"Seasoned Timber" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

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This bittersweet, vivid book recounts a high school headmaster's falling in love at age 44 (the titular "seasoned timber"). The object of his admiration, a teacher 20 years his junior, does not know of the gentleman's feelings, and settles instead on another, alas.

I want to compliment the author, Dorothy Canfield Fisher (she of the eponymous children's book award), on the ice skating image. Our hero (I'm sorry, I don't have the character's name noted) teaches the students to ice skate in this New England town. This consists in large part of convincing them to let their caution go and speed up - the greater the speed the greater the ease, and the surer the balance. This is in a nutshell what our protaganist must learn about love; these lessons, however, are late coming, and mostly ineffective.

Also worth noting are the lovely poetic flights our hero's imagination takes - these are the most effective and affecting "deep in love" passages in memory. They occur and recur throughout the book, and they are one of the chief delights.

"Seasoned Timber" flies generally under the radar, and that's a shame. If you want to take a flight among the human heart's desires, poetically and compassionately drawn, pick up this book. I think the author deserves not to be so obscure.
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