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

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061809743
List price: $9.99
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I picked out this audio book completely at random, having never even heard of [author:Annie Dillard] before. (shame on me!) But what an excellent, poetic and thought-provoking exploration on what love is and what it means to live and love. Excellently written, too.

The beginning of the novel is a bit slow and descriptive, but stick with it! The story and characters will capture your attention.

This novel would make an excellent study for literature students, book clubs, and those reflecting on what it means to love, be in love, and live with love.more
This is the first novel by Dillard I have read. It made me want to read more of her works. I liked the flow of her writing and the premise of the story. She manages to make the implausible seem reasonable.more
I approached this book warily, as it's fiction, and I've always thought that Dillard was best at essays and inquiries into the natural world. I was prepared to be disappointed, but I was not prepared to be, as I was, blown away. This book is an astonishing, lambent, transcendent meditation on love, marriage and humanity. The story of Toby and Lou Maytree, and their friends and families, works on many different levels. The book is like a photo fussed over in Photoshop- layer after translucent layer, each coloring the whole delicately and almost imperceptibly. Every word drops into place with a feeling of inevitability, so well crafted is this novel. Highly recommended.more
The language is this book is really lovely. It's poetic, it's beautiful. I'm writing this review several months after finishing the book. I don't really remember much about the characters. I have some recollections of the plot. Those elements are not impressive. It's possible that this is a case of style over substance; pretty words that don't say much. But the words are very pretty.more
Read all 28 reviews

Reviews

I picked out this audio book completely at random, having never even heard of [author:Annie Dillard] before. (shame on me!) But what an excellent, poetic and thought-provoking exploration on what love is and what it means to live and love. Excellently written, too.

The beginning of the novel is a bit slow and descriptive, but stick with it! The story and characters will capture your attention.

This novel would make an excellent study for literature students, book clubs, and those reflecting on what it means to love, be in love, and live with love.more
This is the first novel by Dillard I have read. It made me want to read more of her works. I liked the flow of her writing and the premise of the story. She manages to make the implausible seem reasonable.more
I approached this book warily, as it's fiction, and I've always thought that Dillard was best at essays and inquiries into the natural world. I was prepared to be disappointed, but I was not prepared to be, as I was, blown away. This book is an astonishing, lambent, transcendent meditation on love, marriage and humanity. The story of Toby and Lou Maytree, and their friends and families, works on many different levels. The book is like a photo fussed over in Photoshop- layer after translucent layer, each coloring the whole delicately and almost imperceptibly. Every word drops into place with a feeling of inevitability, so well crafted is this novel. Highly recommended.more
The language is this book is really lovely. It's poetic, it's beautiful. I'm writing this review several months after finishing the book. I don't really remember much about the characters. I have some recollections of the plot. Those elements are not impressive. It's possible that this is a case of style over substance; pretty words that don't say much. But the words are very pretty.more
Quite beautiful. The book is a poem, really. The images were beautiful and painful at the same time. I was sad when it ended.more
The Maytrees is so beautifully written that it is a marvel to behold. It's hard to put into words of my own that would do the book justice. The story is about the lives of Lou and Toby Maytree, a couple who live on Cape Cod. There is a bare bones plot, that I won't spoil by reciting here, suffice it to say that it is about love and forgiveness, but the triumph of the book is its prose. It's the kind of book where you have to put it down often just to marvel. I could quote example after example, but even that would not do justice to the totality of the experience of reading this book. What keeps it from being a five star novel for me is that the narration seemed too detached for the intimacy of the story being told. I never thought that I was on the ground experiencing the story with the Maytrees. I felt as if I were observing the action from 20,000 feet.more
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