On the first page of The Book Borrower, Toby Ruben and Deborah Laidlaw meet in 1975 in a New York City playground, where the two women are looking after their babies. Deborah lends Toby a book, Trolley Girl,a memoir about a long ago trolley strike and three Jewish sisters, one a fiery revolutionarythat will disappear and reappear throughout the twenty-two years these women are friends.
Through two decades Deborah and Toby raise their children, embark on teaching careers, and argue about politics, education, and their own lives. One day during a hike, they have an argument that cannot be resolvedand the two women take different, permanent pathsbut it is ultimately the borrowed book that will bring them back together. With sensitivity and grace, Alice Mattison shows how books can rescue us from our deepest sorrows; how the events of the outside world play into our private lives; and how the bonds between women are enduring, mysterious, and laced with surprise.
About the Author
Alice Mattison is the award-winning author of four story collections and five novels, including Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn. She teaches fiction in the graduate writing program at Bennington College in Vermont and lives in New Haven, Connecticut.