Friday, May 22, 2020

FFB-Time Will Darken It, William Maxwell

Time Will Darken It. William Maxwell

William Maxwell is one of my favorite writers. He died about a decade or two ago leaving a handful of novels and many shorts stories and essays. My favorite of his novels is TIME WILL DARKEN IT.

When the King family is paid a visit from distant Southern relatives, Austin King, eager to impress a female cousin and repay their kindness to his father, behaves in such a way as to threaten his marriage, his law practice, and his reputation as a young attorney. His pregnant wife is especially torn asunder by his actions.

Maxwell makes every character in this seemingly ordinary story come to life. I can't think of many books I closed so reluctantly and yet with such complete satisfaction. His novels include:

  • Bright Center of Heaven (1934)
  • They Came Like Swallows (1937)
    • An autobiographical novella about the cruel impact of the 1918 flu epidemic, as seen through the eyes of an 8-year-old midwestern child and his family
  • The Folded Leaf (1945)
  • Time Will Darken It (1948)
  • The Chateau (1961)
  • So Long, See You Tomorrow (1980) (Winner of the William Dean Howells Medal and National Book Award for Fiction)
    • An aging man remembers a boyhood friendship he had in 1920s Illinois which falters following a murder.

     I used to have a few of these but somehow most have disappeared.


George said...

I have a few of William Maxwell's books around here. Your excellent review of TIME WILL DARKEN IT motivates me to find them and read them!

Margot Kinberg said...

I like the way FFB introduces me to books and authors I hadn't 'met' before. Maxwell is one I'd heard of, but not tried. Thanks for sharing.

Jeff Meyerson said...

That really sounds good. Maxwell is an author I've always meant to read more of, beyond the one collection of his I did read.

Note to George: Maxwell had two Library of America volumes, Early Novels and Stories and Later Novels and Stories.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You can't go wrong with any of his books. He is a terrific writer.

TracyK said...

Maxwell is a new author to me, but I will definitely look into his books. I like book with good characterization. Ideally I would wait to see what I can find at the annual book sale, but who knows if that will happen this year. So I will check out other sources.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I got most of mine at those places. I know I didn't buy any new because most are fairly old. Yes, I wonder if my library will have their book sales. I am betting not until there is a vaccine.