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Palladio: A Novelby Jonathan Dee
Synopses & Reviews
An unforgettable portrait of a man haunted by memories of the woman who got away_blended skillfully with a searing look at the role of art and memory in our times. In a small, foundering town in central New York, Molly Howe grows up to be a seemingly ordinary but deeply charismatic young woman. As a teenager, she has an affair with a much older man--a relationship that thrills her at first, until the two of them are discovered, and she learns how difficult it can be to get away with such a transgression in a small town. Cast out by her parents, she moves in with her emotionally enigmatic brother, Richard, in Berkeley, California. At her lowest moment, she falls in with a young art student named John Wheelwright. Each of them believes--though for very different reasons--that this is the love that can save them. Then Molly, after being called home for a family emergency, disappears. A decade later, John has gone on to a promising career at a "cutting edge" advertising agency in New York. He seems on a familiar road to success--until he wanders into the path of Malcolm Osbourne, an eccentric advertising visionary who decries modern advertising's reliance on smirking irony and calls for a popular art of true belief and sincerity. Toward this end, Mal founds--and invites John to join--a unique artists' colony-cum-ad agency called Palladio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The risky, much-ridiculed venture brings them undreamt-of fame and influence. It also brings, literally to their door, Molly Howe. In a triumph of literary ingenuity, Jonathan Dee weaves together the stories of this unforgettable pair, raising haunting questions about the sources of art, the pain of lost love, and whether it pays to have a conscience in our cynical age.
"An astute observer of contemporary society, he is strikingly perceptive about the secret lives of teenagers, the alienation of the American family, advertising culture and the inescapable moral ambiguities of modern life. Though his message is bleak, his measured, textured prose sustains tension, and the depth and unflinching honesty of his characterizations grant the narrative integrity and strong emotional power." Publisher's Weekly
In this masterful novel, critically acclaimed writer Jonathan Dee explores the price of compromise, the pain of lost love, and whether it pays to have a conscience in our cynical age.
"In a small, foundering town in central New York, Molly Howe grows up to be a seemingly ordinary but deeply charismatic young woman. As a teenager, she has an affair with a much older man." — Jacket.
In her small upstate New York town, Molly Howe is admired for her beauty, poise, and character, until one day a secret is exposed and she is cruelly ostracized. She escapes to Berkeley, where she finds solace in ayoung art student named John Wheelwright. They embark on an intense, all-consuming affair, until the day Molly disappears-again. A decade later, John is lured by the eccentric advertising visionary Mal Osbourneinto a risky venture that threatens to eviscerate every concept, slogan, and gimmick exported by Madison Avenue. And much to John's amazement, one of the many swept into Osbourne's creative vortex isthe woman who left him devastated so many years before.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
JONATHAN DEE is the author of The Lover of History, The Liberty Campaign, and St. Famous. He lives in New York City.
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