Robb Forman Dew reaches far in her fourth novel, The Evidence Against Her. She wants to paint a portrait--at once intimate and sweeping--of a small, turn-of-the-century town. Into the upper crust of Washburn, Ohio, three babies are born on the same sunny day in 1888. Robert, Lily, and Warren grow up as a triumvirate, though their parents are vaguely disturbed by their "threesomeness." Eventually, as seems preordained, Robert and Lily are married, and Warren, left behind, falls for and weds the teenage Agnes. The introduction of Agnes, the interloper, upsets the triangle in unexpected ways. Forman Dew writes of these emotional entanglements in a lush, descriptive prose that owes a lot to the quiet romanticism of Eudora Welty. She wants us to believe in the intense inner lives of these old-fashioned characters; it's as if she's showing us a faded black-and-white daguerreotype and demanding that we imagine ourselves in the high-buttoned shoes of the people we see in the picture.
Wow--these are fiercely alive characters. This is a wonderful novel. You will feel like you live with these people in their era. This novel has beautiful language and richness that is found on these pages that will stay with you long after you come to the end.