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Hilltown - A Novel :: A Novel by Phyllis Smith Webster - An Author from the Hidden Hills of Western Massachusetts
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Autumn 2017
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November 18, 2017

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Hilltown - A Novel

Hilltown - A Novel by Phyllis Smith Webster

A novel by Phyllis Smith Webster

Phyllis Smith Webster is a playwright who has had two plays produced by the Miniature Theatre of Chester, “Caleb’s Stones” and “John and Teddy.” She has also had a reading of her latest play about Robert Frost, “Something Like a Star” at the Jones Library in Amherst.

She is married to the Rev. John Webster and they were long time residents of Williamsburg, Massachusetts. Currently they are living in Mrs. Webster’s home town of South Hadley. Hilltown is her first novel.

Praise for Hilltown:

At different times of most days for the 14 years I have lived here beside the Middle Branch of The Westfield River in Chester, Western Massachusetts. I walk alone between the wooded mountain and that scenic river. On my way I pass a tiny private graveyard that has two perfectly preserved gravestones. One of them is dated in the early 1800's for the young wife buried there. The other is for a very young child who died in the late 1700's. I think about them and the other people who knew and loved this beautiful region long before me. I try to recreate their thoughts, their struggles and their lives. I always fail. I had almost given up in irritated frustration when along came Phyllis Smith Webster, one of my favorite contemporary playwrights, with her new novel—Hilltown.

Phyllis gave me a few years ago one of the very best, important and successful new plays we have done in the Chester Theatre Company "John and Teddy." As a novelist, to my delight and yours, I believe, she brings a moving country tale, set in these hill towns in her Grandparents' time. She brings to us her rich, loving sense of character, her accurate, sensitive ear for dialogue, her playwright's economy in storytelling, and her lifetime's love and experience of life in these hill towns of western Massachusetts. To this she adds her perspective as a Minister's wife, her awesome abilities in historical research, and a deep feminine understanding of the human heart and spirit. As long as these hill towns exist and human beings live here, Hilltown should have a place in every bookcase.

Vincent Dowling
Founding Director, Chester Theatre Company
Lifetime Associate Director, Abbey Theatre Dublin
Author, Astride the Moon
Playwright-Poet.

 


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