Nancy (NE)'s Reviews > Angle of Repose

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
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Jan 03, 12

bookshelves: fiction, favorites
Read from November 21, 2011 to January 03, 2012

Pulitzer winner in 1972 and in the top 100 English language novels of the 20th century - this book uses the letters of Mary Hallock Foote to create the character of Susan Burling Ward. She was a writer and illustrator at the turn of the century. Born in the East and spending most of her adult life in the West. She followed her engineer husband to Colorado, Mexico, Idaho and eventually California, on his mining and hydrology jobs. Her personal struggles reveal a woman torn in her love for her husband and the turmoil his personality and lifestyle bring to her sense of identity. Susan forfeits her own dreams and ambitions to the travels of a good but unassertive husband. For better or for worse? The consequences of our choices are often profound. Stegner uses Foote's correspondense to shape his story. The fictional grandson is supposedly researching his grandparents past. All the while his own personal life is mirroring some of the same issues of loss of identity, loyalty and fidelity (physical and/or spiritual) in a marriage.

There has been controversy surrounding this book and the use of Footes material. Stegner did receive permission from the family. Although according to one source I read, there were still some objections from other relatives to the finished product.
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