Edward T. Vaughan
Mullen Valley Press
Faded Lives is a novel by Edward T. Vaughan. He tells the story of Mark who visits his grandmother sometime after the passing of his grandfather. Mark is feeling guilty that he didn’t make to his grandfather’s death bed in time to say goodbye, and he is determined that he will have time with his grandmother while she is still healthy.
His grandmother Emily has her own reasons for wanting her only grandson to visit. She wants to tell the true story of her family. Her story is filled with much more drama than Mark had ever dreamt. Yet Emily is like Scheherazade who tells the story of the Arabian Nights. Emily tells the tale in snippets as the house is being tidied
Edward weaves the work of clearing up the house and Mark’s grandfather’s things with the story of his grandmother’s family and its secrets. The relationship between Mark and his grandmother is revealed and deepened as the story develops and he learns things that will change the way he thinks of his family, his grandmother and himself.
The writing of this story is relaxed and welcoming. I found the characters of Mark and his grandmother especially engaging. The story of the past is well conceived and is skillfully woven into the tapestry. One part of the novel I really liked was the food. The meals during the week are almost a character in themselves as we are treated to a breadth of home cooking that is sadly all too rare these days.
I found reading Faded Lives very satisfying. As in most good stories there is a lesson to be learned, but Edward doesn’t try to hammer the point home. I finished the book with a smile on my face. I have no difficulty recommending this book.