The Future of Love

Shirley Abbott, Author . Algonquin $23.95 (306p) ISBN 978-1-56512-567-4

An ensemble of New Yorkers swim the choppy waters of romance, circa autumn 2001, in the first novel from memoirist Abbott (The Bookmaker’s Daughter ). Having lost his job at an investment firm before September 11, Mark Adler siphons off the pressure through an affair with Sophie, his daughter’s 25-year-old nursery school teacher. Mark’s older parallel is Sam Mendel, a retired publisher with a sexless marriage and a lavish estate in the country. Sam is resigned to his existence until he meets Mark’s mother-in-law, Antonia, and discovers a wholly unexpected erotic reincarnation. The limit to each affair is a devotion—Mark to his daughter, Sam to his estate—but even these are imperiled by 9/11. A deeply melancholic Mark exploits his location that morning (he was praying at Trinity Church before a job interview at the South Tower) to disappear and Sam puts his marriage and estate at risk by shacking up with Antonia downtown. Abbott pursues these and other plots—a lesbian commitment ceremony, a gay dancer’s fight with cancer—through third-person perspectives that tie up the interconnections in surprisingly effective strokes. Abbott weaves a delicate tapestry of love and apocalypse. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 03/01/2008
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-56512-640-4
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