rev. of On This Day by Nathaniel Bellows

Issue #90
Spring 2003

On This Day,
a novel by Nathaniel Bellows (HarperCollins): A compelling, heartfelt first novel about an eighteen-year-old brother and his twenty-year-old sister who are orphaned by their parents. Warren and Joan’s father dies of cancer, and, within months, their mother commits suicide. In their small Maine hometown, the siblings try to ward off a pushy aunt and uncle, save the family nursery from their father’s opportunistic business partner, and deal with their own tentative romances. The book is populated by small episodic moments and memories, brushed clean with poetic patience and eloquence: “Part of our crying was out of fear, because Joan and I had just been talking about this that our mother was not well, that she was losing her mind. We could only wonder what she might be like when our father was gone. This was the day we would begin to know.”
Don Lee