Think of England: A Novel by Alice Elliott Dark
It has been said that children are great observers but poor interpreters. Nine year old Jane MacLeod thinks she's responsible for the tensions between her parents, which conflicts with her strong desire to be part of a happy family. She wishes everyone would follow her grandmother's advice in times of crisis - think of England - a phrase that makes her feel safe. When the MacLeods gather for a long-awaited event, the Beatle's first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Jane sees in the band the same profound pining she feels in herself. But later that night a tragedy dashes her hope for the future and burdens her with guilt for decades to come. Years later, Jane travels to London where happiness surely awaits. Yet it isn't until she is in her forties with a child of her own that Jane interprets the past with wisdom and discovers the secret of family happiness. Joyce Carol Oates has said that each of Alice Elliott Dark's short stories 'exudes the gravitas of a radically distilled novel.' With THINK OF ENGLAND, Dark rises to Oates's prescient praise, revealing herself to be a master of the longer form.