A couple begins an intense affair, only to be separated abruptly -- and perhaps irrevocably -- in this surprising, suspenseful love story.
Zeke is twenty-nine, a man who looks like a Raphael angel and who earns his living as a painter and carpenter in London. He reads the world a little differently from most people and has trouble with such ordinary activities as lying, deciphering expressions, recognizing faces. Verona is thirty-seven, confident, hot-tempered, a modestly successful radio show host, unmarried, and seven months pregnant. When the two meet in a house that Zeke is renovating, they fall in love, only to be separated less than twenty-four hours later when Verona leaves abruptly, without explanation, for Boston.
Both Zeke and Verona, it turns out, have complications in their lives, though not of a romantic kind. Verona's involve her brother, Henry, who is tied up in shady financial dealings. Zeke's father has had a heart attack and his mother is threatening to run away with her lover, all of which puts pressure on Zeke to take over the family grocery business. And yet he finds himself following Verona to Boston. As he pursues her, and she pursues Henry, both are forced to ask the perplexing question: Can we ever know another person?
He had replaced five lightbulbs that day and by late afternoon could not help anticipating the soft ping of the filament flying apart whenever he reached for a switch. The third time, the fixture in the hall, the thought zigzagged across his mind that these little explosions were a sign, like the two dogs he had come across in the autumn, greyhound and bulldog, locked together on the grassy slope of the local park. He had given them a wide berth; still, he had felt responsible when on the bus next day a man turned puce and fell to the floor. By the fifth bulb, though, he had relinquished superstition and was blaming London Electricity. Some irregularity in the current, some unexpected surge, was slaughtering the bulbs. He pictured a man at head office filling his idle minutes by pulling a lever. Meanwhile, hour by hour he emptied the upstairs rooms, slipping the bulbs from bedside lights and desk lamps.
He had just replaced the fifth bulb when the doorbell rang. ...
This is a love story with a twist - no easy answers, no assured happy ending.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (482 words).
About the author:
Margot Livesey is the award-winning author of a number of books but is best
known for her 2001 novel, Eva Moves the Furniture; She was born in
Scotland and currently lives in the Boston area, where she is writer in
residence at Emerson College.
Related Links: Autism is believed to effect about 1.5 million Americans. For information about autism in general, try the Autism Society of America, and for Asberger's in particular I recommend a section of the University of Delaware's website maintained by OASIS (Online Asberger Syndrome Information & Support).
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