Miss Madeira is the story of an “Old Maid” schoolteacher in the first half of the 20th century. No one knew the shocking secrets of her home life—only that she was a brilliant but formidable teacher, who produced several generations of students forever known as “Madeira’s Kids.” Torn between her love for a woman, who later became her sister-in-law, and a former gifted maleMiss Madeira is the story of an “Old Maid” schoolteacher in the first half of the 20th century. No one knew the shocking secrets of her home life—only that she was a brilliant but formidable teacher, who produced several generations of students forever known as “Madeira’s Kids.” Torn between her love for a woman, who later became her sister-in-law, and a former gifted male student, Amelia Madeira lived a complex existence—one that in many ways paralleled the life of her favorite poet, emily dickinson. her painful private life informed but did not destroy her astonishing career. Miss Madeira reveals what lies beneath the façade of a typical Midwestern town. ‘As anyone with an intimate knowledge of the workings of small-town America knows, episodic memory is the bailiwick of barbershops Beauty shops and pool halls.’...
|Number of Pages||:||304 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Miss Madeira Reviews
Full Disclosure: I know this author, whose real name is Gary Heyde. He was my teacher at Franklin High School (TN) a decade ago. That said, I read "Miss Madeira" with the same critical eye I would any novel. The character of Amelia Madeira is complex, as is any number of any other characters, especially her genius student, Chester O'Malley. These two main characters' lives run rather parallel with each other. As Chester says about his novel, "Janus," we are the sun and the moon--two halves of the same person; we hide our true selves from others and reveal it only to one another. This novel is about life in a small Midwestern town (Prospect, MO) from about 1917-1952. Under the surface of this seemingly benign town, there is a tremendous amount of drama. The author foreshadows a lot of what comes in Part II through literary allusions. I imagine this book will be a choice among Book Clubs and the favorite of librarians (since the title character not only teaches English but is also a librarian). I loved that she passed off her own poetry as Emily Dickinson's and no one except Chester could tell the difference. I was also impressed with the growth of all the characters. Even though there is a lot of horrifying events in Part II, I know for a fact that these things happen in small towns. Suicides, murder, incest and all forms of insanity may seem implausible, but not the way Austin Gary describes it. The writing is, at times, lyrical, and other times like reportage. There are elements of epistolary novels (letters, journal entries, etc), but this is a character-driven novel and it holds you 'til the final revelation. I gave it Five Stars (not only because Mr. Heyde was a wonderful teacher but) because I think "Miss Madeira" is deserving. Hope it's a best-seller!
I received this from the author free through Goodreads, First reads! This book was such a joy to read and a hard to put down kind of read. Miss Madeira was indeed an "old maid" school teacher, but she was so much more and old maid does not do her justice! Her love of Emily Dickinson and the writing in the style of this author is so wonderful. I love that her diary is an on-going letter to "Emily", as though they were intimate friends, which of course they were because of her long and loving reading of Emily. She knew intimately everything that had been written by Emily. Her life was one of hardship, sadness, peppered with joy from the children she taught. She had great love, but it was unrequited. A life that is the ultimate one for great poetry. Written with the same style and development of character of the great masters of yore... this book should and shall become a stand alone classic in itself. I would recommend it for just about anyone, but especially those who love great poetry, great literature and just plain great story! Thank you so much Austin Gary for the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful work of yours.
Miss Madeira is a story about a young teacher, who loves teaching literature and sacrificed so much for the love of teaching. This book takes place in a small midwest town and the secrets of the craters are dark and heart breaking. I think it is a wonderfully written book full of poetry and love of literature. It should have been a depressing book. Some of the subjects were hard to read about but really makes you understand people have dark secrets and past. It makes you wonder why Austin Gray would write this book, but then read about him and you understand just a little, maybe. Over all I liked this book. Would make an interesting book club book.
Well written, keeps moving, but boy it can get you depressed. It is a tough world out there.