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The Widow Down By the Brook: A Memoir of a Time Gone By by Mary MacNeill (1999)

$3.49

Hardcover in Very Good (VG) condition. Please see our guide to book conditions for more details.

With their two children grown and away from home, Mary and Wilmot MacNeill led a simple life together in a tiny house in Hartford, Connecticut. But when they learned that Wilmot's cancer would soon take his life, he insisted they build Mary a home in the country, where she could learn to live on her own and take care of herself, once he was gone.So begins the transformation of a dilapidated barn on a scrambled thicket of Connecticut countryside into a beautiful, fruitful home, along with the metamorphosis of a proper librarian and wife into a strong, independent woman who's not only making the tea but also shoveling the manure and facing the elements. The inevitable happens -- Wilmot dies -- but the woman he leaves behind is forever changed. With the help of many friends and neighbors, Mary finishes the house, lives there for many years, and becomes a vital and happy member of the rural community.

Written in 1952, The Widow Down by the Brook is a splendid time capsule, depicting the simplicity of rural New England life in the 1950s and offering up one woman's hands-on experience with the changing gender roles this century has witnessed. This heartwarming piece of Americana is also the perfect bridge across generations for Mother's Day.