthy step-mother. There are potent reminders that all children, even those who are considered adults, must be loved for themselves and not for what they possess or represent for others.
Matt Simmons
Taylor's apprenticeship novel shows, in distilled form, all of the various themes and subjects he'll explore throughout his entire career. In that, it's interesting as a literary artifact. But as a evocation of a time, a place, a class, and the instability of all of those, as a story of growing up and seeing how fragile, frightened, and even petty your parents are, as a meditation on home and what it is and how it's made and how the myths of our own pasts help us to figure out what home is, and ...more
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An early novella by Taylor (1950), better known for his short stories. Set in 1920's St Louis, the climatic event is very 1950's - in fact it is very 19th C in its view of the fragile, "nervous" wealthy female. I love short works, but this could have used some filling out, it felt like some events were just dropped without the further development they could have used. What I like most about the work, and a signature point of Taylor's style, is the leisurely 1st person narrative which only shares ...more
Christian Kiefer
Recommended to me by Richard Ford. Taylor's first novel is a masterpiece of compression and character development and reminds me at times of Joyce's Dubliners in its build to a psychologically penetrating climax. So fine.
Vicki Luschek
A small, early book by Taylor. Good writing but story is a bit lame. About a young boy and widower father who marries a divorcee with 2 daughters and the inner action that takes place. Set in the 1930s.
Courtney Stirrat
I lost this for awhile under my bed and did not realize that my cat had taken it hostage! Thus far, the writing is good and the young man in the book lives several blocks away from where I live.
Heather Hunt
I recently discovered this author. This is the second book I've enjoyed reading by him. They are short stories about families in the midwest during the early 20th century.
Angela Gill
I really like Peter Taylor, but wasn't thrilled with this small novel. It was a big disappointmnet after Peter's reputation.
This book just did not interest me. I will try some of his other set-in-the-south books. This was not one of them.

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Peter Matthew Hillsman Taylor was a U.S. author and writer. Considered to be one of the finest American short story writers, Taylor's fictional milieu is the urban South. His characters, usually middle or upper class people, often are living in a time of change and struggle to discover and define their roles in society.
Peter Taylor also wrote three novels, including A Summons to Memphis in 1986, f
More about Peter Taylor...
A Summons to Memphis The Old Forest and Other Stories The Collected Stories of Peter Taylor In the Tennessee Country: A Novel In the Miro District and Other Stories

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