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A Lovely, Indecent Departure Kindle Edition

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Purity by Jonathan Franzen
"Purity" by Jonathan Franzen
A magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom. Learn more | See more from the author

Editorial Reviews


"The well-crafted plot is meted out at a steady pace, continually feeding readers' need to know and simultaneously whetting the appetite for more."--Kirkus Reviews

"Riveting...perfect for any kind of literary escape."--The Wake Weekly

"A Lovely, Indecent Departure is a choice and much recommended addition to general fiction collections."--Midwest Book Review

"Gilbert has written a masterful debut."-- Sandy Kirkland, Booksie's Blog

"The quality in this book is a perfect example of Indie authors being able to hold their own in regards to larger publishing house authors and that those readers who dismiss Indie authors are truly missing out."--Naomi Blackburn, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

" unassuming work, one that doesn't seek to draw you in with cheap gimmicks and plot tricks. It presents itself as it is, quiet, steady, and ultimately charming."--Shannon Fox, Isle of Books

From the Author

Author Awards
2007 Emerging Artist Grant for Literature, Durham Arts Council
Thank you for visiting my Amazon Author Page and for considering my book, A Lovely, Indecent Departure. Writing it was a process that covered several years, during which the manuscript underwent many, many drafts and required much patience on the part of myself as the writer, as well as my wife and family.

When in 2007, with their support, I chose to pursue writing full time, I had no real idea of what I was getting myself into. I only knew I wanted to write. Such an endeavor is not without risk and in the months leading up to my leaving my day job, we adjusted our lifestyle and saved what we could to afford me this opportunity. My wife and I talked to our children about doing with less and showed them through example the importance of following one's dream. Even when chronic illness threatened to derail the plan, we helped them to understand that dreams require sacrifice, a life lesson, we hope, they espouse themselves as adults.

 Please visit my website to learn more about this journey, and thanks again for stopping by.

Product Details

  • File Size: 390 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Publication Date: March 19, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007MQN99Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,417 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

When Steve was fourteen years old he lived in a log cabin by a small creek next to some woods and dreamt of becoming a Forest Ranger. He loved the outdoors and the wild so much it was easy for him to envision a future dedicated to its conservation. Then one day a mindful English teacher suggested he enter an essay contest about protecting our natural resources. He did and won and because of this sign of some hint of a talent, along with the lasting effect of having been recognized for something, from that moment forward his plans changed and he set forth to become a writer, which turned out to be a long and windy road, but one he considered necessary to not become also dull and unimaginative. Along the way he learned a great deal about life and himself and discovered many good subjects to write about, none of which include nature or protecting the environment. But as he said upon his receipt of a Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant for Literature, "You just never can guess what the future may hold." He is the author of the novel, A Lovely, Indecent Departure, and has served on the faculty of the YTWW since 2007, every year of which reminds him of his old English teacher and the promise of young, passionate talent.

You can read more about him at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Unbound Underground on March 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
4.5 Stars out of 5: A family drama written in the style of a crime thriller which satisfies emotionally and examines complex themes with broad perspective. A fast-paced but thorough look into the nature of divorce and its effects on parents and children, with some great descriptions of Italy, which all combine in a well-balanced novel and deserving winner of an Emerging Artist Grant for literature.

Check out The Unbound Underground profile to find the full review!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mandy on August 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
A Lovely, Indecent Departure is the gripping story of one mother's love for her son. When Anna loses custody of her son, Oliver, she gives up everything she knows and goes into hiding with him. Fleeing to Italy, Oliver and Anna start over, with the help of Anna's extended family. Unfortunately, Evan, Oliver's father, is one step behind them, and with the help of a private investigator, soon tracks them down. This is a fast-paced story that brings up a lot of questions regarding ethics and parenting.

This novel brings together many genres, effortlessly. Merging crime, family drama, action, chic-lit, and intoxicating landscapes, A Lovely, Indecent Departure is captivating. While, at first, we aren't made fully aware of the reasons for Anna's choices, it becomes increasingly clear what her motives are, and Evan does not fail us in the role of the antagonist. While this type of story has been done before, Mr. Gilbert manages to draw us into his characters' perspectives in a fresh way. No matter what side of the custody battle you identify with, you will be riveted to the very last page.

(Review written by Charlene, a Literary R&R book review blog team member)
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By brutusmuktuk on September 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Steven Lee Gilbert writes with conviction and purpose in his debut novel, A Lovely, Indecent Departure, but he has everything all wrong. The novel plods along slowly and tediously, and Gilbert's decision not to let the reader into the minds of his characters makes the story lifeless as well. Because the reader doesn't know what's going on inside their heads, the characters are more like empty vessels than human beings, awaiting direction from the author. When Gilbert makes them do something shocking, I don't feel he's earned it, because the plot leading up to that moment gives no indication the character was capable of such action. The novel wants to be morally ambiguous as well, but even here it fails. In order to achieve this goal would have required greater insight into the situation and into the motivations of its characters. Failing to provide such information, the novel ends up being morally disturbing instead.

The plot seems intriguing at first. Anna, a divorced mother, decides to abduct her son, Oliver, who was given custody to his father, Evan. Anna gets to see Oliver on weekends, but Evan does everything he can to ensure she seems him for as little time as possible. On this particularly weekend, Evan demands that Anna bring Oliver back four hours earlier than she has him for, but Anna has other plans.

It's clear that we're supposed to cheer for Anna and view Evan as the bad guy. The problem is, Gilbert fails to provide any proof that Evan is a bad guy until some plot developments towards the end that are not earned. That the sheriff and a private investigator suspect Evan is to blame for his wife's actions makes the reader more sympathetic to him. These characters seem convinced that Evan is a monster, but nothing convincing suggests that he is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emily on April 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anna is a divorced mother whose ex-husband, Evan, has custody of their son. As Evan cruelly cuts off Anna from their son, she has to decide to continue fighting through the system or abscond with her son to her native Italy. As they live in secret, Anna faces many dilemmas: What is best for her son? What is best for her? Are they the same? How do you balance safety in the future with the need to be connected to the past? As the authorities get closer, Anna must determine what to do -- once you've committed one of the most desperate of acts, what's next?

It is always a pleasure to find a book that is well-edited, quick-paced, and an interesting story. A Lovely, Indecent Departure is a one of those rare finds. The characters are wonderfully complex and the story drew me in right away.

Written in a more literary style than most indie books, its many themes and shades of gray would make A Lovely, Indecent Departure a great book club / discussion book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Iler Kirkland VINE VOICE on September 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Anna had to leave. Caught in a marriage with a man who needed to control her every move, she left for her sanity. But she never meant to leave Oliver, her five year old son. When Evan, her ex-husband, tries to manipulate her through Oliver, making her joint custody more and and more difficult, she makes a momentous decision.

Since Anna has joint citizenship with both the United States and Italy, she is able to take Oliver and flee overseas. She leaves everything else behind; job, house, family, friends. Her remote relatives, most of whom she hasn't seen since she was a small girl, help her to get reestablished in Florence. But can Evan ever concede failure in what he regards as a battle to establish his rightful dominance?

Evan enlists the big guns. He goes to the police, for Anna has indeed committed a crime, kidnapping. He goes to the press to make sure his side of the story is the one that gets told. Finally, after months with no results, he hires a private investigator to locate Anna and kidnap Oliver back. Evan's single focus brings the rest of his world into jeopardy; his job and marriage soon show the cracks of his obsession.

Steven Gilbert has written a masterful debut novel. The reader can empathize with each character in turn and the motives that drive their actions. The writing is crisp and spare, yet portrays each side of this situation; mother, father, law enforcement, family and friends, fully. Gilbert lives in the Piedmont region of NC. In 2007 he was the recipient of a Durham Arts Council Emerging Artist Grant for Literature. A Lovely, Indecent Departure is recommended for all readers interested in a compelling story and excellent character portrayal.
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