By Alison Lurie
This book was recently released by Open Road Media as an e-book in June of 2013. It was originally published in 1984. I obtained it for free from NetGalley. It won both a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. I don’t know about you, but I was not familiar with Alison Lurie or her novels.
I was not sure what to expect with this title. This book is about two very different love affairs. Vinnie Miner is a very proper American professor who strangely enough falls in love with a Oklahoma cowboy who is a sanitation engineer. Vinnie is in England to write a children’s book. Chuck is visiting England on a vacation tour. Vinnie is fifty-four and divorced and feels she will never find the love of her life. What do they have in common? They seem an unlikely couple.
Fred is a fellow co-worker of Vinnie’s. He is also in England. He meets a beautiful actress and falls in love. He is swept up into her social circle. Things aren’t always what they seem though as Fred will later find out.
This book is a mature love story. It takes real life down to earth characters and puts them in real life situations. We have a glimpse of the realities of love and the consequences. The characters are all trying to find themselves. They are all learning about the give and take of love and relationships. This book is very believable.
I did find the language a little raw. The F word was used frequently, but I’m not sure why Lurie does this? It is not impressive. There were a few words I had to look up. The book pokes along until the middle of the story. The characters are well-developed and we have a good sense of who they are. It is a relaxing read. I found it to be a different type of novel. When I say different, I don’t mean bad, just different. This is not the book for you if you like a lot of action or sex scenes. It does contain many issues for discussion. It could be a good book club selection. The reviews I looked at prior to writing this are very controversial. Opinions on this work are varied. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. I have to say that I wonder what her other novels are like??