by Rebecca, May 26, 2005 5:54 PM
If you have ever loved, buy this book! How's that for a strong recommendation? Charles Baxter is, in my opinion, one of the most under-appreciated contemporary American authors on the scene. He is remarkably talented. This novel, set in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is comprised of a collection of first person narratives. We hear the voices of Bradley, Chloé, Harry, and Diana, with a few others sprinkled in. You know the saying, "everybody has a story to tell." Baxter tells their stories, stories of love and loss and longing, through exquisite observations that capture profound, visceral human emotion and everyday sentiment. He conveys it in prose that is at once authentic and poetic. Each of the characters approaches life and love differently, and by the end of the book, we care about them all. Baxter gently nudges our guard down and allows us to feel without feeling manipulated. Such is the compassion good writing can render.