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Preview — In The Beauty Of The Lilies by John Updike
In The Beauty Of The Lilies
The book's scope is grand. It follows in intricate detail the pulses and patterns of an entire family through four generations, giving us not just a powerful look at the evolution of the family, but of the country in which they live....more
One cannot speed-read Updike. Anyone who tells you they breezed through this book (or many of Updike's other books) in a few hours is lying through his teeth. His complex sentences outdo Faulkner and Hardy; a single sentence can espouse a soul-changing philosophy but in 200 or so words.
The book begins with Clarence Wilmot, a Presbyterian minister in 1910 New Jersey who becomes aware one afternoon that he is an atheist. His ethical sensibilities compel him to resign, though he has no other trade and his ineptit...more
wonderful writer, with keen powers of
perception and description. I have read most of
his novels, and a smattering of book reviews
and essays. When he died earlier this year I
re-read some of his earlier work (the Rabbit
series, the Bech series, the Maples stories),
but never this one.
But to get back to page 163: "The girl dressed
in a slightly off-key way...a little too
fancily for everyday some days, her hair done
up behind in an old-fashioned rib...more
With Updike's recent passing, I decided to tackle the lone remaining unread Updike book on my shelf (I've previously read the Rabbit books, Couples, Witches of Eastwick, Museums and Women, and Of the Farm.)
Lillies ranks near the bottom of these Updike books, but that's not to say it wasn't enjoyable.
The book traces four generations of the Wilmot family:
It begins with Clarence, a preacher who gives up his faith; moves on to his youngest son Teddy, who finds relative happiness living as a mailman
It had to be fictionalized to SEE what lack of faith does to people.
So even if he's doing great with his objective mental life, his subjective self is falling apart.
He doesn't notice this equation, as i didnt either...
By: Andrew C Bolender
In the Beauty of the Lilies
By John Updike
491 pp. New York
Alfred Knopf, Kindle Edition
“In the Beauty of the Lilies” Book Review: Decoding the Ambiguity
Throughout his novel, “In the Beauty of the Lilies,” John Updike encapsulates the senses with an exhaustive utilization of imagery. In many cases, the setting has so much concision in its definition, one might find their subconscious fully immersed in the description of these surroundings. Unafraid of draw...more
John Updike gets a real believable feel for the turn of the twentieth century all the way to the nineties of our generation. He even talks about the professors of Princeton Seminary like B.B. Warfield. (I think John Updike is the only literary writer I know who can talk about infralapsarianism and hyperlapsarianism in a...more
The first section of the book was very wordy and descriptive, so much so that I was not sure if I would even continue reading it. However, once the vantage point of the story changed to that of the son, I was suddenly intrigued and could not put th...more
I finished this book--very interesting portrayal of three generations of an American family--takes in a broad sweep of American history, from the silk weavers' strike in Paterson NJ before the WWI to a re-imagining of the Waco fundamentalist tragedy.
To be honest, Updike has never been my favorite fiction writer, but this is very good Updik...more
I love that Clarence sells encylcopedias for a time. I still recall our set, including the dark wood bookcase, i...more