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SUMMERS WITH JULIET Paperback – January 21, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Roorbach's debut provides pure enchantment, linking a story of natural wonders to the wonders of his romance with one Juliet Karelson. They met in 1982--he was 29 and she was 20--and began to take camping trips together, with little money roughing it over almost all of the United States and Canada. A few times during eight years of summer adventures, the couple broke up, but only temporarily. Their travels continued while the author advanced from odd jobs to writing assignments (he is now assistant professor of English at the University of Maine) and sternly independent Juliet skirted commitment, establishing herself as an artist. Lyrical, earthy and suspenseful, the book makes immediate the excitement of confronting snakes, bears and possibly menacing strangers, as well as the great rewards of life in the wilds. The mating dance of this appealing couple concludes in the book's final chapter with their 1990 wedding, after which everyone clogged to the strains of fiddle and accordion music. And so, it seems, they lived happily ever after.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this charming memoir-cum-nature writing, Roorbach recounts his eight-year courtship of Juliet Karelson. From their first meeting at a bar in Martha's Vineyard (she asked him to stand guard while she used the men's room) to their romantic country wedding in New Hampshire, Roorbach chronicles their summers together and the ups-and-downs of their relationship. They drive across Canada in a pickup truck, almost convinced by the end of the trip that they would never see each other again. Sharing a mountain cabin in Colorado, Roorbach works on his writing and fishes for trout while Juliet paints. In one of the most amusing chapters in the book, "Visitors", Roorbach, an ever-vigilant New Yorker at heart, looks out for "rapists and fugitives and marriage-minded mountain men" and other unwanted visitors as he and Juliet rent an isolated cabin in Montana from one Theodore Opalowski, "a youngish leftover from the sixties with his long hair and Mexican peasant blouse." This is a delightful debut from a promising new writer. Recommended for all collections.
- Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press; 1 edition (January 21, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814250521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814250525
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,654,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a paper plane, it will take you away. From the first page, Bill Roorbach takes us on a wonderful journey during a time of his life, when he first meets his wife Juliet in Martha's Vineyard. It becomes a wonderful, weird, chaotic time for both. This book will make you honestly laugh out loud, and shake your head in disbelief, at the experiences and adventures that these two people take on. It is filled with nature in all it's glory, and sometimes not so glorious. This is a man that writes the way we think. The conversations that he has with himself are so lively, and funny that you will want to shake his hand heartily and say "Yes, Yes, I know just what you mean" Read it, it's worth every word.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story of one man's memories of the beginning of his true love life. Roorbach is a compelling writer in the essay style of Russell Baker, who offers his readers much in terms of language and story-telling ability. We, too, learn to love Juliet and touch the unique feelings that make this couple worthy of our attention. Perfect reading outside on a summer afternoon
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Format: Paperback
Bill Roorbach's early "romantic memoir," SUMMERS WITH JULIET, is something of a hybrid puzzle, but maybe that's only me. It's a mix of nature writing and a love story. It documents the eight years he courted/dated Juliet Karelsen, who was eight-plus years younger than he, an independent free spirit, who wasn't ready to wed. But then neither was Roorbach, a sportsman, musician, drinker, guy's guy sort of man. They met in 1982 on Martha's Vineyard and enjoyed (endured?) an on-again off-again relationship for the next eight years as each pursued separate interests and part-time, pick-up jobs around New York, he as a plumber/construction worker and handyman, she as a waitress. Both were also long-time students, attending post-grad courses of study in painting (Juliet) and writing/literature (Bill). Roorbach read voluminously and wrote furiously, sporadically, dreaming of being a writer, as they traveled together during their summers - south to Georgia and Florida, and west to Colorado and Montana, their disparate personalities often clashing. Juliet was fearless and carefree, while Bill was a bundle of secret fears and anxieties. During these go-for-broke summer vacation trips, he read, wrote and taught himself the pleasurable skills of fly-fishing while she taught herself to paint. Probably the best part of Roorbach's writing is his self-effacing sense of humor. I mean this guy is very funny, and also a very good writer. His relationship with Juliet is laid out there, warts and quarrels and makings-up - it's all in there, sometimes quite moving and often just plain hilarious.

I love the way this guy writes. But I will admit that I skimmed a few of the parts about fish, fishing, turtles, birds - the "nature writing" stuff.
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