My friend Carolyn gave me Annie Dillard's novel, "The Maytrees", a book, the book, I too would give a friend in the midst of her mature years.
I read it while on a short vacation to the high peaks of the Adirondacks, and their wildness connected me to the Dillard's refined sense of the natural world.
"From a white lake of fog opaque as paint, the tips of dunes, and only the tips of dunes, arose everywhere like sand peaks that began halfway up the sky. Dune tops protruded from a flat fog line evenly as atolls. She could see every stick and pock on their tops against dark blue sky. These sand peaks lacked nothing but connection to earth and a cause for being loose. They looked like a rendezvous of floating tents..."
If Dillard's writing were a gem, it would be a silver-grey pearl, luminous, mysterious, ethereal.
The book takes some living to read and understand; though a love story (of all sorts), it is also a mediation on friendship, fidelity, art and death. Two death scenes witness the mundane and divine aspects of the end of life.
The plot won't be ruined by telling you that Lou Maytree's husband leaves her, then makes his way back under extraordinary circumstances. While you may not have faced such loss, by the time you are 50, you will have explored forgiveness.
"... She was wary. Conceding that there might be a point- merely granting it as a long shot- might lead to a mess. Both time's back wall and front wall fell open. As a mire in which to wallow, it had housework beat all hollow."