April is the cruelest month...
mixing memory and desire

-T.S. Eliot


The Cruelest Month is a novel by Canadian author Ernest Buckler, published in 1963.

This is a really great book. The story revolves around several people who vacation at a guest house in Nova Scotia. Each of them are trying to escape from their own personal demons.

Expressing with eloquence how people learn to cope with their shortcomings and their situations, this book is an amazing analysis of just what it takes to come to terms with yourself. In addition to that, it describes how people interact with each other; the different faces people wear depending on who they're with. In places it's a little bit chewy, but delightful in its universality.

"She had never talked about herself. Like being loved or getting married or having children it had simply come to be another of those things which They did and she didn't. She could see what talking about themselves did for Them. It was like a stream of running water that kept them free of pond scum. But fluently as she could hear herself unburdening herself to Them when she was alone, to their faces she was stage-struck. She would come to the brink of it; and then in increasing thrall to some subtle whisper that forbade it right now, turn the discussion back with her own self. Until, finally, herself became a confidant so intimate that so have sought any other would have seemed like treachery."

-Ernest Buckler

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