An Unfinished Season by Ward Just
A Novel

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Synopsis

"The winter of the year my father carried a gun for his own protection was the coldest on record in Chicago." So begins Ward Just's An Unfinished Season, the winter in question a postwar moment of the 1950s when the modern world lay just over the horizon, a time of rabid anticommunism, worker unrest, and government corruption. Even the small-town family could not escape the nationwide suspicion and dread of "the enemy within." In rural Quarterday, on the margins of Chicago's North Shore, nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan watches as his father's life unravels. Teddy Ravan -- gruff, unapproachable, secure in his knowledge of the world -- is confronting a strike and even death threats from union members who work at his printing business. Wilson, in the summer before college, finds himself straddling three worlds when he takes a job at a newspaper: the newsroom where working-class reporters find class struggle at the heart of every issue, the glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. These worlds collide when he falls in love with the headstrong daughter of a renowned psychiatrist with a frightful past in World War II. Tragedy strikes her family, and the revelation of secrets calls into question everything Wilson once believed.
From a distinguished chronicler of American social history and the political world, An Unfinished Season is a brilliant exploration of culture, politics, and the individual conscience.
 

About Ward Just

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WARD JUST's seventeen previous novels include Exiles in the Garden, Forgetfulness, the National Book Award finalist Echo House, A Dangerous Friend, winner of the Cooper Prize for fiction from the Society of American Historians, and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award and a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.
 
Published May 4, 2005 by Mariner Books. 268 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, History, Business & Economics, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for An Unfinished Season

Kirkus Reviews

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Then the strike peters out (no winners) and Wils lands a summer job with a Chicago tabloid while going to debutante parties at night.

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Publishers Weekly

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Wils's summer job is as a copy boy at a Chicago tabloid, where he becomes aware of the routine corruption in city government and finds himself complicit in the yellow journalism that destroys reputations.

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Entertainment Weekly

Ward Just continues to expand his storytelling beyond his celebrated Washington, D.C., political novels with this beautifully languid, emotionally intense tale of Wils Ravan, a 19-year-old growing up fast in 1950s Illinois.

Jul 16 2004 | Read Full Review of An Unfinished Season: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

In a nutshell, the book reminds me of a phrase in one of Camus’ notebooks, which is just this, ‘a wild longing for clarity.’" Craig Nova Chicago Sun-Times 4 of 5 Stars "Any fan of Just’s work will recognize some familiar themes in An Unfinished Season the close but contentious relationship b...

Oct 19 2009 | Read Full Review of An Unfinished Season: A Novel

Reader Rating for An Unfinished Season
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