Rhonda Johnson
April 09, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Refinements of Love: A Novel About Clover and Henry Adams

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Sarah Booth Conroy
genre
Historical Fiction, Fiction

We gave it an A-

Henry Adams responded to the alleged suicide of his wife, Clover, in 1885 by destroying her letters, diaries, and photographs. He also omitted their 13-year marriage from his classic autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams. Sarah Booth Conroy’s novel, Refinements of Love: A Novel About Clover and Henry Adams, attempts to solve the mystery within this tragedy. Diary entries re-creating the last days of Clover’s life limn the restrictions that even brilliant women endured, and reveal the miseries of the Adams’ stultifying marriage. Conroy’s voice captivates and convinces right up to the dramatic (though farfetched) explanation of Clover’s death. A-

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