Through generationsthe power has descended,now weaker, now stronger.And which way did thepower run in the four-year-oldin the garden, playingwith a pie plate?
It was an old house not far from the coast, and had descended generation by generation to the women of the Putnam family. Progress literally went by it: a new four-lane highway had been built two hundred yards from the ancient lilacs at the doorstep. Long before that, in the time of Cecily Putnam's husband, power lines had been run in, and now on cold nights the telephone wires sounded like a concert of cellos, while inside with a sound like the breaking of beetles, the grandmother Cecily moved through the walls in the grooves of tradition.
Simone Putnam, her granddaughter; Nina Putnam, her great-granddaughter; the unbroken succession of matriarchs continued, but times the old woman thought that in Simone it was weakened, and she looked at the four-year-
In a house that the Putnam women have lived in for hundreds of years, an old woman talks with her granddaughter about the power the family's women have had over the years. The power to make things happen over a distance. And about the weakness of the men they married. The danger is that the granddaughter's husband is too strong, and the great-granddaughter is too ordinary.
Nice characterizations of everyone involved (even the husband, who never appears,) and a dazzling ending.