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AN UNFINISHED MARRIAGE

Joan Anderson, Author
Joan Anderson, Author . Broadway $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0870-2
Reviewed on: 02/18/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 224 pages - 978-0-7679-1148-1
Paperback - 231 pages - 978-0-7679-0871-9
Hardcover - 232 pages - 978-1-58724-259-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-09376-8
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Anderson's 1999 memoir, A Year by the Sea, described her year-long break from marriage, a time of independent self-discovery as she approached middle age. In this sequel, she continues into the following year, when she and her newly retired husband, Robin, move to their cottage on Cape Cod. The two face the process of building a new partnership as Anderson readjusts to living with another person and Robin comes to terms with his nonworking status. Anderson looks back on their early married life and shares her apprehensions about Robin's idleness. A trip to the dump reminds her that she and Robin can take the good elements of their early years and recycle them into this new phase of marriage. When she breaks her ankle, she finds a tenderness in her husband that surprises her. A bittersweet Christmas visit from a son and daughter-in-law is especially touching, as she rejoices in the news of their expected first child yet frankly explores her sadness in watching her son's role as husband take precedence over his role as son. Anderson's love of the Cape Cod landscape is an important element of her book, notably in the final chapters describing the couple's two-week stay in an isolated dune shack, sans running water and electricity. Fans of her earlier work will find the same thoughtful reflection and candor in this closeup of a marriage at midlife. Agent, Olivia Blumer. (On sale Mar. 12)

Forecast:A shoo-in for reading groups, this book's ad/promo campaign and appealing jacket (an Impressionistic painting of a sailboat) will help it get into the hands of 50-something women.

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