The Maytrees

The Maytrees

Book - 2007
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Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems.

In spare, elegant prose, Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. Lou takes up painting. When their son Petie appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. But years later it is Deary who causes the town to talk.

In this moving novel, Dillard intimately depicts nature's vastness and nearness. She presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love. Warm and hopeful, The Maytrees is the surprising capstone of Annie Dillard's original body of work.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, c2007.
ISBN: 9780061239533
0061239534
Characteristics: 216 p. ;,22 cm.

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scribby
Apr 11, 2019

A quiet, lyrical book, almost an extended prose-poem, a meditation on love. The title (and name of the eponymous character) is a pun on the Sanskrit word maitri, meaning something like abiding love without attachment, and therein lies a clue to the plot. Some have accused the book of being pompous, with its seldom-used words and overly obvious, intentional “less is more” under-writing; but to me these elements add to the mysterious, atmospheric narration. All in all an interesting book made to be read in short bursts.

c
coastalkate
Dec 20, 2012

Beautiful phrasing and writing, but the story was very quiet and slow.

b
BDLange
Oct 27, 2009

If you like this type of narration. I found it hard to read. A very small book, it covers a lifetime and is just not that interesting.

h
Huntsville1
Oct 21, 2009

This is a New England love story between an unconventional couple.

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