Dear Ann: A Novel

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Ann Workman, the protagonist of acclaimed writer Bobbie Ann Mason’s first novel in years, Dear Ann, is the kind of woman who doesn’t make a fuss. Married for most of her adult life to a good man, Ann finds herself wondering how different her life would have been had things turned out differently with her first love, Jimmy.

The novel is told in a series of letters and re-imagined past experiences, which is to say Ann isn’t recalling what happened so much as what could have happened. The structure of the book is challenging at first, but once the story of young Ann moves to Stanford—the school she didn’t attend but perhaps should have—it is hard not to get caught up in the energy of the Summer of Love. Ann’s life, as it was and is and could have been, is a perfect cypher for human experience as we age. We question if we have done all we can, reckon with the moments we’ve failed, and agonize over choices that weren’t as brave as we wish.

One of the purest joys of the book, though, is in Ann’s area of study: English. For English majors, or those enamored with their survey courses in college, or the average bibliophile, the literary references and jokes are an absolute joy.

Dear Ann is an engrossing and beautiful book that gives on every page.


Reviewed By:

Author Bobbie Ann Mason
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Harper
Publish Date 2020-Sep-08
ISBN 9780062986658
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2021
Category Popular Fiction
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