This Time Last Year by Douglas Hobbie

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Synopsis

Elizabeth Ash is on the run from her foundering marriage.  With her sidekick, Lynn, she has fled to England for a month, where the cool air is a tonic and adventure may be at hand. Seeking solitude, Elizabeth's husband, Henry, has holed up in her sister's Vermont summerhouse to begin writing the book he hopes will transform his life.  But Henry is more alone and less isolated than he bargained for: A year earlier his brother-in-law, Fitz, dropped dead in the same house.  Fitz's ghost is everywhere, especially so after Henry inadvertently discovers Fitz's intimate life story stored in the Macintosh in the study.
 

About Douglas Hobbie

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Douglas Hobbie lives in Conway, Massachusetts, with his wife.
 
Published March 15, 1998 by Henry Holt and Co.. 341 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The story focuses on Henry, a successful writer still grief-stricken by the death of a daughter (Hobbie also wrote Being Brett, 1996, a memoir of his own daughter's death from cancer), who has taken up residence in his sister-in-law Mary's summer house in Vermont.

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Left on his own, Henry starts to write about Whitman, Melville and Dickinson, whom he calls ""the three great loners."" After a frustrating encounter with a neighbor whose own losses have made her a dervish of need, grief and misplaced energy, Henry abandons writing and, in one of the novel's man...

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