The Rest of Us

Jessica Lott, Author
Jessica Lott. Simon & Schuster, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4516-4587-3
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-1-4516-4588-0
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4516-4589-7
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Lott’s sad debut novel is a first-person chronicle of longing told by a youngish photographer named Terry about her doomed relationship with an older poet, Rudolf Rhinehart. The two had a passionate affair when Terry was a college student and Rhinehart a professor in upstate New York. They meet again 15 years later, soon after Rhinehart’s obituary mistakenly runs in the New York Times. Rhinehart is unhappily married, has abandoned poetry, and is searching for his roots. Terry and Rhinehart renew their friendship before Rhinehart leaves for Ukraine to meet long-lost relatives and hopefully see letters written by his late mother. When he returns, not much more enlightened than before and having left his wife Laura, he rekindles his relationship with Terry. But while she begins shooting photos again, and with Laura’s help has some success showing and selling her work, Rhinehart languishes, wallowing in despair brought on by disquieting revelations in the old country. Things only get worse, and the denouement is just short of maudlin. This is a finely wrought story, insightfully detailing the anguish of intense love and the struggles of an aspiring artist, but for some readers it may be almost too painful to enjoy. Agent: Lane Zachary, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (July)
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