BookBrowse Reviews Banishing Verona by Margot Livesey

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Banishing Verona

by Margot Livesey

Banishing Verona by Margot Livesey
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2004, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2005, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


This gem of a novel manages to be funny, frightening, and upbeat all at the same time.

From the book jacket: 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.....

Comment: This is a love story with a twist - no easy answers, no assured happy ending - just two odd people looking for something that they might just have found in each other.   Zeke is a 29 year-old housepainter, living in London; he has the 'face of a Raphael angel' but has great difficulty relating to people.  Just like the narrator of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, Zeke has Asberger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.  He finds it very difficult to read body language in others, or express it in himself - some of the most memorable scenes are where he grapples to interpret the expressions on the faces of others, in order to respond with his own appropriate, learned, response. Verona is a successful, heavily pregnant radio show host, with myriad problems of her own.  She appears in Zeke's life under false pretences and just as quickly disappears, but neither can forget the other. So when Verona calls Zeke from Boston, with no explanation as to why she left, asking him to come to  meet her, Zeke throws his ordered, cautious life aside to get on an airplane for the first time in his life, to go and join her - only to find that she's not there.

Library Journal says 'this gem of a novel manages to be funny, frightening, and upbeat all at the same time'; and Kirkus Reviews comments that 'Livesey constructs another of her reflective but surprisingly gripping tales about odd people in peculiar circumstances that nonetheless reveal a great deal about human nature.'

This review is from the September 1, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...
  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...
  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
News of the World by Paulette Jiles

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Young Jane Young
    by Gabrielle Zevin

    From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a novel that will have everyone talking.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.