The Voyage

Robert MacNeil, Author Nan A. Talese $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-385-46952-4
Public-TV newsman/anchor MacNeil has already shown off his novelistic skills with the admirable Burden of Desire, and his new novel, if not quite so penetrating, is an even more compelling read. David Lyon, Canadian consulate-general in New York, is a veteran of Canada's External Affairs department who, as the book begins, receives a tempting but tricky offer to advance his career. The problem is that an old flame of David's-Francesca, a lovely, impulsive young model with whom he had pursued a rash but obsessive liaison for years-is missing off a yacht found drifting in the Baltic off Finland. She has left a cryptic message for him; if it all comes to light, it could ruin his marriage and his political prospects. The book follows David as he recalls his infatuation and eventual disillusionment with Francesca, his efforts to break the news of his affair to his winning and cherished wife, Marilyn. It also brilliantly pursues Francesca as she pilots her yacht alone at night across the dark, wintry sea to an absurdly romantic assignation, and in the perils of her journey comes to terms with her past and present selves. MacNeil's writing has extraordinary narrative grip, particularly in the ocean sequences, and his sense of contemporary Canadian politics, and of that nation's perpetual anxiety about its proximity to America, is wry and utterly persuasive. This is an original, bittersweet romantic drama that is given an extra twist by the protagonist's determination (like that of the soon-to-retire MacNeil) to take up writing after a life spent successfully in another profession. Author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995
Release date: 09/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-15-600463-3
Hardcover - 978-0-7862-0616-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-7704-2736-8
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