cover image The Opposite of Love

The Opposite of Love

Julie Buxbaum, . . Dial, $25 (306pp) ISBN 978-0-385-34122-6

Harvard law grad Buxbaum makes an appealing debut with this tale of Yale law graduate Emily Haxby, eager to break through the emotional and professional ties that bind her. “It's like you get pleasure out of breaking your own heart,” best friend Jess tells Emily after her bustup with her doctor boyfriend. But Emily isn't through self-destructing; she also implodes over her fast-failing Grandpa Jack, from whom Emily learned “everything... about life”; chilly relations with her lieutenant governor father, Kirk; and a precarious career as a litigator defending big, evil corporations for a Manhattan law firm. This single-gal-in-the-city finds her white-knuckle hold on life and love slowly slipping as it dawns on her that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's emptiness. Grandpa Jack and his retirement home pal, Ruth, help steer Emily to a soft landing, but the big disappointment is that the resolution is far less interesting than the unraveling that precedes it. (Jan.)