Award Category: First Novel
My Old Sweetheart
In this mesmerizing novel, Susanna Moore displays a naturalist’s eye for the landscape of her native Hawaii and an uncanny sensitivity to the despairing love between mothers and daughters. Lily Shields grows up amid the fragrance of night-jasmine and burning sugar cane, and the heady atmosphere of her mother’s madness. For if Anna Shields is an island unto herself–fragile, glamorous, and fearfully needy–Lily is the bridge that connects her to reality.
But now Lily is a young woman and a mother herself, self-exiled from Hawaii but still attached to Anna’s tragedy. And as she tries to untangle those threads of love and loyalty, Moore gives us a novel of shimmering beauty and sadness. My Old Sweetheart is a small classic, perfectly formed and mysteriously wise.