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August 22 , 2008

Lamb in Love

A Novel


Carrie Brown's triumphant first novel, Rose's Garden, garnered high praise from the critics for its "simple, beautiful language," and for "plumbing the emotional depths of ordinary human beings." Just a year later, she does it again.

Lamb in Love is set in a rural English village the year of the Apollo moon landing and tells of two people surprised, halfway through their lives by...what? passion? desire? love? They haven't the experience to quite identify it.

Norris and Vida have known each other forever. Neither has had any idea how to go about falling in love.

Vida Stephen has been nanny for twenty years to the mentally handicapped son of a rich American widower. Every day for most of her life, she nods to Norris Lamb, the postmaster, when calling for her mail. Sometimes Norris offers pretty stamps to the boy. A fussy, stamp-collecting bachelor and church organist, Norris has fallen suddenly, amazingly, and secretly in love with Vida.

Witness to Norris and Vida's halting, at times embarrassing courtship is Vida's charge, Manford - mute and clumsy and yet possessed of an odd and gentle intelligence. It is through Manford, even thanks to him, that Norris and Vida finally come to recognize each other and themselves.

Carrie Brown has an affinity for the way love transforms the most ordinary and imperfect people. In Lamb in Love, she celebrates a man and a woman who discover in themselves a bravery that allows them to become the heroes of their own story.

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