Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Luxury Beauty Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Outdoor Deals on bgg
The Future of Love: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Future of Love: A Nov... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Future of Love: A Novel Hardcover – March 25, 2008

9 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$1.60 $0.01

$23.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An ensemble of New Yorkers swim the choppy waters of romance, circa autumn 2001, in the first novel from memoirist Abbott (The Bookmaker's Daughter). Having lost his job at an investment firm before September 11, Mark Adler siphons off the pressure through an affair with Sophie, his daughter's 25-year-old nursery school teacher. Mark's older parallel is Sam Mendel, a retired publisher with a sexless marriage and a lavish estate in the country. Sam is resigned to his existence until he meets Mark's mother-in-law, Antonia, and discovers a wholly unexpected erotic reincarnation. The limit to each affair is a devotion—Mark to his daughter, Sam to his estate—but even these are imperiled by 9/11. A deeply melancholic Mark exploits his location that morning (he was praying at Trinity Church before a job interview at the South Tower) to disappear and Sam puts his marriage and estate at risk by shacking up with Antonia downtown. Abbott pursues these and other plots—a lesbian commitment ceremony, a gay dancer's fight with cancer—through third-person perspectives that tie up the interconnections in surprisingly effective strokes. Abbott weaves a delicate tapestry of love and apocalypse. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Renowned memoirist Abbott debuts as a novelist with a shrewd, polished comedy of manners. Beginning in Manhattan shortly before 9/11 and ending a year later, this witty yet weighty tale is told in eight distinct voices. Antonia, a canny, elegant widow, is trying to help her daughter, who is saddled with a feckless and unfaithful husband, while also looking after her best friends: Greg, an ailing black dancer, and his devoted white lover, Arty. Sam, a famous literary mogul whose wife lives like a lonely queen in their lavish Catskills estate, is in love with Antonia, while his granddaughter is in love with Greg’s niece, and the two women plan a spectacular weddinglike commitment ceremony at Sam’s country manor. As dramatic complications and losses accrue, Abbott opens windows onto all that changes and all that remains the same in love, marriage, class, race, and family life, and considers truth as both a weapon and a key to liberation. Abbott reaches deep psychological strata as she parallels the shocking assault on New York with the ravages of disease and time on the body, and illuminates the fact that everything we construct to keep chaos and darkness at bay can be destroyed in an instant. --Donna Seaman

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565125673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565125674
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,620,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Grant on April 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love's the theme, but Anxiety the subtext in this smart and beautifully written novel. Abbott has a way of getting you right inside her characters from the moment you meet them, and cleverly leads you from one to the other, layering the connections among them. The setting is Manhattan, 2001, specifically and concretely so, but urbanites everywhere will recognize the characters' dilemmas and domestic disturbances, the choices and possibilities that engulf them even before the disasters of 9-ll. A stunning portrait of the ways modern (and uniquely privileged humans) cling to the illusion of control in a chaotic universe.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amalgamated Me on July 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I enjoy a book I call it a "book to live in" - it becomes at least as (usually more) interesting than Real Life. For me, this was one such book.
The narrative was engaging, the characters interesting, there were side issues that entertained and enlightened - and surprises. In short, it has all the elements of a successful novel. I look forward to future novels from this writer.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Recipient on May 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Many talented writers have tried to incorporate 9/11 into their novels, and failed: the terrorism attacks loom too large, and make other events and characters seem insignificant. Luckily, Shirley Abbott is not one of them. The Future of Love is a luminous book: gorgeously written, with profoundly human characters striving to do their best in a world that challenges and shakes them. Anyone who appreciates good writing and insightful characterization will love this novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Thorndike on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Each chapter of Abbott's book jumps us from one character's point of view to another's. In some plot-driven novels this can drive me crazy. In this character-rich novel I loved it. No matter who was at the center of the next chapter, I was glad to be with them. I read with fascination, I went wherever the author led me. Abbott plunges us into the chaos of love, of everything that passes for love, of family strife, long-dead marriages, unexpected passion, death and destruction and second chances.

At one point I thought, "The book is like a round of golf." No matter that the characters, with all their foibles, have hooked a drive on the last hole, overshot the green and putted crazily to a five-over-par. With each chapter all hope is refreshed, all chances renewed as they tee up for their next shot. Abbott's range of characters is tremendous: men and women, old and young, white and black, the very microcosm of a somewhat-monied New York. All of them have stumbled. Some are pitiful at times, some clueless, some angry or desperate. They have a fragile grip on confidence and desire, and I would follow them anywhere.

In a chapter from Sam's point of view, we see where his marriage has landed: "Ah, yes. You marry. Then it's children, schools, mortgages, taxes, hard work, and you feel you've got a successful marriage on days when you're speaking to each other. No time or energy to ask why you haven't had sex with your wife for a year, and then five years and then ten. You are a pair...and you hardly know what love is. You hardly know who she is. But you cannot leave her, because that would be dishonorable..."

The dilemmas in this novel often seem irresolvable. And to Abbott's credit, they are not always smoothly resolved. As we hear later about Sam and his lover, Antonia, "You get what you want and don't know what to do with it."

This is the most readable, the most charming, the most incisive, the deadliest novel I have read in years.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"The afternoon passed in the pleasant way of such family parties: the too warm room, the excitement of decorating the tree and turning on the lights at last, the scent of the fir, the children falling into disagreements, the smell of beef roasting, the dishes carried to the table, the admirable crunch when Antonia broke the top of the gratin, Arty opening and serving wines, the cake and cookies waiting, the coffee afterward, with brandy." (p. 221) Shirley Abbott loves lists. This book is filled with them. Apparently, Abbott tries to define the thoughts of her characters by have endless lists of details that don't further the story. It happens so frequently that it weighs the story down rather than telling it.

As far as the story, I found most of the characters unlikable. You have Sophie who appears scatterbrained and unreliable who sleeps with her student's father. You have the father Mark who finds it boring to go to work. You have his wife Maggie who dominates him rather than loves him. You have Edith who is an unyielding society hog. You have her husband Sam who is unfaithful to her. You have Antonia carrying on with a married man, which is supposed to be romantic liberation. Then there are the two sets of gay characters. Sam & Edith's granddaughter Alison wants to have a commitment ceremony with Candace. Arty has to deal with Greg's cancer. In the meantime, the events of September 11, 2001 occur in New York. The quote from "Booklist" blazing at the top of the dust jacket is "A smooth polished comedy of manners." Buyer beware that a "comedy of manners" in this context does not equate to humor, which is totally lacking.

While Abbott's construction weaves the characters together, the novel seems like a literary soap opera.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Future of Love: A Novel
This item: The Future of Love: A Novel
Price: $23.95
Ships from and sold by
Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: beach books