From the book jacket:
Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar
who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering
professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married
for thirty years to Kiki, an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy
activist she once was. Their three children passionately pursue their own paths:
Levi quests after authentic blackness, Zora believes that intellectuals can
redeem everybody, and Jerome struggles to be a believer in a family of strict
atheists. Faced with the oppressive enthusiasms of his children, Howard feels
that the first two acts of his life are over and he has no clear plans for the
finale. Or the encore.
Then Jerome, Howard's older son, falls for Victoria, the stunning daughter of
the right-wing icon Monty Kipps, and the two families find themselves thrown...
Beyond the Book
is a tribute to E. M. Forster's Howards End
, but set in
a contemporary American setting. The Belseys (like Forster's Schlegels)
become entangled with another family whose conventional household appears to be
the opposite of their own but across the divide the wives form a friendship that
leads to a valuable legacy being bequeathed by one woman to the other, leading
to concealment and conflict.
Edward Morgan Forster
was born in 1879 in London and educated at
Cambridge. While at Cambridge he became a member of a group called the
Apostles (formerly the Cambridge Conversazione Society) who discussed moral,
intellectual and aesthetic issues. Many of this group, including Forster,
later congregated in London where...