A thoughtful article about the way Dear Evelyn moves through its ninety year time span:
Dear Evelyn is one of five nominees for the 2019 Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction. The award is one of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes and the winner will be announced in May.
Kathy spoke with Sheryl Mackay on CBC’s North by Northwest in early December. Here’s the episode. The interview begins at 02:09:03
The Literary Hoarders’ end of year review:
Harry and Evelyn are 1 in Most Memorable Characters, the book is 3 in Most Beautifully Written Book, 5 in Best Books Read and 5 in Top CanLit….Even the jacket gets an honourable mention. Thanks, Penny! http://www.literaryhoarders.com/pe…/2018-year-end-in-review/
A Globe 100 Best Book of the Year:
“Although the historical events of its backdrop, the Second World War in particular, clearly influence the family’s lives, the story remains personal and intimate in focus. What this painstaking and painful account of a marriage relies on, as much as its period detail, is its precise ruminations on the nature of affection and resentment, and on how love can persist in the face of cruelty.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books/article-the-globe-100-our-favourite-books-of-2018/
One of five Quill & Quire Critics’ Corner Books of the Year:
“Kathy Page’s Dear Evelyn, a beautifully crafted portrait of a marriage, is definitely one of my books of the year. The novel depicts its characters’ journey from love to alienation with ruthless clarity, but it also fosters the kind of tenderness toward them that we all hope to find in our own imperfect lives.” https://quillandquire.com/omni/books-of-the-year-2018-critics-corner/?fbclid=IwAR3bOQtfaO4cpWNRX5KhHtqgM1IaE-B3icOkmFkF6oDzN9-i7Uzmy3GMROQ
CBC Books Winter Reading List: 15 Canadian Books to Read This Season:
“Winner of the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, Dear Evelyn is the story of a war-time marriage that withers over the course of 70 years. Harry Miles is an English poetry lover who falls in love with Evelyn, the ambitious daughter of an alcoholic, before shipping off to serve in the Second World War. “ https://www.cbc.ca/books/the-cbc-books-winter-reading-list-15-canadian-books-to-read-this-season-1.4914771?fbclid=IwAR3Vst4C5vq8pVoKN3BflDpIvUsyI4rscG6U61iJLpKGZ47aR_qWEFcKbow
The Toronto Star’s Top Ten Books of 2018:
“Page won the Rogers Writers’ Trust fiction prize for this book, an historical fiction novel that was at once deeply personal, based, as it was, on her own parents’ letters, and that touched a profound emotional chord…. ”
Kirkus Best Fiction of 2018
“A searching, and touching, depiction of the places where married lives merge and the places where they never do.” https://www.kirkusreviews.com/issue/best-of-2018/section/fiction/?page=9&fbclid=IwAR0l3EF90YcoUg7ApGnTjivEFO0fcoFvPgF1lQAKA6gzFkzkO-39WmM09vc
49th Shelf Books of the Year 2018:
“Kathy Page has written a story of a marriage that spans the time period between the WWI and WWII and after, a lifetime of this couple, Evelyn and Harry, whose characters are so well drawn that you feel you are inside of their story. Their relationship just barely gets started when Harry, after enlisting, is sent off to fight in Tunisia. And we follow Harry there through his letters home to Evelyn. This is not a perfect marriage, but this is a perfect telling of it!”
Winnipeg Free Press Top of the Pile:
“Dear Evelyn is a smartly written portrait of a 70-year marriage between Harry and Evelyn set against a backdrop of a world war and the decades that came after. Sometimes sweet and sometimes painful, it is likely to leave readers with a tear in their eye.”
Dear Evelyn is the winner of the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
The jury citation reads:
“Kathy Page’s Dear Evelyn tells the tender and unsettling story of working-class Londoner Harry Miles and the ambitious Evelyn Hill who fall in love as the world around them goes to war. What initially begins as a familiar wartime love story morphs into a startling tale of time’s impact on love and family, as well as one’s complex search for personal meaning and truth. By integrating themes that are universally understood by readers and skilfully crafting endearing characters that surprise and delight, kathy page has created a poignant literary work of art. The result is a timeless page-turning masterpiece.”
VIDEO: Dear Evelyn Writers’ Trust video
Dear Evelyn is a Kirkus Book of he Year 2018, and she is in good company.
Dear Evelyn in Maclean’s magazine :
HOW I WROTE IT — Kathy Page interviewed about Dear Evelyn in CBC Books
BOOKS TO WATCH FOR in CBC Books
Elizabeth Lowry reviews Dear Evelyn in The Guardian: “Page’s eighth novel is many things: a love story, a coming-of-age story, and a brilliantly evocative sketch of Britain in the 20th century…..
Its picture of Evelyn herself is authentically troubling, a study of a woman in the grip of terrible compulsions. The warning signs are there from the start, in her panicky housekeeping (“things were much better after she’d spoken with Harry about the accumulation of books and the fussy, old-fashioned effect it gave a room, especially since his book jackets did not match”), her rigid washing and vacuuming schedules, her obsession with hunting down missing pillowcases. Later she is prone to sudden explosions and to punitive silences that last for days: “There was a line between strong-minded and outrageous that Evelyn now crossed with increasing frequency.” Harry, going into contortions to pacify her, says that while “he could bend, she could not”, but Page is after a darker truth. Under the cover of a domestic history, she has ambushed us with a chilling account of a disordered personality. Evelyn, trapped in her trophy house, is every bit as much a casualty of her time and place as her browbeaten husband. Page’s measured, intelligent novel treads nimbly around this bleak terrain.”
Dear Evelyn is a finalist for the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction. The winner will be announced on 7th November in Toronto. Kathy Page’s fiction has previously been nominated for the Giller Prize (twice), and she has been a finalist for the Governor General’s and ReLit Awards.
From the Ormsby Review: Dear Evelyn, the 8th novel by Kathy Page of Salt Spring Island, concerns the courtship, love, and marriage of Harry Miles and Evelyn Hill from the tumultuous early days of the Second World War to their deaths decades later. I know of no contemporary writer who deals so convincingly with love,” writes Paul Headrick “Page consistently dramatizes the ways in which the feelings of intimate couples are puzzling mixtures of hope, lust, genuine caring, resentment, politics, and much else.”
Full text here (does reveal plot)