Vintage Contemporaries

After the War

Publisher: Vintage
“As always, Adams' strength is her fine, elegant language and the attention she pays to the minutiae of every day living. Like Jane Austen, she stays close to her characters and weaves intrigue out of their interrelated and complex life stories.” --San Jose Mercury News
 
In her final novel, published posthumously, Alice Adams returns to the Southern college town of Pinehill, the setting for her acclaimed Southern Exposure.
 
Even after five years in Pinehill, Cynthia Baird is still considered a Yankee. And life has become more difficult since the beginning of the war. With Harry stationed in London, Cynthia finds life in a small town complicated not only be loneliness but also by a growing awareness of local racism and anti-Semitism. Their daughter Abigail is about to return north for college, and the two generations are forced to determine what they cherish and what they must leave behind.

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Chapter One

By mid-August, in the third summer of the Second World War, heavy and relentless heat had yellowed all the grass and almost all the flowers in the little college town of Pinehill, in the middle South. Cynthia Baird, an actively unfaithful Navy wife, contemplated the limp petals that lay beneath...
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