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When they meet in the 1930s, Doris and Tup's love is immediate. They marry quickly and Doris commits to the only life Tup ever wanted: working the Senter family farm, where his parents and grandparents and great-grandparents are buried under the old pines. Their lives follow the calming rhythms of the land--chores in the cow barn, haying the fields, tending their gardens--and in this they find immeasurable joy.
Soon their first child, Sonny, is born and Doris and Tup understand they are blessed. More children arrive--precocious, large-hearted Dodie and quiet, devoted Beston--but Doris and Tup take nothing for granted. They are grateful every day for the grace of their deep bonds to each other, to their family, and to their bountiful land. As they hold fast to this contentment, Doris is uneasy, and confesses, "We can't ever know what will come."
When an unimaginable tragedy turns the family of five into a family of four, everything the Senters held faith in is shattered. The family is consumed by a dark shadow of grief and guilt. Slowly, the surviving Senters must find their way to forgiveness--of themselves and of each other. New York Times bestselling author Meredith Hall's radiant debut novel is a study of love--both its gifts and its obligations--that will stay with readers long after the last page. With a rare tenderness and compassion, Beneficence illuminates the heart's enduring covenants and compromises.
"If the word 'luminous' didn't already exist, you'd have to invent it to describe Meredith Hall's radiant new novel Beneficence."--Richard Russo
Meredith Hall's memoir Without a Map was instantly recognized as a classic of the genre and became a New York Times bestseller. It was named Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and BookSense, as well as Elle's "Readers' Pick of the Year." Ms. Hall was a recipient of the 2004 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation. Her work has appeared in the Five Points, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, New York Times, and many other journals. Hall divides her time between Maine and California.