Cover image for The last odd day : a novel
Title:
The last odd day : a novel
Author:
Hinton, Lynne.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
[San Francisco] : HarperSanFrancisco, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
184 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060563387
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Jean Clover was born on a mountain to a blind daddy and a mama steeped in sadness. O. T. Witherspoon came along and if he didn't exactly sweep her off her feet, well, Jean knew she would be leaving that mountain behind forever -- for a life maybe just removed from that long history of creeping sadness -- for a life full of children.

What Jean learns is that life is not what anyone expects; it is full of odd events and small, unforeseen details. When O. T. dies, Jean is forced to dig into a past she thought she'd left behind forever and makes a stunning discovery. Forced to reckon with a legacy she didn't know existed, Jean finds a friend the last place she expected. A novel of faith and faithlessness, heartache and forgiveness, The Last Odd Day is ultimately a story of strength and endurance. It is also a tale of the surprisingly delicate beauty of intimate relationships, as we follow one woman whose world is falling apart and watch as she slowly repairs it.


Author Notes

Lynne Hinton is from North Carolina. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her Masters of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She also studied at Wake Forest University and the NC School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking.

While in seminary, Lynne began considering writing and enrolled in literature classes. She is the author of several books, including a nonfiction piece, MEDITATIONS FOR WALKING, and the Hope Springs Trilogy with FRIENDSHIP CAKE, CHRISTMAS CAKE AND WEDDING CAKE.

Lynne also has a mystery series with St. Martin's, written under the name, Jackie Lynn which includes DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE, JACOB'S LADDER, and SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT.

Lynne is a regular columnist with The Charlotte Observer and she has served as a chaplain with hospice and as the pastor of Mount Hope United Church of Christ and First Congregational United Church of Christ, both in North Carolina.

Lynne and her husband, Bob Branard, presently live near Spokane, Washington where Lynne is an interim pastor at the Chewelah United Church of Christ.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this hushed tale of love and duty, Hinton (Friendship Cake, etc.) tells the story of Jean Witherspoon-half Cherokee, half white-who learns that her husband of 57 years has kept a secret from her for decades. Growing up in an isolated North Carolina mountain home, Jean is awed by her parents' deep love for each another. She herself meets O.T., a "handsome, attentive" soldier, who marries her just before he leaves for World War II. When he returns, he is a changed man, and Jean, lonely, grows desperate for a child. She finally conceives, but the tragic birth of a stillborn baby changes their relationship. Decades later, O.T. is in a nursing home after a stroke. When a nurse asks an innocent question about the visits of a woman the nurse thinks is Jean's daughter, Jean begins to guess at the truth. Her feelings of betrayal and anguish at her husband's infidelity are made worse when he dies, leaving her to face his daughter alone, but in the end she finds an unexpected peace, convinced that O.T. loved her as best he could. Hinton convincingly evokes a love that is based more on shared experiences and obligation than passion, but the novel's glacial pace and muted prose cast a veil over her story. 8-city author tour. Agent, Sally Hill McMillan. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Last Odd Day A Novel Chapter One 11.19.99 Even if the phone hadn't rung at all, the date itself is memorable because Peter Jennings on ABC World News Tonight had said it was the last completely odd day until the year 3111. Month, day, and year, all odd numbers, and it wouldn't happen again for another millennium. Maude, the neighbor across the street, however, was the one who figured out things weren't right. She was the one who saw the unusual chain of events beginning to take shape; and even though she couldn't name what was coming, she certainly warned me that something out of the ordinary was on its way. She did that hours before ABC reported it, hours before the call. She met me outside at the driveway when I went out to pick up the morning paper. She's usually up long before I am anyway since I'm accustomed to second-shift hours; and she always comes out to greet me even though she knows I'm not a morning person. That day she ran all the way out to her mailbox, her hair already combed and sprayed. "I had one of my dreams," she said, all breathless and excited. "What's that?" I asked, trying to pull my robe together to keep out the chill and Maude's unwanted comments about still being in my pajamas. "My dreams," she said, walking across the street to meet me. "I had a water dream and you were in it." She looked at me, and I knew she was thinking I stayed in the bed much too long. "It's about you. Your water was troubled." Now most people consider Maude slightly irregular. She lets homeless people stay in her house. She wanted to invite a psychic woman who read tarot cards to speak to the women's circle at her church. She has seven cats, all yellow and white. And she claims she can predict disorder and upcoming unlikely events based upon dreams she has that consist of bodies of water. I don't know how she knows where the chaos will be or who it will affect, something about seeing the stirred water at a particular identifying location. Regardless of her process of interpretation, she never hesitates to announce what it is she believes is coming in your direction. "It was green and brown. Definitely troubled," she added with a dramatic touch. I rolled my eyes and bent down to pick up the paper. "Good morning, Maude." "Are you up to date on your insurance policy?" Now she was standing right in front of me. She smelled like pine. "You burning leaves?" I asked and glanced over in her yard. "No." We had turned around and were walking together toward my house. I guessed she would be coming in for coffee. "It's an old remedy for sinus problems -- boiling pine straw, then sticking them in the foot of an old pair of hose and tying it onto the water faucet in the bathtub." Maude had lots of recipes for ailments and treatments. "You got sinus problems?" "Always this time of year. It's the goldenrod. Mr. Thaler has it growing at the fence. I try to get him to pull it, but I think he enjoys seeing me suffer." She is short and has to walk twice as fast to keep up with me, even in the morning. "Then maybe you need to make sure your policy is up to date." I opened the door and she walked in. "Oh, no need to worry for me. I took out an extra policy, even with what I got from Arrow. I got coverage for everything." She went right over to the cabinet and pulled out a mug, the one with the cow in the middle, and poured herself a cup of coffee. She had worked at the local rubber factory most of her life. "You got any milk?" I pointed over to the refrigerator with my chin and poured myself a cup and sat down at the table. "You know, you really should clean out these drawers down here at the bottom. You can get poison from the mold that grows on this cheese." She found the milk, checked the date on the side of the carton, and poured almost half a cup in her coffee. "Clarence Tupper had to be hospitalized because of something he ate that had been in his refrigerator too long," she added. "Clarence Tupper was in the hospital because he weighs four hundred pounds. There ain't nothing that stays in his refrigerator too long." I unfolded the paper and began poring over the news. Maude moved near the table and sat down next to me. "I'm serious, Jean," she said, and she pulled the paper away from my face. "Something grave is about to happen." I glared at her, then snapped the paper back so that I could finish reading the front-page headlines and the temperature and weather forecast in the top right corner. "Cold front's moving across the Piedmont." I thought I could change the subject. "You already brought your porch plants in?" "Did that three weeks ago when the first frost came. Cats eat the leaves off my geraniums every year; they'd probably last longer outside." I took a sip and kept reading. There had been a fire in an apartment on the other side of town. "Maybe it's O.T." I heard a chair being pulled out across from me, but I didn't move the paper to see exactly where she was sitting. "He has been in there a long time." I still didn't say anything. "Jean Witherspoon, are you listening to me?" I dropped the paper and sighed. "Yes, Maude, I am listening to you. You had a water dream and it's about me and you think O.T. could be dying." "Well?" She wrapped the coffee mug with both hands and bowed her head while she kept her eyes on me. The Last Odd Day A Novel . Copyright © by Lynne Hinton. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Last Odd Day: A Novel by Lynne Hinton All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.