Fortune's Rocks, Shreve has revealed an impeccably sharp eye and a generous emotional sensitivity in describing the moment when a man a"/>

ALL HE EVER WANTED

Anita Shreve, Author . Little, Brown $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-78226-5

In bestsellers such as Fortune's Rocks, Shreve has revealed an impeccably sharp eye and a generous emotional sensitivity in describing the moment when a man and a woman become infatuated with each. She is less successful this time out, perhaps because the epiphany is one-sided. Escaping from a New Hampshire hotel fire at the turn of the 20th century, Prof. Nicholas Van Tassel catches sight of Etna Bliss and is instantly smitten. She does not reciprocate his feeling, for she has her own unrequited lust, for freedom and independence. That they marry guarantees tragedy. Nicholas tells the story in retrospect, writing feverishly on a train trip in 1933 to his sister's funeral in Florida. His pedantic style is full of parenthetical asides, portentous foreshadowing and rhetorical throat. His erotic swoon commands sympathy, until it carries him past any definition of decency. He will do anything to bring down Philip Asher, his academic rival and the brother of Etna's true love, Samuel. He plays on prevailing anti-Semitism (the Ashers are Jewish), and he persuades his daughter, Clara, to claim that Philip touched her improperly, which besmirches not only Philip's reputation but Clara's as well. We see Etna herself only secondhand, except for some correspondence with Philip reproduced toward the end of the tale. Credit the author for making the point that Etna and her sisters had too little autonomy even to tell their own stories, but filtering Etna's experience through Nicholas's sensibility deprives the novel of intimacy and immediacy. (Apr. 15)

Forecast:A coordinated laydown will energize sales, and Shreve's latest will likely hit the charts.

Reviewed on: 03/17/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Show other formats
FORMATS
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-2823-9
Ebook - 978-0-316-00862-4
Ebook - 978-0-7595-7103-7
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-316-86163-2
Hardcover - 978-0-7528-5708-4
Paperback - 322 pages - 978-0-349-11558-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-58621-490-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-58621-491-3
Hardcover - 496 pages - 978-0-316-71112-8
Hardcover - 978-0-316-60267-9
Paperback - 310 pages
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-9852-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-4784-1
Paperback - 978-0-316-74634-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-316-06667-9
Paperback - 978-0-316-00992-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-316-01281-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 372 pages - 978-0-316-01036-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-75396-8
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.