Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Lives of Edie Pritchard, by Larry Watson {ends 7/29}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

At the end of her workday, Edie walks out of the bank into a November evening so mild she gives a little gasp. She’d walked to work that morning in a fog thick enough to eliminate all distances, but by noon the fog had lifted and now the day’s vanishing light lingers just long enough to give Gladstone’s business district a smoky amber glow and the sky a darkening rose and deepening blue.

A car that Edie doesn’t recognize, a humpbacked rusting gray-black Plymouth right out of the 1940s, pulls to the curb alongside her.

The car’s horn bleats, and then Roy climbs out, grinning and shouting, “Edie! Edie!”

He limps around the front of the car, making his way toward her. “The cast! It’s off!”

His joy invades her, and she steps into his open arms.

Edie’s life in small-town Minnesota and beyond feels both remarkable and ordinary, as any life taken a day at a time could feel.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: The Lives of Edie Pritchard, by Larry Watson
From acclaimed novelist Larry Watson, a multigenerational story of the West told through the history of one woman trying to navigate life on her own terms.

Edie—smart, self‑assured, beautiful—always worked hard. She worked as a teller at a bank, she worked to save her first marriage, and later, she worked to raise her daughter even as her second marriage came apart. Really, Edie just wanted a good life, but everywhere she turned, her looks defined her. Two brothers fought over her. Her second husband became unreasonably possessive and jealous. Her daughter resented her. And now, as a grandmother, Edie finds herself harassed by a younger man. It’s been a lifetime of proving that she is allowed to exist in her own sphere. The Lives of Edie Pritchard tells the story of one woman just trying to be herself, even as multiple men attempt to categorize and own her.

Triumphant, engaging, and perceptive, Watson’s novel examines a woman both aware of her physical power and constrained by it, and how perceptions of someone in a small town can shape her life.

While she was born as Edie Pritchard (and living in a small town, some people will always call her that), her story is told from her perspective as Edie Linderman (Dean’s wife, not that of his twin brother, Roy), Edie Dunn (Gary’s wife, and Jennifer’s mother), and then by the end back to Edie Pritchard again. Through it all, she notices that who she really is doesn’t seem to matter to most people, as they’ll make up their own minds about who they think she is.

Edie’s story was presented in a very conversational manner, but with a depth of self-understanding. She frequently knew why she made the choices she did, good or bad, and wasn’t shy about disclosing her reasoning and emotions. Overall, I really enjoyed Edie’s story and the way it was told. The book spans from 1967 to the present time, so while it wasn’t really historical, it also wasn’t strictly contemporary. I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for those who enjoy memoir-style fiction and women’s stories.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a woman with a pretty mundane life. But that means she usually knows what to expect. Find out more of what she’s reading at


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Lives of Edie Pritchard!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, July 29th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

The Lives of Edie Pritchard, by Larry Watson


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