Synopses & Reviews
One of the preeminent novelists of our time, Maureen Howard dazzles us with a love story of radiant intelligence and delicious wit. The exhilarating flights and emotional depths of Howard's storytelling balance the fates of two young lovers in New York: Artie, a bastard, perhaps "begot in the mud of Woodstock," now a boyish computer wizard; and Louise, a hot new painter out of the Midwest, seriously committed to her art. Their romance, seemingly shattered on the eve of the millennium, is played out against the tale of two old lovers lost to each other for a half century. As these two couples search through the cultural flotsam and jetsam for love and happiness, Howard spins a superb novel of ideas and transforms, as only she can, the dear Old Farmer's Almanac into a bright book of life.
"An intimate but wide-reaching book of days, Maureen Howard's novel begins with the new millennium, after lovers Artie Freeman and Louise Moffett have broken up at a New Year's Eve bash. Taking as its touchstone William James's observation that '[t]he world is full of partial stories that run parallel to one another,' the novel not only follows the computer geek Artie and the artist Louise as they come to terms with their families, their vocations, and each other, but it pulls in the stories of characters whose lives intersect with Artie's and Louise's, including a teen-aged runaway, a retired Wall Street businessman who immerses himself in history, and a computer tycoon obsessed with predicting the weather. The novel explores cultural as well as personal histories, weaving in quotations from William James, Melville, and Woolf as well as fascinating essays into astrology, government, science, and art. The style dazzles with its wit and reach, as Howard writes of 'strutting in stiletto' and 'cookie-cutter hearts, tokens hard as tortoiseshell.' Although the lovers'
story—and its spinoffs—woo the reader, the pleasure is less in reading for the plot than in following the magical movements of Howard's mind as it dances, for instance, from genetics to consumerism to Wall Street." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
One of the preeminent novelists of our time dazzles readers with a story of two young lovers in New York. Their romance, seemingly shattered on the eve of the millennium, is played out against the tale of an older couple lost to each other for half a century.
About the Author
Maureen Howard is the author of seven novels, including Grace Abounding, Expensive Habits, and Natural History, all of which were nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award. She has taught at a number of American universities, including Columbia, Princeton, Amherst, and Yale, and was recently awarded the Academy Award in Literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in New York City.