Love, If That’s What It Is

Marijke Schermer, trans. from the Dutch by Hester Velmans. World Editions, $16.99 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-64286-103-7
Dutch playwright Schermer explores themes of romantic ennui and individuality in her scintillating debut, a yearlong account of a deteriorating marriage. After 25 years with David, Terri is at a crossroads: once attracted to her husband’s loyalty, steadiness, and dependability, she is now repulsed by his stick-in-the-mud demeanor. After she tells David about her lover, Lucas, an adventurous if nihilistic bachelor, David is floored, as are their children. Their teenage daughter, Krista, copes by pursuing a secret romance, and their younger daughter, Ally, tells Terri to “stop hurting Daddy.” Several months later, David finds his own lover, Sev, on a dating app. Schermer’s crisp prose style captures the heart-wrenching emotions roiling the characters. Of David’s whirlwind of guilt and pleasure over his relationship with Sev, a single mother whom he sees only in her apartment, Schermer writes that he’s found “not a relationship, just this island in time.” The author expertly humanizes each of the characters’ desires and flaws as she illuminates the raw, inner workings of a broken marriage. This is as cathartic as it is gut-churning. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/02/2021
Release date: 02/01/2022
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-1-64286-102-0
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