Sunday, May 16, 2021

Review: Margreete's Harbor

Margreete's Harbor Margreete's Harbor by Eleanor Morse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel unfolds slowly and not a lot happens but I took my time and enjoyed it. In Maine, Margreete almost burns her house down so her adult daughter decides to move her family in to help. Liddie, a cellist, has to abandon her string ensemble, and her husband Henry has to find a new teaching job. They have several kids who grow up somewhat through the novel, which spans from 1955-1968, and touches on the political events of the time in small ways.

The book came out April 20th, and I had a copy from St. Martin's Press through Edelweiss.

I wanted to add a few examples of the writing but this is not from final copy:

"On his way out, he said, 'You know, you don't have to do what you're doing?'
'And what do you think I'm doing?'
'Making a habit of discontent.'"

"She felt sad for him, felt he deserved someone who loved him all the way. She did her best that night, but she was watching herself, the way people who return from the dead describe seeing their bodies laid out below."

"She said that Eva probably wouldn't understand one other thing until she was older but she would say it anyway. 'Some people think that playing is all about themselves. They roar through a piece thinking, Look at me! Look how fast my fingers are going, listen to how much noise I'm making! If you're thinking like that, you're not making music. You have to make yourself small enough to disappear inside it. Then you can make music that makes other people feel something."

"Music, for him, was entertainment, relaxation. For her, as she'd told him the other day, it was beyond necessary. How do you describe that feeling to someone who can't feel it for himself? It was like explaining the smell of the ocean."

"Eva found her teacher's playing accurate and pinched and sad. Why would you be a musician if it didn't make you happy?"

"It seemed Brahms had preferred longing to marriage. The state of longing is not something often celebrated, he thought, but look at the music it created."

"It's not safe to love. There's no way to make love safe. Every time you love someone, you risk losing them. But living in safety is no way to live."

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