A mesmerizing debut novel about a young woman, haunted by loss, who rediscovers passion and possibility when she's drawn into the tangled lives of her neighbors
Five years after her young husband's death, Celia Cassill has moved from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another, but she has not moved on. The owner of a small apartment building, she has chosen her tenants for their ability to respect one another's privacy. Celia believes in boundaries, solitude, that she has a right to her ghosts. She is determined to live a life at a remove from the chaos and competition of modern life.
Everything changes with the arrival of a new tenant, Hope, a dazzling woman of a certain age on the run from her husband's recent betrayal. When Hope begins a torrid and noisy affair, and another tenant mysteriously disappears, the carefully constructed walls of Celia's world are soon tested and the sanctity of her building is shattered - through violence and sex, in turns tender and dark. Ultimately, Celia and her tenants are forced to abandon their separate spaces for a far more intimate one, leading to a surprising conclusion and the promise of genuine joy.
Amy Grace Loyd investigates interior spaces, of the body and the New York warrens in which her characters live, offering a startling emotional honesty about the traffic between men and women. The Affairs of Others is a story about the irrepressibility of life and desire, no matter its sorrows or obstacles.
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"Lloyd's character study is narrow in scope but long on intensity and emotion." - Publishers Weekly
"Dark and sensual, with just a touch of suspense, this first novel offers a heartwrenchingly honest story about grief while still allowing for a glimmer of hope." - Booklist
"This first novel by Brooklyn-based Loyd, a former fiction and literary editor at Playboy , is a sophisticated, sympathetic, and beautifully written portrayal of contemporary individuals who come to share more than just an apartment building." - Library Journal
"Like a neat apartment, Loyd's story hasn't an element out of place; she writes expertly, without wasted words. Yet the affect is curiously flat: Celia is matter-of-fact and, it seems, scarcely involved in the heart of her own story; only the supporting players seem to feel much of anything, including, in a nicely written turn, anguish over the plight ofthe polar bears. " - Kirkus
"A wonderful novel, beautifully written and sensuous, rich with emotion and psychological truth. Amy Grace Loyd's prose hums with desire as she creates a Brooklyn walk-up that comes alive with the yearning of its tenants and moves them toward an unforgettable ending - suspenseful, erotic, and ultimately hopeful." - Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
"Debut novels don't come any more sure-handed and deftly written than The Affairs of Others. But it's the damaged, brokenhearted Celia - Amy Grace Loyd's brave, all-in protagonist - who latches on to us and refuses to loosen her grip." - Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
"Hypnotic, beautiful, and dangerously erotic, this book trembles with feeling, every sentence a breath, every sentence a seismographic wonder of observation. Scuba-diving once, I watched minute sea grass oscillate with the motion of the sea, and this is how I think of the narrator of this magnificent novel - she sways with every movement of the world, both interior and exterior, registering it all, and always you wonder, with an aching heart, what will become of her." - Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!
"Rich and fresh...The writing is just so wonderfully good: What other authors labor over, Loyd seems to just toss off. Throughout there are sentences to linger over, or for me to grin at with envy. Loyd has written a Rear Window story of a confined society described with Hitchcockian, voyeuristic detail." - Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy
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Amy Grace Loyd is an executive editor at Byliner Inc. and was the fiction and literary editor at Playboy magazine. A recipient of both MacDowell and Yaddo fellowships, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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