the next good book

The Optimist’s Daughter

By Eudora Welty


193 pages

What’s it about? This is a short novel that is divided into 4 parts.  It was written in 1972 and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  Laurel is a middle-aged woman who returns to New Orleans to take care of her father after he has eye surgery.  Her stay is complicated by her father’s second wife, Fay.  The novel centers around love and loss.What did it make me think about? For some reason I felt as if I was reading a play as I read this novel.  It is very Southern, and beautifully written.  I have to note that many of the same themes run through this story that run through a lot of recent novels.  How do we come to terms with losing those we love- and how do we come to terms with the choices they have made? Should I read it? This is a short novel with big themes.  Well worth the time but it does seems like a piece from a certain time and place. Quote- “He, who had been the declared optimist, had not once expressed hope.  Now it was she who was offering it to him.  And it might be false hope.”  

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