Evenings at Five by Gail Godwin
(Godwin, Gail)

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Every evening at five o’clock, Christina and Rudy stopped work and began the ritual commonly known as Happy Hour. Rudy mixed Christina’s drink with loving precision, the cavalier slosh of Bombay Sapphire over ice shards, before settling across from her in his Stickley chair with his glass of Scotch. They shared a love of language and music (she is an author, he a composer, after all), a delight in intense conversation, a fascination with popes, and nearly thirty years of life together.

What did I think, that we had forever? muses Christina, seven months after Rudy’s unexpected death. While coming to terms with her loss, with the space that Rudy once inhabited, Christina reflects on their vibrant bond—with all its quirks, habits, and unguarded moments—as well as her passionate sorrow and her attempts to reposition herself and her new place in the very real world they shared.

In this literary jewel, a bittersweet novella of absence and presence and the mysterious gap between them, Gail Godwin has performed a small miracle. In essence, Evenings at Five is a grief sonata for solo instrument transposed into words. Interwoven with meditations and movements, full of aching truths and a wicked sense of humor, it exquisitely captures the cyclical nature of commitment—and the eternal quality of a romance completed.

About Gail Godwin

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Gail Godwin, three-time National Book Award finalist, is the bestselling author of twelve critically acclaimed novels, including A Mother and Two Daughters, The Good Husband, Father Melancholy's Daughter, and Evensong. She is also the author of The Making of a Writer, her journal in two volumes (ed. Rob Neufeld). She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Woodstock, New York. Visit her website at www.gailgodwin.com.
Published April 1, 2003 by Ballantine Books. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Godwin’s experience and skill (this is her 11th novel) show in the absence of sentimentality, the seamless shiftings of time as Christina remembers incidents from her past, and the nicely calibrated mix of tragedy and comedy.

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Publishers Weekly

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Ballantine, $14.95 (114p) ISBN 0-345-46102-9Celebrated novelist Godwin (Father Melancholy's Daughter) lost her companion of nearly 30 years, the composer Robert Starer, two years ago, and this book is a devoted, quirky, wry and surprisingly powerful fictionalization of aspects of their life toget...

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Deseret News

The most balanced, heart-rending book you ever read on the nature of loss, loneliness and grief may well be Gail Godwin's 11th novel, "Evenings at Five."

Apr 13 2003 | Read Full Review of Evenings at Five (Godwin, Gail)

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