- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 2, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451645872
- ISBN-13: 978-1451645873
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,893,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Rest of Us: A Novel Hardcover – July 2, 2013
From Publishers Weekly
Lott's sad debut novel is a first-person chronicle of longing told by a youngish photographer named Terry about her doomed relationship with an older poet, Rudolf Rhinehart. The two had a passionate affair when Terry was a college student and Rhinehart a professor in upstate New York. They meet again 15 years later, soon after Rhinehart's obituary mistakenly runs in the New York Times. Rhinehart is unhappily married, has abandoned poetry, and is searching for his roots. Terry and Rhinehart renew their friendship before Rhinehart leaves for Ukraine to meet long-lost relatives and hopefully see letters written by his late mother. When he returns, not much more enlightened than before and having left his wife Laura, he rekindles his relationship with Terry. But while she begins shooting photos again, and with Laura's help has some success showing and selling her work, Rhinehart languishes, wallowing in despair brought on by disquieting revelations in the old country. Things only get worse, and the denouement is just short of maudlin. This is a finely wrought story, insightfully detailing the anguish of intense love and the struggles of an aspiring artist, but for some readers it may be almost too painful to enjoy. Agent: Lane Zachary, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (July)
Lott’s first novel tells the story of Terry, whose passionate affair with her college poetry professor has left a deep and lasting impression upon her. Fifteen years later, single and living in New York City, Terry discovers Professor Rhinehart’s obituary in the newspaper, and the shock prompts her to begin reevaluating her life—in particular, her unfulfilled dreams of living as an artist. Weeks later she bumps into Rhinehart, alive and well and shopping at Bloomingdale’s. The two former lovers take up where they left off, slowly rekindling their relationship. By the time Rhinehart sheds his nagging but well-connected wife, Terry and Rhinehart find themselves in an unexpected, second-chance reconciliation that ultimately brings them both profound personal and professional change. The Rest of Us is a deeply moving May-December love story as well as a fascinating look into the mind and soul of a struggling artist. A well-written, deeply satisfying read, Lott’s story is a thoughtful exploration of what it means to bring our dreams to life and an important reminder of the courage it takes to do so. --Carol Gladstein
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This was not a terrible book, but it was a let-down. It started out promisingly enough with the potential for a really great story; instead it quickly became mundane. I could have enjoyed it as light summer reading (it was well-written and articulate), but I prefer something with a little more meat on its bones. The end of the book was predictable and disappointing. There were plenty of opportunities to make the plot more interesting, but the author didn't take advantage of any of those chances.
There are so many better books out there . . . this is not a book I would ever hanker to read again. And, although the ending was sad, I wasn't engaged enough by any of the characters to have an emotional reaction or care about the fate of any of them.
The plot is uneven in parts, and sometimes I would think that twists came out of left field. But, this is a small negative because Lott's writing shines.
I could also relate to the dying aspect...I nursed my father through an untreatable cancer. There's a lot to be said for "dying with grace." I could feel their last moments together and remembered exactly how that felt as I was in bed with my father when he died. It was well told. There are worse things than dying.
All in all, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. Looking forward to her next book!!