In The Middle Of The Fields by Mary Lavin, 1961
The magic trick:
A series of reflective, connective events, characters, and emotions
Masterful stuff here. Lavin sets up a series of events that reflect and connect but never feel contrived.
A widow is trying to move on without her husband. His absence means there is a job on her farm to do. Unfortunately, the job reminds a neighbor of a similarly tragic death that he’s been trying to forget for decades. The intersection causes a variety of emotions to pour forth.
And that’s quite a trick on Lavin’s part.
For a minute, Crossen looked past her out into the darkness, then he looked back. “Aren’t you ever lonely here at night?” he asked suddenly.
“You mean frightened?” she corrected quickly and coldly.
“Yes! Yes, that’s what I meant,” he said, taken aback. “Ah, but why would you be frightened! What safer placer could you be under the sky than right here with your own fields all about you!”
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