Mason's Retreat

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Random House Incorporated, 1996 - Fiction - 290 pages
23 Reviews
Unfolding with the grandeur and suspenseful inevitability of real life, Mason's Retreat tells the story of a family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland on the eve of World War II. After many years of extravagant expatriate living in England, Edward and Edith Mason and their sons, Sebastien and Simon, sail to America to take up residence at the Retreat, the crumbling Mason family estate on the Chesapeake Bay. A man of large appetite and grand illusion, Edward Mason is determined to make a go of it as a gentleman farmer, even though events always seem to conspire against him. Edith and their two sons begin to flourish in America, tasting for the first time the happiness that comes from a sense of freedom and belonging. Yet the family's drift toward destruction inexorably quickens, exposing at the heart of this remarkable novel the powerful interconnections between character, history, and fate; the isolation of class and race; and the corrosive effect of secrets within a family.

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Review: Mason's Retreat: A Novel

User Review  - Janet E. - Goodreads

This was based on the history of a dysfunctional plantation family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The writing is enjoyable as are most of the characters. Edward Mason. the head of the family ... Read full review

Review: Mason's Retreat: A Novel

User Review  - Lauren - Goodreads

It took me a while to get into this but once I hit page 50 (which is usually my make it or break it point), I was very intrigued by the story of an American family returning from England in the 1930s ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
28
Section 3
52
Copyright

10 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

Family Voices

"The Retreat," says Christopher Tilghman, "is modeled after my family's farm in Maryland. Tilghmans were all over the Eastern Shore in the 17th and 18th centuries, for the most part enriching themselves at the expense of others. They were prominent in the Revolutionary War mostly because they were tired of sharing their abundance with the king. Since then they have steadily declined, but the farm through certain miracles and detours has remained in the family."

Tilghman, who now lives with his wife and three sons in rural Massachusetts, began writing after graduating from Yale and serving briefly in the Navy. When publishing success at first eluded him, he earned a living at a sawmill in New Hampshire, and built a post-and-beam house with hand tools on a hilltop in Ver

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