Synopses & Reviews
The hilarious opening of Almost does little to prepare either the reader or the narrator, Sophy Chase, for the drama of what is to come. Almost divorced, Sophy is in bed with her new lover — an art dealer and father of four young children — when the police call her with shocking news. Her almost ex-husband, Will, has died suddenly on the Massachusetts island where she left him just months before. Dazed and grief-stricken, Sophy takes off at once for Swansea Island, hurled back into a life and family — her husbands grown twin daughters and their prickly mother — she had intended to leave behind.
In the tension-filled days that follow, Sophys past and present collide as she struggles to find out how her husband died, what role she might have had in the sudden disappearance of her boyfriends ten-year-old daughter, and how she can maintain her equilibrium. The gulf between the islands summer people and its year-rounders is brought vividly to life in the process, as is the particular beauty of a setting that resembles Nantucket and Marthas Vineyard.
A story about starting over and looking back, about the pain of staying and the consequences of leaving, and about a womans longing for children, Almost presses us to wonder how much responsibility we bear for other peoples happiness — and who exactly we are when were in limbo. By this riveting novels end, Sophy has it all figured out — almost.
ALMOST, Elizabeth Benedict's fourth novel, is "her most spirited to date" (New York Times Book Review). Forty-something narrator Sophy Chase has just begun a lighthearted, romantically adventurous life in New York City when she learns that her almost ex-husband has been found dead on the New England resort island where she left him just months before. Lured back to the island by feelings she thought she had left behind, Sophy must navigate treacherous emotional terrain involving her grown stepdaughters, a former lover who is now a celebrity lawyer, the mystery of her husband's death -- and her own darkest impulses.
About the Author
Elizabeth Benedict is the author of Slow Dancing, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize, The Beginner's Book of Dreams, Safe Conduct, and The Joy of Writing Sex. Her work has appeared in Salmagundi, the New York Times, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, The American Prospect, and other periodicals. She has taught writing at Princeton University, Swarthmore, and at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.