Evening and the Morning
Signature Mormon Classics Series No. 5
by Virginia Sorensen
Linda Sillitoe, Foreword
350 Pages. / 1-56085-124-4 / $14.95
Where polite society weighs heavily against extramarital dalliances, why do some people insist on acting against their own best interests? Ah, the complexity of the human heart! Virginia Sorensen seems to be saying in this dark novel about a 1940s Utah housewife, Kate, and a young violin maker, Peter, a man who elicits from her the first shock of overpowering attractions. Considering the circumstances of Kate’s rural life, her marriage to an older man, and the trouble she has raising two stepchildren, readers may forgive her errant desires. Yet her husband has been good to her, and the new object of her eye has a devoted wife and a handicapped son. So, why should these two decent, if all-too-human, people be struck by this other side of human passion? Ultimately, Kate decides to abandon her Utah home and her adopted family rather than risk disruption to Peter’s household. However, decades later she realizes her error and embarks on a pilgrimage back home to see her Peter once more, to determine finally what meaning this romantic interlude held for her.
Virginia Sorensen was born in Provo, Utah, and lived much of her adult life in Morocco and Florida with her husband, British novelist Alec Waugh. She is the distinguished author of eight novels (see, for instance, A Little Lower than the Angels), a collection of short stories (Where Nothing Is Long Ago: Memories of a Mormon Childhood), and as many children’s books; and winner of the Newberry Medal, an O. Henry award, and two Guggenheim fellowships. She spent a lifetime telling stories, many of which she offered to her Mormon community as their own. Literary critics have hailed her as “Utah’s First Lady of Letters.” She died in 1991.
Linda Sillitoe is a graduate of the University of Utah. As a Deseret News staff reporter, news features editor for Utah Holiday magazine, and a New York Times correspondent, she garnered awards from the Utah chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and Associated Press. Her non-fiction includes Banking on the Hemingways: Three Generations of Banking in Utah and Idaho, Friendly Fire: The ACLU in Utah, and Welcoming the World: A History of Salt Lake County. She is also the author of a collection of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a novel and has contributed to several anthologies of poetry and short stories. She has taught journalism on several college campuses. She co-produced the PBS-affiliated documentary, “Navajo and American.” She lives in Mesa, Arizona.