Inspired by Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell, this novel in letters immerses us inside a moving literary love story and transports us to mid-twentieth-century New York in all its glamour and zip
In the summer of 1957, Frances and Bernard meet at a writers’ colony. She finds him faintly ridiculous, but talented. He sees her as aloof, but intriguing. Afterward, he sends her a letter. Soon they are engaged in the kind of fast, deep connection that can take over --- and change the course of --- our lives.
Bernard is a poet --- well-born, Harvard-educated, gregarious, passionate. Frances is a fiction writer --- daughter of a middle-class Irish family, wry, fairly (and often unfairly) judgmental. She is deeply Catholic; he is a convert who yearns to sound out matters of the spirit. He is well into his writing career; she is looking for a way into New York literary life.
So begins an extraordinary novel told in absorbing correspondence that explores faith, creativity, depression, passion, what it means to be a true friend, the nature of acceptable sacrifice. How much should we give up for those we love? In witness to all the wonder of kindred spirits and bittersweet romance, Frances and Bernard is a tribute to the power of friendship.