From Publishers Weekly
Thoughtful and moving, Gordon's latest captures the ardor and vulnerability of young love and the cautious circumspection of middle age. Miranda and Adam began a love affair in high school that endured through college only to end in a painful betrayal. When a mutual friend brings them together in present-day Rome, they haven't seen each other in more than three decades. Adam's ambitions to be a concert pianist never came to pass, and Miranda, once convinced that political activism could change the world, is now an epidemiologist. Both have married and raised children, but Rome still holds passionate memories for them. Though wary, they meet for daily walks, and Gordon's vividly detailed descriptions make Rome a palpable presence. Miranda and Adam tentatively reveal to each other the events of their lives, touching on aspirations, disillusionments, ideals, and desires, and these conversations set the pace of Gordon's novel. Only when Miranda is about to leave Rome are they able to fully express their emotions and achieve catharsis. Gordon's (Pearl) restraint is admirable, gradually exposing the differences in character that spelled the inevitable demise of this relationship. An accumulation of detail breathes life into her characters, and the writer's affection for this beloved, eternal city is endearing. (Apr.)
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*Starred Review* Miranda and Adam were each other�s first love, but they�ve had no contact for 30 years. Their heady reunion takes place in Rome, a city of myths and ghosts Adam knows well, allowing him to show Miranda, there for an environmental health conference, the sights and allowing Gordon to make the most of gorgeous settings redolent with ancient secrets and sorrows. The ensuing intense conversations between Miranda and Adam are so psychologically intricate and complexly metaphysical and aesthetic that they seem impossibly theatrical. And yet, as the novel deepens in extended flashbacks, their intoxicating exchanges become exquisitely involving. We learn that their blissful love bloomed when they were 16 in the mid-1960s and slowly withered during their twenties as Adam devoted himself to becoming a great pianist and Miranda searched for a way to help make the world a better place. The more they talk on their Roman rambles, the more the reader burns to know what finally drove them apart. In her first novel since Pearl (2005), virtuoso and versatile Gordon offers brilliantly fresh takes on family conflicts, women�s lives, war, and global suffering while ingeniously meshing classic love stories with modern mores, and ecstasy with wisdom, to create an enthralling drama of innocent passion, crushing tragedy, and the careful construction of stable, nurturing lives. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Gordon is a major writer, and her alluring novel will be supported by a big media push and national tour. --Donna Seaman
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