Wasn't the Grass Greener? Harcourt Brace, 1999
More endangered - or perhaps extinct? - pleasures from Barbara Holland. Here's an excerpt from her paean to ice-skating on a frozen pond:
"Holding the wrong end of the telescope to the eye, we can look back through its tunnel into the quite-recent past. There is the portly gray-haired couple skating together, holding hands across their stomachs, matching each other stroke for stroke. There's the toddler, so bundled into its snowsuit it can barely waddle, dangling from its father's hands, feet sliding backward from under it. Here's the young man who compensates for his pimples by doing a shoot-the-duck and a leaping spin....
"The shallow winter sun dips under and in pairs and groups they take off their skates and leave, until only one skater remains, carving out figure-eights in the thickening dusk.
"...The lone skater leans into his curves, hands clasped behind him, red tassled stocking cap swaying. The bonfire on the bank has died down to coals. Someone has dropped a mitten."
Reviews and copies for sale: