A Circle Around Her
As Mary Lanaghan approaches fifty years of age, her children have grown and moved away from the small town in northern Massachusetts where Mary relocated after her divorce. Her days are circumscribed by lake, woods, and sky, by pensive walks in the forest with her dog. Her closest friends are her near neighbors on the lake, two gay men who own the town diner and provide some much needed sparkle in this quiet town. "A Circle Around Her" is Jonathan Strong's warm, thoughtful novel about a long, fateful season that brings Mary together with an extended family of children, friends, and lovers.
"This is the entrancing story of a woman poised between the summer and the autumn of her life. Jonathan Strong makes us feel the cool breezes beneath the shortening days, and he shows us how time complicates and colors our desires. This is a heartening novel. In each bittersweet encounter, Mary Lanaghan and her loved ones learn what it means to let go without giving up."?Michael Downing
"With spare, fluid prose, Mr. Strong envelops his characters in a dreamy, womblike world, delineating in knowing and delicate detail all the bliss and blundering that are part of life and love."?"The New York Times Book Review," praise for "The Old World"
Jonathan Strong's first book was published to acclaim in 1969. To date he has published nine novels and short story collections, including "The Old World, Offspring, Secret Words, Companion Pieces," and "An Untold Tale," all available from Zoland Books. Jonathan Strong teaches writing at Tufts University, and lives on Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
An excerpt: A MAY MONDAY
When Mary Lanaghan's husband left her in 1985, she took her four children to thecountry-or so it seemed then-and found a house by a lake in the woods. She was unable to afford as much land about her as she would have liked, but for some years she and her two girls and two boys lived with the sounds of birds and at night only starlight. It was a refuge from the suburb where her neighbors had watched her marriage come apart. Her children went onto the regional high school which was a step down from their old school system, but Mary no longer cared what colleges they got into;