Maybe it was the deluge of drab December days. A seemingly endless iteration of gray that left my roll wore thin. Maybe that’s why I found My Name is Mary Sutter so disturbing. Written by Robin Oliveira, it is a tale of inequality, loneliness, and love unrequited. Medical madness. Men as martyrs. Women denied but determined. The butchery, suffering, and lunacy of war. Dark drama indeed. History, even of the fictional variety, is often a very nasty business.
The fundamental themes and truths underlying Ms. Oliveira’s freshman effort left me melancholy, and miasma was my name. For real. I was impressed but rendered totally depressed. After all, this kind of thing still goes on everyday in some dark corner. Where is the wisdom of the years? It hurts me just to think about it. Call me moved.
I was not looking forward to talking about it either. December 17, 2012 loomed in menacing fashion. It stalked me. I needn’t have worried, as things went well-enough, although the conversation did seem somewhat subdued. We spoke for an hour about all the above. Afterwards, I switched off the lights, went home, and fell into a fitful sleep.
2 Must Read Civil War Tales
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganas
“Bawdy, raucous, comic… The story of the South in all its tragic and self-perceived glory.”
–The Boston Globe
The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
“A thunderous, action-rich first novel of the Civil War, based on historical fact.”
“Lewis’s rare gift as a guide through the world of credit default swaps and sovereign debt doesn’t come simply from his deep understanding of how the global financial system works . . . but also from his skill as a storyteller, his ability to tell the larger tale through fascinating human stories…”–Boston Globe