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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
Elizabeth’s Mountain by Lucille Guarino cleverly interweaves Elizabeth's twilight years with the new adult blossoming of her granddaughter Amanda. Commencing with Elizabeth’s ninetieth birthday party, it explores her memories of childhood and the tragic death of her first love, Robbie. A mourning period is followed by an emotional revival through friendship and courtship by her husband, Joseph. Amanda has left an unsatisfying relationship and moved into the house to provide Elizabeth with companionship. The young nurse attends a workplace training where she meets lawyer Jesse Taylor. The development of her relationship is pleasingly paced to match Elizabeth’s reminiscences.
Elizabeth’s Mountain by Lucille Guarino is a thoughtful and poignant novel that fulfills the reader's expectations of women’s literature. I liked that the story had two heroines from different generations. Elizabeth’s memories evoked the glamour and nostalgia of historical literature, while Amanda’s life contained the sparkle of contemporary romance. The two women seemed compatible because of temperament, family ties, and the mutual choice of nursing as their vocation. The house on the mountain formed the perfect background for multigenerational living. I enjoyed the exploration of aging, which was adroitly tempered with the sense that the older heroine, Elizabeth, had remained young at heart. Joseph was a solid and slightly damaged hero, providing the appropriate match for Elizabeth. Jesse was charming and mysterious, creating interest as Amanda’s romantic partner. The style was smooth and the dialogue flowed naturally, creating a relaxing reading experience. Elizabeth’s Mountain by Lucille Guarino presents a variety of interactions with family and friends and reflects the variability of life.