Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead

Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead

4.13 (461 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback

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Product details

  • Hardback | 340 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 33.02mm | 498.95g
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
  • New York, United Kingdom
  • 54ill.
  • 0151421765
  • 9780151421763

Review Text

"After great pain a formal feeling comes/The nerves sit ceremonious like tombs;/ This is the hour of lead" - the lines are from Emily Dickinson chiselling the sometimes close to classic stance of grief which pervades the second half of the second volume of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's letters and diaries. Those who read her Bring Me a Unicorn (a still ongoing audience a year later), and those who couldn't, will find a community of interest - greater than could ever have seemed possible. No more organdy, no more "dear" and "delicious" moments of that modest and receptive self. They end as does the hour of gold - the first year and a half of her marriage to "C." flying around the world and always in the public eye they are trying to avoid - with the night in March when Charles Jr., eighteen months, was taken from his crib in Hopewell, N.J. One follows her, immobilized, during the two-month vigil to come - the hopeful assurances, the letters received (more than 38,000 in a month), the negotiations and so-called "leads" to the discovery of the child's body. "But to know anything definitely is a relief. If you can say 'then he was living,' 'then he was dead,' it is final and finalities can be accepted." But acceptance does not prove to be that easy - there are those days ("Long periods of chill stupor; no realization at all") and dream-filled nights ("I never had a baby - he is so gone."). And the bleak repudiation - "Immortality perhaps for the spark of life, but not for what made up my little boy." Here Mrs. Lindbergh converts what was the most notorious individual horror story of this century into a universal experience - once more with feeling, not "formal," but eloquently communicable to anyone who ever felt. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

461 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 38% (174)
4 42% (195)
3 17% (77)
2 2% (11)
1 1% (4)
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