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The Madness of May   By: (1866-1947)

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In "The Madness of May" by Meredith Nicholson, readers are thrust into a whirlwind of political intrigue, personal ambitions, and ethical dilemmas that will leave their hearts pounding until the very last page.

Set in the small town of Corinth, this gripping tale delves into the life of May Devereux, a strong-willed and ambitious woman whose determination to rise above societal expectations becomes her driving force. As the mayor's wife, May seeks to escape the shackles of her constricted role, craving a taste of power and influence that she feels is rightfully hers.

Nicholson's skillful narration effortlessly transports readers back to the early 20th century, where the suffrage movement is gaining momentum and women are emboldened to claim their rightful place in society. May's journey echoes the struggles faced by countless women of her time - torn between the traditional roles assigned to them and their own aspirations for independence and self-fulfillment.

The author's vivid characterization draws readers deep into May's world, making her dreams and fears feel incredibly palpable. May is a complex and flawed protagonist, torn between her hunger for power and the lingering doubts about the price she must pay to achieve it. Her internal conflict resonates with readers, forcing them to question their own moral compass and the limits they would push to realize their dreams.

Supporting characters, such as James, May's loving and supportive husband, and Lucy, her fiery best friend, add depth and intensity to the narrative. They serve as a much-needed anchor for May as she navigates treacherous waters, attempting to reconcile personal desires with her sense of duty and love for those closest to her.

"The Madness of May" is not merely a tale of personal ambition; it is a vivid exploration of the often-unsettling world of politics. Nicholson's portrayal of the political scene of Corinth is chillingly authentic, revealing the darker side of power games and the Machiavellian tactics employed by those who seek to control and manipulate.

Furthermore, Nicholson's prose is both eloquent and accessible, effortlessly conveying the emotional landscapes of the characters and setting. With every turn of the page, readers will find themselves irresistibly drawn deeper into the web of intrigue, unable to tear themselves away.

It is worth noting that while the book expertly captures the essence of the era and the complexities of its characters, some readers may find the pacing a tad slow at times. However, this pacing allows for a more immersive experience, allowing readers to savor every moment in May's tumultuous journey.

In conclusion, "The Madness of May" is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that artfully transports readers to a time fraught with societal and political upheaval. Nicholson's rich characterization and masterful storytelling skillfully navigate the complexities of personal ambition, morality, and the pursuit of power. By the final page, readers will be left with a lingering sense of introspection, questioning the choices they would make when confronted with the alluring madness of May.

First Page:




With illustrations by Frederic Dorr Steele

[Illustration: "I didn't know it was your moon," he said. [ Page 60]]

Upon the morn they took their horses with the queen, and rode a maying in woods and meadows, as it pleased them. The Age of Chivalry.

New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1917

Copyright, 1917, by Charles Scribner's Sons

Published March, 1917




"I didn't know it was your moon," he said. Frontispiece

"The young person left in haste, that's clear enough," remarked Hood. 30

"I make it a rule never to deny food to any applicant, no matter how unworthy. You may remain." 123

"Throw up your hands, boys; it's no use!" cried Hood in mock despair. 166



Billy Deering let himself into his father's house near Radford Hills, Westchester County, and with a nod to Briggs, who came into the hall to take his hat and coat, began turning over the letters that lay on the table... Continue reading book >>

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