- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Ships in 1 to 3 days
This title in other editions
Memories of a Marriageby Louis Begley
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of Wartime Lies and About Schmidt, an irresistibly entertaining novel about a man struggling to understand his friends' seemingly charmed marriage, which may have been doomed from the start.
In the unforgiving class system of the 1950s, Lucy de Bourgh, daughter of one of Rhode Island's first families and beneficiary of an ample trust fund, was married to Thomas Snow, son of a Newport garage owner and his bookkeeper wife. It hardly mattered that Thomas was a graduate of Harvard Business School, or that he went to work for a great Wall Street firm and succeeded beyond expectations. In Lucy's eyes, he remained irremediably a "townie." Decades later, a chance meeting brings Lucy together with Philip, our narrator. They'd known each other earlier, and he remembers her as a ravishing, funny, ready-for-anything hellion with a well-earned reputation for generosity with sexual favors. He also remembers Thomas, killed in a freak accident years after his and Lucy's divorce, and is shocked to hear Lucy refer to Thomas insistently as "that monster." How is he to reconcile that unexpected and overflowing reservoir of bitterness and resentments with his own memories? Almost against his will, Philip sets out on a quest that soon becomes an obsession to discover who exactly these friends were whom he had understood so incompletely, and what happened in their marriage. Through Philip's patient probing, a brilliant portrait emerges of Begley's heroine: infinitely complex, irresistible as well as insufferable, capable of extremes of arrogance and submission, and driven by sexual appetites she cannot control. Lucy de Bourgh is without doubt one of Begley's strongest and most outrageous creations.
"In this compact, voyeuristic novel, Begley (About Schmidt) creates his latest larger-than-life character in the beguiling but sharp-tongued socialite Lucy De Bourgh. During the spring of 2003, elderly narrator Phillip, a successful literary novelist, is attending the New York City Ballet when he bumps into Lucy, an old friend and occasional lover from his carefree days in 1950s Paris. A striking beauty and wealthy Rhode Island blueblood, Lucy charmed with her personality and humor and disregarded Eisenhower-era mores with her easy sexuality. Lucy now seems bitter, however, and shocks Phillip by calling her late ex, Thomas Snow, a 'monster.' Although coming from blue-collar roots, Thomas attended Harvard, made his fortune as a savvy investment banker, and after the divorce, died in a boating accident. A lonely widower, Phillip becomes fascinated with Lucy and Thomas's divorce, perhaps seeing a future novel in their breakup. Possibly, though, he just finds titillation in Lucy's sensational past. Begley's effortless storytelling will have readers equally fascinated by Lucy and Phillips's complex, tangled relationship. Agent: Georges Borchardt, George Borchardt Inc. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
LOUIS BEGLEY's previous novels are Schmidt Steps Back, Matters of Honor, Shipwreck, Schmidt Delivered, Mistler's Exit, About Schmidt, As Max Saw It, The Man Who Was Late, and Wartime Lies, which won the Hemingway/PEN award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His work has been translated into eighteen languages.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like