A wife fakes her death to escape the most dangerous man she knows: her husband. But cruel Martin Burney discovers his wife is alive, and stalks her in a small town. A young professor there is courting her, but one night she knows her compulsively neat husband has entered her house to rearrange towels in her bath and canned goods in her kitchen.
He's found her.
He's out there.
A love story, a mystery, and a small town in World War II. What if you want--and deserve--revenge? Miranda is bright, funny and pretty. She loves two men who want her as much as they hate each other. The war changes all three. Miranda has a happy life, and a secret. She keeps it until no one remembers. No one knows.
The world thinks Randal Eliot writes during his manic phases, but his wife Mary creates his famous books and supports their family. When Randal dies, no one will believe she is the genius.
She marries a younger man, Paul, a Randal Eliot scholar. Paul cannot bear to believe Mary is the genius—she will destroy his life work and Randal Eliot’s reputation. He has killed before. He must kill again.
When Catherine Buckingham’s parents die, her young uncle, Thorn Wade, becomes her guardian and raises her as her mother wished, so Catherine becomes an adult who is not like the men—or women—of the world around her: she is a sexual creature we seldom encounter. With innocent joy Catherine explores her amorous feelings for the man who has raised her, while Thorn will not take any male initiative by word, look or action. They keep the memory of that summer like a promise they will someday fulfill.
But Thorn must leave to fight in World War II. Catherine is told he is dead, and learns, painfully, how to be like women of the 40’s and 50’s. Yet Thorn is alive, and comes to find a Catherine who is finished, accomplished. How can she face the man who formed her for another life?
Three courageous young people, one a new white slave mistress, two captured black slaves--meet on South Carolina rice plantations during the summer of 1850. Black Joan and her husband Will have been raised free, then captured. Their civilized virtues make Joan valuable as a maid in the Big House, and Will soon becomes the black slave driver.
Slavery's subtle poison corrupts the three industrious, warm-hearted young people, slave mistress as well as slaves. They have no choice; they survive, even triumph, just as capable young people trapped in a sick society would survive and triumph today.
In an echo of THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James, a rich father and daughter unknowingly marry two lovers. But in the world of this book, the father is a ruthless Iowa businessman who has earned his name of “Bonfire” by burning down his competitor’s warehouses. His beautiful young wife loves the wealthy life he gives her, but she cannot resist her new son-in-law, and he loves her still.
Their risk is deadly. Bonfire has the money and the power to stop at nothing, even murder. His daughter is dear to him. When Bonfire and his daughter discover the truth, one of them will forgive, but the other will kill.
Mary Bryant grows up in a dirt-poor Nebraska family, hungry and unwanted. Her only friends are a next-door neighbor and her little half-sister Rhody, but she has to leave them and run away to Chicago to sleep under a hedge and work as a waitress.
Gunther Meyer finds her, marries her, and she’s happy in her first real home with their new baby, Maria. But one day her world explodes: she discovers her marriage to Gunther was a sham. He has a rich young woman for a wife.
Mary escapes to Florida with Maria, only to find that she is being pursued by Gunther, his friend Manuel, and Gunther’s new wife. They find her at Disney’s Epcot, and Manuel forces Mary to take her baby to Mexico with him, and begs her to marry him. But he keeps her a prisoner, hiding her—why? Soon the world’s reporters are on her track—what has she done?
Publication list of award-winning short stories and a featured selection
Publication list of award-winning poems and several featured poems
A New work of Fiction
From Chapter 13:
“We could marry each other,” Catherine says. “You’re younger than Jack. People like us get married all the time. We could wait until I’m twenty.”
She stops a luna moth as it drifts near; it balances on her palm. “But you don’t get married just because of this,” she says after a little while. “How long does it last?” The luna flies from her outstretched hand.
“I have to go to France.”
“Do you want to start, and then leave when it’s not over?”
“I don’t know,” he says.
“Then I’ve got to think about it,” Catherine says. “Not go flying off like I’ve been doing.”
Thorn tries to smile a little, tries to meet her eyes. “That’s the idea, I suppose. Feeling better?” His eyes are almost blue-black.
“No.” Catherine shrinks against the doorway. “You’re still talking to me with your hands…even your clothes! Why?” Her voice goes up, exasperated.
“Maybe that’s what Jack and Shirley were after, leaning and rubbing and smiling. Wanting us to feel like that.”
“But what would they do with us if they got us? They’re not the kind of people we—“
“Maybe they don’t think that far ahead. What would Shirley do with me—“ Then he cries, “Sorry!”
She’s already out of sight down the hall. “I didn’t think!” he calls after her, but the only answer is the sound of her bare feet on the stairs.
Thorn walks through the garden to the darkening barn. In a moment there’s a slender shadow in the doorway, hands spread to the splintered wood.
“I’ve been thinking,” Catherine says to the dark, dusty air of the barn. All she can see is the blur of Thorn’s white shirt. “I want to go on. In case we can get through to the other side.” He says nothing. “In case we want to marry when it’s all over and we can tell. We could, you know.”
“How long does this last?”
She can see him a little better now; he raises two big hands, palms up, in a gesture that seems French. He waits, letting her think in this dim place, saying as little as he can. “You’ll have to hide what you’re doing.”
“I know. And I’ll have to go to college, and you’ll have to go to France.”
“We agreed that would be the best thing.”
“There’s something…” Catherine’s voice is softer as she turns away; it strengthens as she turns back “…in the air. Can you feel it? All the time we’re been talking, ever since this morning, colors are different, and everything feels like it’s touching me…it almost seems to hurt.”
“It gets worse,” Thorn says from the depths of the barn. “Take it slowly. Don’t start at all unless you’re sure it’s what you want.”
He takes a step in the twilight. Night wind off the lake bends sumac outside the barn door, then releases it in a rustle of leaves.
“I want to begin,” Catherine says. She is quiet then, thinking, and might be alone in the barn; there’s no sound but the night wind in the leaves.
He feels her hands on his shoulders. “I’m not afraid,” she says.
“No,” he says in the second before all that will scare them both explodes when she kisses him.
It’s worse than he thought it would be—the dark, the spring dark—this voice, this mouth.
Whatever they’re saying makes no sense, but he won’t grab, or take. He thinks of nothing at all, and will not touch her, fighting not to be there.
More reviews of
AN ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN:
“Nancy Price is a very talented writer and her characters are unique, her story line is inventive and unusual. This is a moving, even terrifying novel with rare richness, subtlety and depth.”
“A seductive, almost hypnotic book…so much of its intensity and success derive from the manner of its telling…a language…that avoids difficulty and unreadability. I found myself racing…excited by all its elements and by the way Price has managed to put them in sophisticated and engaging relation to each other.”
“Compelling and poignant…More than just an accomplished novel; it is a work of art.”
“A rich novel, full of warmth, love and human foible…poignant…sensitive…flaming Fitzgeraldian passion.”
--Newport News Daily Press
“Strikingly illustrates the extent to which we are all products of our own and others’ imagination.”
“After I’d read the last page I could only lay the book down and stare at nothing for a long time, my cheeks wet with tears…Read this book, it will change your heart, not your head.”
“What would happen if a girl were allowed complete freedom (in 1920-30) to explore, to experiment with life?… Nancy Price has written a fascinating novel. A brilliant and deeply disturbing study of what it means to be a woman.”
“Nancy Price, novelist and poet, has blended a keen feminist sensibility with a fine poetic style in this strangely haunting story…a meaningful statement about the devastating effects of sex-role stereotypes, the unrealized potential of generations of women and the lifelong impact of an ideal love affair.”
--The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer
“A vivid, unique lovestory.”
“Finely written, whole chunks of this second novel are dedicated warmly to the proposition of indefatigable character—and that’s very nourishing.”
“Provocative and thoughtful..”
--Asheville Citizen Times
“A sheer pleasure to read.”
“What unfolds is a kind of love affair that never existed’…Price’s stunning diction, human compassion and intellectual rigor not only portray ‘An Accomplished
Woman’—but how women are “accomplished.”
--Des Moines Register
“Price can create the essence of a scene with a few vivid words…Intense and deeply moving…a touching love story that reveals things all women should know about themselves.”
--Los Angeles Times
“Catherine Buckingham was reared…as a thoroughly liberalized female in an unliberalized age. Her struggles to adjust create a stunning yet tender odyssey…Readability issues effortlessly from Ms. Price’s fine prose.”
“Ms. Price tells her story quietly, allowing points of understanding to make themselves unobtrusively and, therefore, indelibly…It’s altogether a very neat piece of writing and Ms. Price is a valuable artist.”
Foreign Editions, AN ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN
KOBIETA SPELNIONA (Paperback, POLAND). Amber, Warsaw 1995.