Ordinary Love

Jane Smiley

05 October 2017
208 pages


From the Pulitzer prize winning author of A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley, comes Ordinary Love and Good Will - two thematically linked novellas, both included in this ebook edition, exploring the elusive dream of the perfect family.

Ordinary Love gives voice to a mother, loving but unsure of her love's value, who, in leaving her powerful husband, fears that she has done her children irrevocable harm . . .

Good Will, by contrast, is the story of a father - a relentlessly self-sufficient man determined to divorce himself from a materialistic world. But in his single-mindedness, he does not see the damage he is causing to those around him until it is too late . . .

Jane Smiley writes with such perception about the emotional perversities that assail the human heart that she manages to convince us utterly of her characters' actions. With this volume she ratifies her claim as one of her generations most eloquent chroniclers of ordinary familial love, its pleasures and its frightening hazards
Smiley demonstrates a considerable sensitivity in her treatment of love and friendships. Her vision is as clear and unswerving as the writing
It's difficult to find a cliche or a wasted word in Smiley's prose