Monday, August 21, 2006
81. "So Long, See You Tomorrow" ~ William Maxwell
The Smiths and the Wilsons are patient friends, each working someone else's land and suffering their own families. However, after Fern Smith falls in love with Lloyd Wilson, it shakes each family until the foundations crumble.
The narrator meets Cletus Smith, the son of Fern, in the empty house his father's contractors build in town after his mother dies. After the workers leave for the day, he and Cletus climb on beams, rummage through wood scraps, and always part with, "So long, see you tomorrow."
Maxwell doesn't skimp on details, yet this book is barely at a novella's length. It is a simple but psychologically complex look at regret, secrecy, and growing up. Each character is given equal opportunity to tell his or her story, at least as imagined by the narrator. Though we know from the first pages of a murder, the question of "why" will echo long after the book is closed.
4.8 out of 5.0 Lukas.
Posted by Kristin at 12:42 PM