Love Is a Canoe

Ben Schrank. FSG/Sarah Crichton, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-374-19249-5
Three stories of personal and literary authenticity weave through this novel of love and books that gets sharper and smarter as it progresses. Forty years ago, Peter Herman penned Love Is a Canoe, a memoir and meditation on marriage that retains a devoted following. Canoe’s homilies from Peter’s adolescent summer spent in upstate New York with his grandparents as his own parents’ marriage crumbled contain a certain enduring quality: “A good marriage is a canoe—it needs care and isn’t meant to hold too much—no more than two adults and a couple of kids.” But as the recently widowed author ponders the course of his marriage and current relationship, straining against late-middle age, there’s a danger that his personal and literary fictions will unravel. The danger grows acute when Stella, a young book editor trying to spur sales on Canoe’s 40th anniversary, creates a contest for a couple in trouble; winners will spend an afternoon with the somewhat reclusive author in the hopes that their troubled relationship will be rescued. But as Emily and Eli Corelli, a young Brooklyn couple with a rocky marriage, enter Peter’s orbit, they, Peter, and Stella confront the underlying truths of their lives. The honesty doled out as events unspool is bracing and frank, and give these characters added depth and wisdom. This is the third novel from Schrank (after Miracle Man), president and publisher of Razorbill. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME Entertainment. (Jan. 8)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 01/08/2013
Library Binding - 479 pages - 978-1-61173-695-3
Ebook - 524 pages - 978-1-921961-41-0
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-1-250-04352-8
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4668-2814-8
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