Set amid the chaos of 9/11, this novel from Bausch (Peace) is an adequate addition to the author’s oeuvre. After meeting at a fundraiser, D.C. congressional aide Natasha Barrett and disillusioned Episcopalian priest Michael Faulk fall into a whirlwind romance. Engaged, and intending to relocate to Memphis, the couple find themselves separated when the 2001 terrorist attacks occur: Michael is in New York City at a wedding; Natasha is in Jamaica, vacationing with a friend. As Michael frantically tries to escape the city, Natasha, fearing that her fiancé is dead, wanders the beach heavily intoxicated and is raped by a fellow vacationer. Once home in Memphis, Natasha keeps the assault to herself, and Michael grows frustrated with her new emotional distance as their wedding day nears. He suspects Natasha has been unfaithful, but is afraid to ask. A tale of trust and loss, the novel strives to fit Natasha and Michael’s personal problems into the greater story of America’s turmoil. Bausch excels at capturing the mood of Americans in the days and weeks following 9/11—equal parts camaraderie and suspicion—but only rarely engages the reader emotionally. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/30/2014 Release date: 08/12/2014 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.