Kinds of Love: A Novel

Kinds of Love: A Novel

May Sarton

Language: English

Pages: 464


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Spending their first winter away from the city, an aging married couple finds renewed friendship and love in the New Hampshire hills

Christina and Cornelius Chapman have spent their summers in Willard for years, shunning the city’s hottest months in favor of New Hampshire’s rocky, rolling hills. In Willard, Christina looks forward to spending time with Ellen, enjoying forest walks and the easy conversation that come with longstanding friendship. But while Christina and Cornelius move comfortably between country and city, Ellen and her husband, Nick, are bound to Willard—their working-class lives standing in stark contrast to the moneyed effortlessness of their friends. This summer, however, is different. Rather than moving back to the city once fall sets in, the Chapmans have decided to stay. Characters of all sorts populate the New England town, and through their first winter in Willard, narrated in part through Christina’s journal entries, the friendship between Christina and Ellen deepens, as does the one between Christina and Cornelius.
Beautifully written and warmly rendered, Kinds of Love is a heartfelt portrait of marriage, friendship, class, and aging set against a tranquil, small-town New Hampshire backdrop.


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Olivia.” What Olivia saw was someone tall, very thin, with long fair curly hair over his collar, dressed in blue jeans and a red lumberjack’s shirt. He gave her a quick, shy smile and went the rounds, shaking everyone’s hand rather nervously. “I’m sorry to be late,” he said, “but we had to wait at the hospital—all sorts of papers to sign. It was hell.” “You could do with a drink?” Eben asked. “Thanks. I’m rather shaken up. Bourbon on the rocks—but I’ll be glad to get it, Mr. Fifield.” “You

wiped her forehead. It was terribly hot, stifling, up here in the attic. And it had brought her no comfort. The dead don’t help the living much, she thought. Only the living can do that. Willard? There was Old Pete, who had never done a lick of real work in his life, lording it like a king out there on the green—and that was Willard, she supposed, at least to people like Christina and her children, who enjoyed him as a “character” and who could afford the taxes he and his like cost the town. But

dismay of her father. However, while learning the basics of theater, Sarton continued to develop her poems, and in 1930, when she was just eighteen, a series of her sonnets was published in Poetry magazine. In 1931, Sarton returned to Europe and lived in Paris for a year while her parents were in Lebanon. In large part, Europe provided the backdrop for her encounters with the great thinkers of the age, including the novelist Elizabeth Bowen, the famed biologist Julian Huxley, and of course,

potential going to waste. Poor education even now—not enough to nourish. I see the young men get caught with some girl and settle for a laborer’s job, hunt, fish, do a little inept carpentering, and buy themselves a trailer. The challenge has gone out of life here for the young.” “It’s just so much better than a city slum,” Sally said. “And there are human relationships that have some depth between people of different sorts. Christina and Ellen Comstock have been friends for fifty years or more

it—all the time, underneath, Christina was conscious of the way it is, when two people have shared a life for many years, that the most important things never get said in words. They are communicated through some sort of current, sensed rather than explicit. We are rather than saying, she thought, and this morning we are loving, and without even saying the words Cornelius has made it clear that he is over his anger. This was the root of marriage, really—just the opposite of the excitement of

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