It Will End With Us

BOOK REVIEW by Willard Manus

IT WILL END WITH US, by Sam Savage, is a novel written in a most unusual way: a series of brief paragraphs which sometimes read like diary entries, other times like descriptions from a book of recollections. The mosaic effect is enhanced by the author’s skillful use of language, his vivid, poetically-charged prose style.
Writing in a female voice, that of Eve Annette Trezevant Taggart of Spring Hope, South Carolina, Savage goes back and forth in time, sounding one moment like a young girl, the next like a disillusioned, sorrowful old woman. Whatever her age, though, Eve is always trying to make sense of her life, come to terms with it.

Although Eve remembers fleeting moments of well-being as a child--they were usually connected to her love of pictures, books and music (especially Wagner)-- her upbringing was anything but happy. To begin with, her parents were mismatched: father a stolid, philistine shopkeeper; mother a woman with a desperate, even tragic need to be an artist.
Her mother’s failure to achieve success as a writer or poet destroyed her in the end; “I have become dust,” she tells Eve, just before being carted off to a mental institution.
Eve herself also tries and fails to become an artist, but unlike her mother she has the strength and resilience to keep from cracking up. And she is also able to channel her thwarted ambitions into the writing of this novel, which she likens to the opening of the drawers in a family cupboard and discovering “linen that had never been used and that fell apart in our hands when
we took it out later, like the past, it occurs to me now, locked away in all the little drawers, opening them now and finding it has crumbled away.”
(Coffee House Press, $12.95 ppbk;