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Lost in the Garden: A Novelby Philip Beard
Synopses & Reviews
From the author of Dear Zoe, a wry novel of suburban life unraveled.
Michael Benedict, overprivileged but undermotivated, seems to have it all: a beautiful wife, two lovely daughters, a law practice that provides a comfortable life for his family, and a natural golf swing. Can it all unravel in a few short months?
As he did in his debut, Dear Zoe, Philip Beard has created a pitch-perfect narrator who ruefully and winningly pulls the reader into the confusing world that is his life. When his wife announces she?s pregnant, at age forty, with a "surprise" baby, Michael?s underwhelming response disturbs the fault lines of both his marriage and his psyche. He tries to find solace in his obsessions: his golf game, his newfound luck in the stock market, and, since his wife has cut him off, some kind of sex that isn?t exactly extramarital.
Like Tom Perrotta and Nick Hornby, Philip Beard writes insightfully, movingly, and with the lightest touch about the messiness of life. Anyone who wakes up some mornings feeling life is still a work in progress will find this the perfect summer read.
"At first blush, 45-year-old attorney and golfer Michael Benedict seems a knowing, self-deprecatingly witty confidant as he details the breakdown of his long and happy marriage to a 'mostly perfect' woman. When his wife, Kelly, announces she is pregnant with their third child at the age of 40, Michael, still traumatized by the miscarriage of their last baby, can only summon up a callous: 'What are we going to do about it?' Predictably annoyed, Kelly soon refuses him sex, and he ends up moving out of his suburban Pittsburgh house and back home with his wealthy, exasperated parents. There, he seeks out prostitutes and sex therapists, and sets his sights on breaking 70 in his golf game and making the PGA Senior Tour at 50. After a promising start, Beard doesn't provide enough plot to keep the reader from losing patience with Beard's self-absorbed mid-lifer and his games (sporting and otherwise)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Beard very faintly echoes Updike at Updike's weakest....
"The skillfully drawn Benedict is almost able to carry the novel on his own. There are some problems, however, with tone and plotting....A flawed but nonetheless intriguing novel..." Library Journal
"What's not to love about a book devoted to one man's search for the sweet spots on both the golf clubs and the women in his life? By turns rollicking, ribald, poignant and sweet, Lost in the Garden is a delightful gem of a book by a writer in complete control of his game." Austin Murphy, Sports Illustrated
"Michael Benedict reveals his tender, yet virile, underbelly and teaches a great lesson. In the pursuit of new dreams, the ones already fulfilled have more power than a man (or woman) could have imagined. What an honest, comical and oh-so-human story." Ronlyn Dominque, author of The Mercy of Thin Air
Enjoying a relaxed life with his wife and daughters, under-motivated lawyer Michael Benedict suffers a personal crisis when his wife becomes unexpectedly pregnant at the age of forty, a situation that reveals the fault lines of his marriage, sparks obsessions over his golf swing and stock investments, and tempts him to have an affair. By the author of Dear Zoe. 30,000 first printing.
From the author of "Dear Zoe" comes a wry novel of suburban life unraveled.
About the Author
Philip Beard, author of Dear Zoe, is a writer, teacher, and attorney. This is his second novel.
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