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The Remedy for Love: A Novel Hardcover – October 14, 2014

3.5 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014: Roorbach’s previous book, Life Among Giants, was an Amazon Best of the Month “spotlight” pick and one of my favorites of 2012. In The Remedy for Love, he again creates believably damaged, oddball characters: a buttoned-up, cuckolded small-town stud (Eric), and a bruised, half-starved mystery girl (Danielle). Eric is a lawyer. He does pro bono work. He’s separated from his wife. Danielle is… well, we’re not sure who she is. She looks homeless, but we soon catch glimpses of her “retractable beauty, like a cat’s claws.” Eric feels responsible for her somehow—“a moral tug.” So after buying her groceries, and carrying them to her cabin in the woods, Eric returns to the cabin as a snowstorm begins to shut the roads and blanket the town white. In no time, the two are locked inside as the snow piles higher. Cynical readers may need to make a leap of faith here. (I found myself once asking, “Really?”) Even Danielle seems freaked out by Eric’s irrational helpfulness. “Get the f**k out!” she screams at him. “You’re so nicey-nice, you f**king creeper.” The story then finds its theatrical groove, with crackling, smart dialogue that made me think Taylor-Burton in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? (“I like when you call me Eric.” “Then I’ll stop.”) Within the chilled and claustrophobic confines of the cabin, as Danielle’s mysteries unfold and the storm outside rages, you think you know where things are headed, but how Roorbach gets us there is unexpected, sexy, and intense. Edgy and quite moving, the story stuck with me for many days. –Neal Thompson


“Snowbound in Maine, two strangers struggle to survive--fighting, flirting, baring secrets. Their sexy, snappy dialogue will keep you racing through.” —People

“A snowstorm hits a small town in Maine, trapping strangers in a cabin: Danielle, who is homeless, and Eric, a lawyer who swoops in to help her. As temps drop, tensions rise and passions flare.” —Good Housekeeping

The Remedy for Love is a page-turner, a love story and a vivid drama of man (and woman) against the elements. Those who read and loved Roorbach's sprawling, eccentric Life Among Giants, coming to HBO as a dramatic series, will be a little surprised to see that The Remedy for Love is nothing like it--except that it's a great read by a wonderful writer who obviously has many tricks up his sleeve.” —Newsday

“[A] superbly grown-up love story . . . Another expertly delivered portrait of the world from Roorbach (Life Among Giants, 2012, etc.), that poet of hopeless tangles.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Part survival tale and part romance . . . Roorbach does well in the limited space, keeping the narrative tight without being claustrophobic . . . There’s more depth to the fierce and mercurial Danielle than meets the eye, which gives [the characters'] interactions spark as the storm rages outside and something even more powerful develops within.” —Booklist

“One of the best novels of this or any year . . . A flat-out funny, sexy, and poignant romantic thriller.” —David Abrams, author of Fobbit

The Remedy for Love is not the remedy for sleep deprivation. You’ll stay up all night . . . It is relentless and brilliant. Leave it to Roorbach to tease out the subtlest nuances in the progress of love while stoking a tale that is as gripping as any Everest expedition--and that is also tender and terrifying and funny and, in the end, so true it seems inevitable. I’m not sure there’s another American writing today who can lay down a love story, or any story, with the depth and appeal and freshness of Bill Roorbach.” —Peter Heller, author of The Dog Stars

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; 1st edition (October 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616203315
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616203313
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By "switterbug" Betsey Van Horn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was drawn to this novel, my first Bill Roorbach, by the quirkiness of the plot blurb. I suspected that it would be a character study more than anything else, and in that I was correct. Eric, a small-town lawyer in Maine, finds himself half-reluctantly helping a vagrant-looking young woman after he has an odd experience with her in a grocery store. He follows her out to a rural and isolated cabin in the woods, as the snowstorm of the century (or ever!) begins to pile it higher and deeper. He intends to be the gentleman that he is and help this raggedy, dirty, disheveled woman; yet, the more he reaches out to Danielle, the more it is evident that he is a needy case, also.

Danielle's flinty, nihilistic voice is a compelling contrast to Eric's more pathetic and tender one. He is hanging on to an obviously finished marriage with a denial and hope that is transparently futile (to everyone but him), and also reaching out to Danielle for friendship. However, Danielle is guarded at best, and generally caustic, pushing Eric away with her volatile behavior and harsh words. Eric's life is like an open book, while Danielle's is a closed and secret history, revealing itself gradually toward its obliquely foreshadowed but shocking conclusion. The auguring serves to authenticate the climax without ruining it.

In the meantime, as the storm gets more severe, the cabin they are sequestered in starts to groan, hiss, creak, and croak. (Eric's car, with his cell phone in it, has been towed from where he parked it--there's a story behind that.) As the novel progresses, the cabin itself becomes like a character, a vulnerable one victimized by the snowstorm. Roorbach mixes levity with horror as Eric and Danielle's lives become increasingly imperiled.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Bill Roorbach is a phenomenal wordsmith. Reading his words is like a Thanksgiving feast of reading. I love how he tells a story. The title of the book is telling. I thought of it several times while reading the book. It will stay with you, and you will find yourself thinking about it later.

Two unlikely companions find themselves trapped together during the "Storm of the Century." Both of them are emotionally broken, but that is really all they have in common. Their personalities are diverse. That's what makes their relationship ultimately work. It's really hard to describe. You have to read it to really understand it.

"Danielle for now" was a hard character for me to like in the beginning. As you get to know her and understand her circumstances, you become more understanding of her. So does Eric. He is a lawyer, with a caring heart.He takes the time to get to know Danielle - and understand what makes her the way she is.

The story was gripping, and will keep you turning pages long into the night. You need to know what happens next. There are truths to be discovered, depths to be explored. Leave it to Bill Roorbach to peel back the layers of this complicated relationship as they ride out the storm together.

THE REMEDY FOR LOVE is a brilliantly-written romance that transported me to another place. There are not many snowstorms in Texas, so it was a learning experience for me. With vivid imagery and rich characterizations, I was completely smitten with the story of Eric and Danielle. Bill Roorbach is a marvelous storyteller. He is a craftsman who writes good stories, engaging characters, and clever plots. I highly recommend!

*An advance reading copy was generously provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Hardcover
Once you start reading "The Remedy for Love", you will literally be compelled to see it through to the outcome. Author Bill Roorbach has created an unusually involving contemporary tale, a romance in spite of itself, which is also a curious, cautionary adventure. In the small, rural town of Woodchurch, Maine, Eric is an attorney with a moderate law practice. He cooks, savors his food and wine, and waits for his big-city wife, Alison, to make increasingly infrequent visits as their marriage sputters to an end. An occasional flicker of heat here and there has kept the spark burning far longer than it should. A massive winter storm is approaching Woodchurch just as Eric awaits Alison's tentative arrival. He prepares by stocking up on foods to appeal and appease his neglectful spouse. When a bedraggled young woman in the checkout line ahead of him is unable to pay for all of his purchases, Eric helps to pay her bill. A smart mind ruled by a kind heart, Eric also helps the woman, Danielle, make her way safely home to a rustic cabin near the river. Through circumstances created by his good intentions, which include having his vehicle towed away, Eric find himself with no other shelter than the dilapidated cabin of the defensive and delusional Danielle. Being snowed in with sharp-tongued, strange woman is a far cry from being snug in his own home, making his marvelous meal, and anticipating the arrival of his absentee wife. Danielle is erratic, disheveled, and obviously a member of the walking-wounded. However, as time passes and Danielle cleans up, enjoys Eric's impromptu improvisations with food and drink, she shows flashes of character which attract Eric, and he finds himself drawn to her in unexpected ways.Read more ›
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