Tilting at Windmills

Joseph Pittman, Author Atria Books $21.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7434-0737-3
Pittman's debut novel is a feel-good fantasy about an ad man who leaves Manhattan in emotional disarray, only to find true love in a bucolic burg in upstate New York. Brian Duncan is the creative force behind a growing New York ad agency; he is dating a sexy co-worker, and he enjoys the stimulation of city life. But when girlfriend Maddie Chasen hops into bed with the ad agency president during Brian's brief battle with hepatitis, Brian comes unglued and quits his job without confronting either one about the infidelity. Instead, he plans an extended aimless journey that ends up being a short trip upstate to tiny Linden Corners, where the natives welcome him with an almost surreal friendliness. Within days, he has a job and a new life, and the final piece of the puzzle falls into place when he becomes involved with Annie Sullivan, a widowed single mother whose dedication to maintaining the town's landmark windmill touches a romantic chord in Duncan's soul. When life in Linden Corners begins to take on a permanent feel, Duncan heads back to Manhattan to square his accounts with Maddie and his boss, a venture that almost backfires when Maddie pays a sudden return visit upstate and tries to sabotage his new existence. Pittman has a nice feel for pace and place, but he approaches his characters and scenes with the saccharine brio of a Hallmark card. Though not without romantic merit, his book reads like an expanded script for a TV movie. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-7582-6673-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-7434-0738-0
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7434-1796-9
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