On Sale: May 2, 2017
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Fiction | Literature and Fiction Literary
The sweeping, intergenerational story of a Vermont
family, from WWII to the dawning of the '60s--the most
magisterial and moving novel of acclaimed author Jeffrey
Katey Snow, seventeen, slips the pickup into neutral and
rolls silently out of the driveway of her Vermont home, her
parents, Oliver and Ruth, still asleep. She isn't so much
running away as on a journey of discovery. She carries with
her a packet of letters addressed to her mother from an old
army buddy of her father's. She has only recently been told
that Oliver, who she adores more than anyone, isn't her
biological father. She hopes the letter's sender will have
answers to her many questions.
Before We Sleep moves gracefully between Katey's
perspective on the road and her mother, Ruth's. Through
Ruth's recollections, we learn of her courtship with Oliver,
their marriage on the eve of war, and his return as a
changed man. Oliver had always been a bit dreamy, but became
more remote, finding solace most of all in repairing
fiddles. There were adjustments, accommodations,
sacrifices--but the family went on to find its own rhythms,
satisfactions, and happiness. Now Katey's journey may
rearrange the Snows' story.
Set in a lovingly realized Vermont setting, tracking the
changes that come with the turning of the seasons--and
decades--and signaling the dawning of a new freedom as Katey
moves out into a world in flux, Before We Sleep is a
novel about family, about family secrets, and about the love
that holds families together. It is also about the Greatest
Generation as it moves into the very different era of the
1960s, and about the trauma of war that so profoundly
weighed on both generations. It is Jeffrey Lent's most
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