The novel was Peyton Place. I was fortunate today to be at a family reunion in Marshall, Missouri. The facility was a senior center that we rent every year. This year, it appeared the center was preparing for a book sale. Hundreds of books were piled on the front table, and I picked up one of them while waiting for our lunch to be served. I recognized the title, and began reading. I was immediately struck by the beauty of the writing. So vivid and descriptive, and using the perfect word choices in every sentence. It was golden. I loved it.
For your enjoyment, I have managed to locate the opening and pasted it below. Take a moment to read it. If you're a writer, this is an excellent example of how to draw a reader in.
Indian Summer is like a woman. Ripe, hotly passionate, but fickle; she comes and goes as she pleases, so that one is never sure whether she will come at all nor for how long she will stay.
In Northern New England, Indian Summer puts up a scarlet-tipped hand to hold winter back for a while. She brings with her the time of the last warm spell, an uncharted season until Winter moves in with its backbone of ice and accouterments of leafless trees and hard, frozen ground.
Those grown old, who have had the youth bled from them by the jagged edged winds of winter, know sorrowfully that Indian Summer is a sham to be met with hard-eyed cynicism.
The above material is from Peyton Place, copyright 1956 by Grace Metalious.
But the young wait anxiously, scanning the chill autumn skies for a hint of her coming. And sometimes the old, against all the warnings of better judgment, wait with the young and hopeful, their tired winter eyes looking heavenward to seek the first traces of a false softening.