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THE LATE BLOOMER
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Lynn Ruth gives an overview of the book:

THE LATE BLOOMER  is the story of Fanny Goldstein, a fifty-year-old virgin who doesn't want to die wondering what she has missed.  Although this novel cartoons modern values and its superficial pleasures, it is far more than a funny story.  Society would call Fanny and her friends misfits, but their love for each other lends them great dignity.           The story opens the day of the San Francisco earthquake in 1989.  Fanny is a librarian, dominated by her demanding, unsympathetic mother.  She is short, plump and socially backward.  Yet, she is so generous and caring that everyone who knows her loves her.  After the earthquake, Fanny returns home from the library to find her mother dead and herself a millionaire. Her mother willed Fanny all her assets including her dog, William and her lover, Hymie. We follow Fanny through a year with her two legacies and see the...
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THE LATE BLOOMER  is the story of Fanny Goldstein, a fifty-year-old virgin who doesn't want to die wondering what she has missed.  Although this novel cartoons modern values and its superficial pleasures, it is far more than a funny story.  Society would call Fanny and her friends misfits, but their love for each other lends them great dignity.

          The story opens the day of the San Francisco earthquake in 1989.  Fanny is a librarian, dominated by her demanding, unsympathetic mother.  She is short, plump and socially backward.  Yet, she is so generous and caring that everyone who knows her loves her.  After the earthquake, Fanny returns home from the library to find her mother dead and herself a millionaire. Her mother willed Fanny all her assets including her dog, William and her lover, Hymie. We follow Fanny through a year with her two legacies and see the unexpected ways she learns that being a fulfilled human being does not involve dropping her pants as much as it demands that she open her heart.  

 

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Date: Tuesday, October 17, 1989.

          Time: 5:00 P.M.

          Place: Whale’s End Community Library

          "Donald!" said Fanny Goldstein. "Can you walk Miss Kirsten home?"

          Donald Wippet pulled his coat off its hook and pushed his right arm into the sleeve. 

          The minute hand stood at four minutes past the hour.

          At that moment, the floor under his feet rose and his coat wrapped itself around his neck.  The reading room walls rippled in vertical waves and books tumbled helter-skelter like hailstones.  The hanging light fixture swung in a mad circle, dangling by one remaining wire.  The African violet on Miss Kirsten's desk tumbled to the ground and the patron browsing in Recent Fiction was felled by Webster’s Dictionary.  The woman sighed like a deflated balloon and crumbled to the floor.

          Fifteen seconds of chaos.

          Then silence.   

          Fanny loosened her grip on the library counter.  She stared at the mess around her.    The Adult Biography section had skidded into the Nature and Biology shelves.  The bookcases leaned against each in a precarious Islamic arch.  The Young Adult Paperback carousel spewed its rainbow of stories over the LP section and the Best Seller shelf.  The lights were out and the patron had a black eye.

          Miss Kirsten had landed in the vestibule.  She sat immobilized like a stem-less mushroom.  The Joy of Cooking had fallen on her head and pushed her hat over her left eyebrow.  Donald was sprawled beside her trying to untangle himself from his coat.

          Fanny picked up the telephone.  It was dead.

          Fifteen seconds. 

          The whole world turned upside down in fifteen seconds!    

          Fanny thought back over her fifty years on earth and she shook her head.  I almost lost my life and I haven’t even begun to live it.  What a terrible waste!

 

lynn-ruth-miller's picture

ynn Ruth Miller has been published in various fields for forty years. Her writing often deals with feminist issues and appeals to readers who enjoy Laurie Colwin for her ethnic flavor and commentary on the idiosyncrasies of modern life, and Anne Tyler for her slightly out of sync frame of reference. The Late Bloomer is reminiscent of the writings of Barbara Kingsolver and Mona Simpson, with a definite streak of HAROLD AND MAUDE in its theme. The story is deceptively deep and has something to say to anyone puzzled and discouraged by society’s impossible standards of beauty and success.

About Lynn Ruth

Lynn Ruth Miller’s stories and feature articles have been published in over 100 publications throughout the country.  She has compiled several of her essays into a book THOUGHTS WHILE WALKING THE DOG, published in January 2001, MORE THOUGHTS WHILE WALKING THE DOG, published...

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