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A Theory of Love: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 8, 2018
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“Richly evoked… with a scope and nuanced intelligence that evokes a contemporary version of the world of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.” (The National Book Review)
“Exotic locations may add intrigue and a sense of adventure to a novel, but rarely do they also affect the character relationships so fundamentally as in A Theory of Love... What is most beautiful about is Thornton’s ability to make us feel deeply through setting.” (Ploughshares)
“ A Theory of Love sweeps readers off to some of the most beautiful cities in the world—and deep into the complicated romance between a privileged lawyer and a conscientious journalist. One of the best books of the summer.” (Coastal Living)
“An introspective and beautiful novel.” (booktrib)
“Must read.” (New York Post)
“In a modern love story, a spirited British journalist finds both romance and disappointment in her search for happiness amid the whirl and glitz of the global elite.” (Shelf Awareness)
“Readers will be…contemplating how the parallel or converging lines of their lives affect their relationships.” (BookPage)
“Thornton has created an immersive world; the prose has a subtle intensity… A contemplative and absorbing novel with hidden depth.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Thornton writes compellingly of love, self-discovery, and what truly makes a marriage. This introspective read is character driven, with a strong sense of place in Helen and Christopher’s varied travels throughout.” (Booklist)
“Award-winning author Thornton, who edited Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, delivers a gorgeously choreographed love story of thoughtful people whose commitment to each other is endangered by a mix of protective need-to-know sharing and a determination to soldier on through the loneliness of long separations.” (Library Journal)
About the Author
Margaret Bradham Thornton is the author of Charleston and the editor of Tennessee Williams’s Notebooks, for which she received the Bronze ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in autobiography/memoir and the C. Hugh Holman Prize for the best volume of southern literary scholarship published in 2006, given by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. She is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Florida.
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You will enjoy the dizzying heights of privilege and sophistication of the twenty first century, yet you will not be jealous. From an inherited country estate in France, to an obscure speck of a Mexican island only a few in-the-know know; from fighting the complex laws of international money laundering on Wall Street, to basking in the tenderness of doing nothing on a Mediterranean holiday; you will get a spectacular ride – like watching a blockbuster movie. Margaret Bradham Thornton draws from her vast collection of nuanced observations and applies them with such native wit that they might as well be our own observations. Ultimately, A Theory of Love is more a theory of us the readers. You may find it most memorable.
What is a successful life? What does one optimize; success, work, relationships, family, love? At some stage many of us say, “Once I’ve done this, I’ll have time.” But time runs out. There is a price to be paid for everything.
This dialogue, on page 216, was particularly impactful for me, as the protagonist narrates the troubles she dealt with alone, while her husband was away, immersed in his career.
“I would have flown home.”
“No. No, I don’t think you would have. I think a part of me didn’t want to even get to that point. To ask that question .”
A brilliant book that asks of us what we look for in life, what we cherish and what we value. Can two souls, entangled with a cosmic love, transcend their own human mistakes, and those that life thrusts upon them?
The prose is deceptively simple, building block by block to insights, often not welcome, and decisions that appear inevitable at the time but reveal themselves to have been less so only once it is too late.
As with real life, cause and effect do not share a simple relationship. At the heartrending conclusion, the reader is left wondering as much as Helen and Christopher how two people still so obviously and completely in need of each other could have let it come to this.