by Thomas Tryon is an interesting read, to say the least. The story of Adelaide Harleigh is told through an older, wiser, Woody who was once enamored with her since age 8. He's recounting his past living across the way from her, only to be separated by the Great Elm tree and her manic episodes.
Taking place during the 1930s to the end of World War II, Lady is set in a small town named Pequot Landing where everyone knows each otehr's names and their business... or at least think they do. The oldest and most esteemed family has one heir left standing and her name is Adelaide Harleigh, otherwise known as Lady. She's the shining bright star of the community. She's beautiful, graceful, and full of something that most people can't put their finger on. Especially our narrator, Woody, who's drawn to her like a magnet. What they don't know about her could very well cause all these adoring eyes to ones filled with malice and rage.
Tryon has done nothing short of place us into a world with a brilliant voice as our guide. Poetically written and heavy on details, Lady should be on the reading list of all who enjoy historical literary fiction. Escaping to this small New England town was nothing less than a pleasure. Admittedly at times I was wondering when does the girth of the plot come to play.
On to the characters! Lady is such a well developed character but still holds so much mystery because she's told about through Woody. At times, we the reader can see things for what they really are regarding her, but his poor young heart sees things differently. She's flawed and prone to episodes of long "retirements". Most believe it's because she's mourning the loss of her late husband but there is much more at work. Woody is also very well developed and we see him make changes from being a lovestruck young boy, to a man who sees the world for what it is and that a willingness to understand and accept is what matters. The fact that our past affects will never leave us no matter where we travel.
Ultimately, Lady is an enchanting journey and should be taken as soon as possible. There are many themes that can be found in this work of fiction, lessons to be learned, and sentiments to be felt so I encourage readers to find what speaks to them with this novel. What I've taken is that we are all human and that's what makes us beautifully flawed. ****