William Maxwell was one of my favorite writers. He died about a decade 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.