A sincere and compassionate novel about the complications of married life, and the love, loathing, pain, loyalty, disappointments and friendship that grow out of a marriage
Channel City, California, is a an average coastal town where everyone is doing their best to get by and be respectable, from the sun-grizzled fishermen on the wharf to the perfectly coifed society wives to the over-fed gophers who plague every middle-class garden. But in the hot summer of 1954, one unhappy man's extramarital affair turns the community on its head.
Hazel Anderson, a dental assistant, is a contentedly divorced forty-something whose ex-husband, George, runs the town's wharf bar. Hazel worries about George, who is smitten with a much younger woman, Ruby, who won't have anything to do with him, and Hazel thinks Ruby is hiding secrets of her own. The dentist Hazel assists, Gordon Foster, works hard to support his wife and three children in their middle-class lifestyle, but he can never satisfy his wife, Elaine, who has always resented being married to a dentist instead of a "real" doctor. All of these relationships become tangled when henpecked Gordon's romantic indiscretion comes to light.
Here, in this sweet, sad, and incisive literary novel, Margaret Millar accomplishes the same feat as she has with her award-winning crime fiction by offering readers a fascinating snapshot of life as it was, not life as we like to remember it having been.
About the author
Margaret Millar (1915-1994) was the author of 27 books and a masterful pioneer of psychological mysteries and thrillers. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, she spent most of her life in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband Ken Millar, better known under the nom de plume of Ross MacDonald. Her 1956 novel Beast in View won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. In 1965 Millar was the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year Award and in 1983 the Mystery Writers of America awarded her the Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement. Millar’s cutting wit and superb plotting have left her an enduring legacy as one of the most important crime writers of both her own and subsequent generations.
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