In Caddis Wood by Mary François Rockcastle
A Novel

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Synopsis

A tender, nuanced portrait of a timeworn marriage

Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife, In Caddis Wood explores the competing rhythms of romantic love, family life, and professional ambition, refracted through the changing seasons of a long marriage. Beneath the surface, affecting their collective future, beats the resilient and endangered heart of nature.

Hallie’s career as a poet has always come second to her family, while Carl’s life has been defined by his demanding and internationally acclaimed work as an architect. The onset of a debilitating illness and the discovery of Hallie’s cache of letters from another man set Carl reeling and cause him to question not only his previously unshakable belief in himself but also his faith in Hallie’s devotion. As the memories multiply and the family gathers at their longtime summerhouse in the woods of Wisconsin, Hallie and Carl’s grown-up daughters offer unexpected avenues toward forgiveness and healing.

With warmth and generosity, Mary François Rockcastle captures the way that the aging mind imbues the present with all the many layers of the past as she illuminates the increasingly unbreakable bonds borne of a shared life.


 

About Mary François Rockcastle

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Mary François Rockcastle is the author of Rainy Lake. She is the director of The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University, and the founding and executive editor of Water~Stone Review. She lives in Minneapolis.
 
Published September 13, 2011 by Graywolf Press. 233 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for In Caddis Wood

Kirkus Reviews

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There are some moving moments, such as Hallie’s tentative reconciliation with her mother, and it’s a nice touch that the rupture caused by Carl’s discovery of her affair is not resolved by a grand scene of forgiveness, merely subsumed in a painfully new level of intimacy as Hallie tenderly cares ...

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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And when his health begins to fail, with a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, unresolved resentments and old tragedies come to the surface—including not only those of Hallie and Carl themselves, but also of their parents and their children, now adults.

Jul 11 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

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“This family is so real, so understandable, so in need of comfort each in their own way, that we want to embrace them in their grief, applaud their reconciliations, and learn from their loving fortitude.”Mary Francois Rockcastle has written a simple, but not simplistic, satisfying story of love, ...

Sep 13 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

Star Tribune

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As an architect nears the end of his life, he must come to terms with his wife's betrayal.

Sep 02 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

City Book Review

At first glance, Carl and Hallie Fens seem to have it all: a long marriage, two beautiful grown daughters, successful careers as an architect and poet, and an idyllic vacation home in gorgeous Caddis Wood.

Jan 16 2012 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

Portland Book Review

Memories abound in this lyrical novel that explores the inner workings of marriage and the bond between two people over time that tightens and expands as they grow and change together and within their family.

Dec 23 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine



Hallie’s career as a poet has always come second to her family, while Carl’s life has been defined by his demanding and internationally acclaimed work as an architect.

Sep 08 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

Shelf Awareness

"The fact that the Economist's North American circulation has just reached its highest ever level tells us that the audience for quality content isn't going away.

Aug 30 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

Fiction Writers Review

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Fiction Writers Review

While reading In Caddis Wood (Graywolf), Mary François Rockcastle’s second novel, I was immediately struck by its resemblance to Wallace Stegner’s masterful Crossing to Safety.

Dec 16 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

The Bookbag

As Mary Francois Rockcastle accompanies us through a year of this couple's life, complete with flashbacks, the only real smile arrives at Thanksgiving towards the end as Carl comes to terms with the next stage of his life.

Dec 11 2012 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

Twin Cities Daily Planet

Carl, a successful architect haunted by the ghost of his philandering father has spent much of his life focused on work and providing for his family rather than spending time with them while Hallie, a poet and teacher, anguished by the abandonment at an early age of her mother, forewent her creat...

Aug 17 2011 | Read Full Review of In Caddis Wood: A Novel

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