Mason's Retreat

A Novel

Christopher Tilghman

Picador

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The year is 1936, and the world is on the brink of war. American expatriot Edward Mason, owner of a failing machine factory, is fighting more private battles. In the face of defeat, he abandons his adopted home in England in order to reclaim his inheritance on Maryland’s Eastern Shore---a ruinous, thousand-acre estate known ominously as Mason’s Retreat. Edward, his wife, Edith, and their two young sons struggle to adjust to life in this strange and storied place. But with war drawing closer, England’s hasty rearmament offers Edward a chance to revive the factory, and he returns alone to lead his company. Meanwhile, his wife and sons are left to make their own fortunes. When an unsigned letter informs Edward of where those fortunes have led, he hastens back, an ill-fated move that will have devastating consequences for everyone involved.

Haunted, moving, and masterfully written, "Christopher Tilghman’s deeply remembered novel is a loyal testament to history---to the lure and bind of family, to the earth that spat us out and receives us unquestionably again" (Gail Caldwell, The Boston Sunday Globe).

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Book Excerpts

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Harry Mason can picture his grandfather, Edward, on the sundeck of the Normandie, early morning, August, a pebbly North Atlantic mist. He is wearing a suit made of yards of heathery Irish tweed, and the fronts of his double-breasted Bur- berry, flapping slightly, are big as sails. He has paused on the silvered teak decking for a second or two and is looking toward the horizon. His large palms have gripped the cold steel of the life rail, greasy with sea dew. The waves are silver-flecked, broad- troughed; the swell is deep enough to turn walking into a slight climb-and-run, and the stewards and

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Reviews

Praise for Mason's Retreat

"Powerful...A work of surpassing thematic seriousness and fictive artistry. In all respects, Mason’s Retreat is exemplary."---The Washington Post Book World
 
"Stately, absorbing...Mr. Tilghman writes [with] authoritative elegance….His book, so rooted in the idea of coming home, makes one realize all over again that here on Earth there is no such place."---Thomas Mallon, The New York Times Book Review

"Comes close to pure, exhilarating perfection...Tilghman gives us richly drawn characters, shimmering detail, and an irresistibly moving theme---all presented in a graceful and powerful style."---San Francisco Chronicle

"Rich...bewitching...unforgettably rendered...The pieces in Tilghman’s kaleidoscope [are] sharp, faceted, and gleaming."---Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times

"Beautifully written...fully imagined...Few first novels are narrated with the clarity, economy, and masterful assurance Tilghman brings to this remarkably moving and persuasive tale."---Entertainment Weekly

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About the Author

Christopher Tilghman

Christopher Tilghman's stories, collected in In a Father's Place (Picador), have appeared in The New Yorker and many other publications, and several have been selected for The Best American Short Stories anthology. He lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Christopher Tilghman

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Available Formats and Book Details

Mason's Retreat
A Novel
Christopher Tilghman

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
April 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781250016072
ISBN10: 125001607X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages
$16.00
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