Thursday, May 07, 2009

Til Divorce Do Us Part

Two novels that chronicle the dissolution of marriage.

Title: The Last War: A Novel
Author: Ana Menendez
Publisher: Harper
Published: May 26, 2009
Read? :-/

"Flash" is an American photojournalist spending the summer in Istanbul while her journalist husband is in Iraq. Ostensibly planning to join him, she finds herself procrastinating, and then a letter arrives hinting that he is cheating. Flash's indecision and obsession over the letter is maddening to read at times, and the conclusions she reaches are sometimes grim, but her story is a beautifully written and thoughtful work about marriage, war, and truth, punctuated by amusing observations, keen insights, kaleidoscopic shifts in perspective.

Title: The Idea of Love
Author: Louise Dean
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published: July 1, 2009
Read? :-/

English businessman Richard Bird has risen through the ranks in the pharmaceutical industry. Living in France, married to an unhappy French woman, his life unravels when the travel, sleeping around, and drinking take their toll and his wife has an affair with the American next door. The writing is terrific in this perceptive and sometimes troubling story where every character has a theory of what love is but only a few find out what it really means. Recommended for those who like realism in their fiction.

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