We gave it an A
THE SOLACE OF LEAVING EARLY Haven Kimmel (Doubleday, $23.95) Could a great story ever come out of Haddington, Indiana, a small town that ”lacked the power of the tenement, the beauty of the gothic ruin…”? Langston Braverman, who walked out of her Ph.D. oral exams and took refuge in her parents’ attic, and Haddington’s scholarly preacher, Amos Townsend, certainly don’t think so. The two see pathos in literature, not the diner down the street or the family next door. They’ll have their narrow ideas of beauty and worth shaken up when two young sisters, orphaned in a tragic family dispute, come under their care. Kimmel delivers a first novel of big ideas and exquisite characters. Sweet and smart, her book feels like a present.