“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”
Although I’ve continued to write reviews on Goodreads, I’ve gotten away from sharing book titles here on the blog. It’s taken time to adapt to the new world order: reviews as marketing rather than as an analysis of the the pluses and negatives of a particular work. But next to writing itself, reading is the most important path to developing as a writer, and I’ve missed discussing books with y’all. In the coming months, I will occasionally be sharing some of my favorite reads. I hope you will share your favorites with me in return.
FAITHFUL ARE THE WOUNDS by May Sarton
PROVERBS 27:6: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
Initially published in 1955, inspired by the suicide of Harvard educator F.O. Matthiessen during the McCarthy era, FAITHFUL ARE THE WOUNDS was released in digital format for the first time this month.
The story deals with the suicide of brilliant arch-liberal Harvard professor, Edward Cavan, and the impact of his death on those around him. Through the eyes of family, friends, and colleagues, we get to know Cavan, a man of unwavering principle destroyed by his own uncompromising idealism.
Given the academic setting and period—the ascent of the post-war red scare—I was concerned the novel would prove overly political for my taste. While it is unabashadly political, Sarton is too fine a writer to lecture. Instead the politics coalesce in her beautifully drawn characters and play out in their complex relationships.
In Conversations with May Sarton, she explains she wrote FAITHFUL ARE THE WOUNDS to answer the question, “How can a man be wrong and right at the same time?” Edward Cavan is that man, and this book is Sarton’s gripping answer.
Not a light read, but engrossing and thought-provoking. A brief glimpse into academia and America’s post-war political milieu couched in powerful, elegant writing. Highly recommended.
Thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Media
for the opportunity to read and review this title.
WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS MONTH?