A warm and profoundly felt evocation of family, this is the story of five generations of Nyes and DeGolyers, old American families of English, French, and Dutch descent, who settled in Cincinnati in the 1870s. Narrated by Vanessa Nye, a young girl growing up in Ohio in the ‘30s and ‘40s, it is also a portrait of the artist as she emerges into the sensuality of adolescence, preoccupied with summer vacations at Lake Michigan, books, and flirting. Above all, however, Vanessa’s mind is drawn to Grandpa Nye who will become – in later years when he is gone and she sets out to write – the hero of her book.

Told in delicately distilled prose, the three parts of this novel encompass both a personal journey and the history of a family that harkens back to the mythology of the American West.


Hannah Green was born in Ohio and studied writing with Vladimir Nabokov and Wallace Stegner. THE DEAD OF THE HOUSE, her only novel, was published in 1972 by Doubleday to critical acclaim. LITTLE SAINT, a memoir of her spiritual transformation, was published posthumously in 2000. She died in 1996.