The Grace That Keeps This World
By Tom Bailey
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780307238023, 320pp.)
Publication Date: July 25, 2006
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Gary and Susan Hazen—high school sweethearts married for many years, born and bred in the Adirondack community of Lost Lake—live a simple and honest life and have instilled values in their two grown sons by example. But despite their efforts, Gary senses that his sons are starting to pull away and can’t help but feel he is at fault. His younger son, Kevin, has ambitions that extend far beyond the snowy edges of their small town. And his elder, Gary David, so fears disappointing his father that he is keeping an important part of his life secret.
The Grace That Keeps This World is a story about family, community, and the shared values that underlie and sustain human relationships. And ultimately, it is a tale of profound loss, human fallibility, and the love—romantic, neighborly, or familial—that can sometimes blur our line of vision.
A Book Sense pick
Includes a new essay by the author and a preview chapter of his forthcoming novel, Cotton Song.
Tom Bailey is the author of Crow Man, a collection of short stories, and A Short Story Writer’s Companion, and the editor of On Writing Short Stories. He lives with his wife and three children in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the creative writing program at Susquehanna University. This is his first novel.
“Acompelling first novel about love and rivalry in the adirondacks builds toward a shattering conclusion.” —People
“Like some modern-day version of a Greek tragedy . . . a chorus of narrators . . . moves this story . . . slowly and beautifully [toward] an indelible disaster. . . . This is, after all, a story about a man forced to expand his moral imagination, and in the end it inspires the same sympathy from us.” —Washington Post Book World
“A beautifully drawn, tragic novel about fathers and sons—and the bonds of community.” —Atlanta Journal Constitution