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The winner of the National Book Award returns with a moving story of a family of women drawn together by the trials of the times.

The women in the Hand family are no strangers to either controversy or sadness. Those traits seem, in fact, to be a part of their family’s heritage, one that stretches back through several generations and many wars. A Dangerous Age is a celebration of the strength of these women and of the bonds of blood and shared loss that hold them together. Louise, Winifred, and Olivia are reconnecting the pieces of their lives and rediscovering love, but each is unwittingly on a collision course with a seemingly distant war that is really never more than a breath away. By turns humorous and heartbreaking, this finely honed novel about the centuries-old struggle for women who are left to carry on with life when their men go off to war is by a writer the Washington Post says “should be declared a national cultural treasure.”

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Meet the Author
Ellen Gilchrist headshot

Ellen Gilchrist

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Review quotes

“Ellen Gilchrist is a wonderful writer, with a winning grace and humaneness . . . Moving and tender and tough and unsentimental at the same time.” —Chicago Tribune

“Gilchrist rides the tension--between seeing events and motivations clearly and becoming clouded by personal and material concerns--on a perfect edge.”The Boston Globe 

“Aims to show readers that Americans have a resilience that won’t allow us to simply sulk and blame . . . The writing is polished; all her details matter.”The Seattle Times

“Gilchrist can create wonderful female characters, contemporary women who come alive on the page and linger long after the book is over.”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“[Her] fiction never fails to inspire with its feisty spirit and enduring hopefulness.”The New Orleans Times-Picayune

“[Gilchrist] gives this novel a humanity easily embraced by the reader. [Her] trademark supple prose and droll sense of humor are on full display.” Booklist, starred review

“Narrated in the author's characteristically fine prose and populated by . . . sympathetic and believable characters. Recommended.” —Library Journal

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Publication date
April 08, 2014