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O My Darlingby Amity Gaige
Synopses & Reviews
O My Darling tells the story of a devoted young couple whose marriage begins to implode when they move into their first house. The external lives of Clark, a high school guidance counselor, and Charlotte, a bookkeeper, are utterly ordinary, but their interior lives are as bold and complex as abstract paintings colored by imagined possibilities, childhood joys and, more darkly, by deeply buried fears. When Clark rescues a young boy from drowning, a chain of events — some comic, some harrowing — is set in motion, revealing the fault lines of the couple's marriage and individual psyches.
Amity Gaige is a consummate stylist. Her every sentence contains a tiny world — marrying striking images to deep, soulful ideas in perfectly concise fashion. Her cool, slightly off-kilter sensibility expressed in spare, lucid prose will remind readers of Paula Fox (Desperate Characters), while her pure, hyper-real vision of suburban America places her among the most talented of the generation of writers dubbed "the children of Cheever."
"Crystalline insights into the nature of love and flashes of narrative brilliance buoy a plot-deficient first novel about the strains of a young marriage. Clark and Charlotte have just moved into their first house, which is still inhabited by ghosts of other marriages. Isolated in their suburb, Charlotte nervously jokes, '[W]e live in a little diorama or something. Help, help! Let us out!' Clark is mourning the freedom of imagination that seems to have perished with his mother's recent suicide. Dead-on dialogue (' 'You're alive!' she cried. 'You jackass!' ') and moments of suburban absurdity (a public joyride on a lawn mower; the curious arrival of a nude travel magazine in the mailbox) impart the acute delight more often found in short stories. While the horror-story elements (disembodied voices; visible spirits) don't add up to much and the themes of apology and forgiveness don't fully edify, gorgeous snippets on love and marriage ('Marriage is the only punishment great enough to fit the crime of love') compensate. Gaige's precise wordplay, sharp dialogue and bite-sized themes might be better served in story form, but her novel often sparkles and delights." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] witty, tender first novel....
"[An] introspective, sometimes humorous look at how aspects from one's past can suddenly reemerge and pilot one's life in totally unexpected directions." Booklist
"Utterly devourable...gently, and beautifully, unfolds like a gauzy curtain in an open window." Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Amity Gaige is a graduate of Brown University and the Iowa Writer's Workshop. O My Darling is her first novel. She lives in Cranston, Rhode Island where she is at work on a new novel.
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