In This Season of Rage and Melancholy Such Irrevocable Acts as These
by Kat Meads
A harsh and poetic narrative, In This Season of Rage and Melancholy Such Irrevocable Acts as These is built on the premise that the ugly can break one’s heart more profoundly than the pretty. The novel reflects changing political, social and economic times in the 1970s South and features: a tuxedo-ed god who drinks; a leather and tat teen turned real estate mogul; deceit, revenge, Pentecostal religion and the disappearance of family farms. Mickey Waterman schemes to best his tyrant father and everyone else who wants to see him fail. Elizabeth Jane Anderson drinks to forget Pentecostal warping, a miscarried child, and the hectoring of the substitute God she has created. Neither is entirely successful, reflecting the novel’s epigraph by Conrad: “We can never cease to be ourselves.” In 1978 Mawatuck County, small farmers are getting poorer; farmland developers, rich. Life is a battle between anguish and hope that, for some, ends prematurely. Told in short chapters of spare prose, the novel portrays memory’s capacity
to incite as well as scar. 
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