Where or When

Where or When

by Anita Shreve

Hardcover(Large Print)

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Overview

Charles Callahan, a faithfully married businessman, chances upon a newspaper photograph of a woman he loved 30 years ago. Unable to resist, he writes her, a poet living with her husband and two children.

Powerfully drawn together again, the two lovers grapple with issues they never expected to face: the nature of erotic love and betrayal, the agony of lost years, bewildering moral quandaries in an age of shifting values, and the elusive nature of time.

"An affecting novel that will attract readers of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, it offers the further rewards of psychologically nuanced characterizations and a thoughtful exploration of the relationship between sexuality and time." (Publishers Weekly)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780708933008
Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 02/28/1996
Series: Ulverscroft Large Print Series
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author


Anita Shreve was a high school teacher and a freelance magazine journalist before writing fiction full time. She was the author of over fifteen novels including The Stars Are Fire as well as the international bestseller The Pilot’s Wife, and The Weight of the Water, a finalist for the Orange Prize. Shreve taught writing at Amherst College and lived in Massachusetts.
 

Hometown:

New Hampshire; Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

1946

Education:

B.A., Tufts University

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

I remember everything.

A kiss at the nape of the neck.

You said you used to have a dream. When we were children, you dreamed that the nipples of my breasts burst through the fabric of my blouse. And when we were grown, you said the dream came back to you, and you had not had it in all the years in between.

When we were children, we whispered words like novices at vespers. We were children and afraid to say the words aloud. I believe this gave us longings that would last a lifetime.

But that afternoon, what did I know of indelible connections?

It was a September afternoon, a Sunday afternoon, and I remember that it was raining. There were a hundred people in the wood-paneled library at the college, and a stack of books on a table by the door. Some friends were there, and my husband, Stephen. My daughter was not. I watched my husband gesture with his glass, embrace with a sweep of his hand (the wine spilling a bit over the rim) the entire room of people, as if he might still his own anxieties by becoming my most exuberant supporter. It was Stephen in a gray sweater and a blazer, who was standing by the table with the books — the books and that day's newspaper, with my own picture in an advertisement.

Earlier that day, when we had driven to the college, Stephen had been quiet in the car. The onion sets that spring had been washed away by heavy and unexpected rains. Stephen had missed one payment at the bank, might miss another soon.

It wasn't anything that Stephen had done or had not done. All the onion farms were going.

The farm that Stephen might lose was set upon the dirt. They called it "black dirt," a soil as black as soot. Each year, in the spring, when the water had receded, if the sets had not been washed away, the tender shoots sprouted up from the soil in perfect rows and turned the black dirt to a shimmery onion green.

But the farm was not mine. Never mine.

It was the first time there had been a party, though there had been other books, other collections. The book, as you saw, was a slim volume with a paper cover in a matte finish, a slim volume of some thirty poems. This book would gain little more attention than the others had, though there was the party this time and money for an advertisement, just the one.

For the picture for the advertisement, I had been asked to wear a black jersey, and at the studio the photographer had removed my glasses, had taken the clips from my hair and mussed it with his fingers. The result was a likeness, recognizable as me, though essentially dishonest.

At the party, I stood at the edge of a small room while people moved around and past me and sometimes stopped with a sentence or a word. I remember that my editor came up to me and said, in a moment of unwarranted optimism, a friendly unwarranted optimism meant to deflect attention from the fact of the disappointingly small printing, that this slim volume would change the direction of my life. And I had smiled at him as if I, too, might share this optimism, though I had thought then that my life would not change, not beyond the small, seismic vibrations of a child growing, of a house slowly settling into the soil, or of a marriage — in unmeasurable, infinitesimal increments — disappearing.

I am in disgrace now. Removed from a state of grace.

When you and I were children, we learned of death. It was in the inevitability of a final separation, a death against which we were helpless. And even as adults, leaving you was always brutal.

I always wanted to ask: Did your wife give you the leather jacket? Did you wear other clothes, a tie perhaps, a shirt, that she had given you and that I touched?

Toward the end of the party, my editor made a toast. When it was over, I looked up. Within the crowd, I searched for Stephen. He was by the door, his back against the wall, draining his glass.

I watched my husband set the glass upon the stack of books, leaving a wet circle on the matte finish of the top cover. I watched Stephen leave the party without a backward glance.

Even on the bay side, the waves are spiking, spitting their caps off the crests. He likes it this way — hard and bright; these are the best mornings. The gulls, the rats of the sea, push against the wind, then swoop and dive for their catch. The old men are on the bridge, as they are every Sunday, braced against a railing that cannot last another year, even though he has been thinking this for years and the railing never gives. The bridge is wooden, nearly a mile long, the ride rattling in good weather, slick and treacherous when the spray freezes over the thick wooden slats. The bridge connects the mainland to a slender sliver of beach, and in the summer the bridge shakes under the weight of the Dodge Caravans and the Jeep Cherokees with their women and children, their beach umbrellas and blankets, their coolers of sodas and sunblock. But by now, the second week in September, the summer people have cleared out, and Charles and the old-timers finally have the place to themselves.

Charles sails the aging charcoal Cadillac gracefully along the rough planking. He nods and waves at the men in their stained parkas, plaid jackets, and baseball caps, their shoulders hunched against the wind, watching their lines for a tug that looks slightly different than the pull of the current. He drives this bridge two, three times a day, takes the car each time to the end. Sometimes he gets out to cross the dunes to the ocean side, to look out toward Lisbon or Rabat, or to watch the fishing boats come in around the bar to the harbor, south of the bridge. At other times he simply sits in his car, listening to Roy Orbison, nursing a beer, maybe two, until it's time for his next appointment or to drive back to the house, where Harriet and his children seem always to be waiting for him.

Today they need milk for breakfast, and he knows he shouldn't have taken this detour. But the morning is too fine, he rationalizes, to have missed. Beside him there is the half gallon of two percent, a heavy Sunday paper this week, and a greasy bag of jelly doughnuts he has bought for the kids, although he knows that by the time he arrives home, his children already will have eaten a breakfast that did not require milk. Harriet will disdain the doughnuts, will not even open the package, will set them aside on the counter until, inside the spotted bag, they will grow hard around the edges and finally be inedible. Thinking this, Charles is determined to eat at least one, even though, as a rule, he doesn't like sweets. He parks the Cadillac in the small circle of blacktop that grows more circumscribed each year by the encroaching sand, takes a doughnut from the bag, gets out of the car, and walks toward the dunes, which prevent him from seeing the ocean side. He has on his jeans, a white dress shirt he's been wearing since Friday, and a black hooded sweatshirt over that. Unthinkingly, he has worn his leather shoes with the tassels, his dress shoes, and as he walks they quickly fill up with sand along the edges. He bites into the doughnut; the jelly squirts over his fingers. With his free hand he tries to remove his shoes and his socks. He licks his fingers; the sand is cold on the soles of his feet. How quickly the warmth leaves the sand in September, he is thinking.

The view from the top of the dunes is always worth the small climb. The sea is charged, yet still a vivid navy. Whitecaps appear and vanish like blips on a radar screen. He descends the dune and walks toward the water. The gulls hang motionless in midair, unable to make headway against the wind. Even the sand, a thin sugar above the crust left by high tide, echoes the spray off the whitecaps, stinging as it does against his bare feet. But it is the blue, a deep inexhaustible blue, which speaks to him of clear uncomplicated days, that stops him. He wants, as he always wants, to have it, to possess it, to take it with him, to take it out when he needs it. For he knows that by this afternoon, this particular blue will be gone — replaced by muted colors, grays or greens.

"Hey, Charlie Callahan. You takin' in the rays, or what?"

Charles turns to see the speaker, but he already knows by the gravelly voice that it is Joe Medeiros, a presence in town, a client. Joe made his money as a draggerman and looks the part: two-day growth of beard, a plaid quilted jacket worn so badly in the elbows you can see the polyester, stained chinos. One of Joe's front teeth is badly discolored. Medeiros is a man embarrassed by his teeth and consequently never smiles. Charles can smell the stale breath even in the salt air. He knows it's bourbon.

"Fishing?" Charles asks.

"Had my line in. Saw your car. Can't pull anything but pogies."

Charles waits, shoes in one hand, the other in the pocket of his jeans. He knows this won't be a casual visit. Joe is wheezing from the awkward climb up the dunes. Joe won't be interested in the view either.

"How's business?" Joe pulls a pack of Carltons from his jacket pocket, lights one away from the wind.

Charles shrugs, a practiced and familiar shrug. "Hanging in there. Same as everybody."

"You got that right." Joe exhales. The wind sends the smoke under his chin, into his collar. "Hadda sell two boats last week. Hadda give 'em away, I should say."

Charles looks down at the sand. Jesus Christ, he thinks, here it comes.

"So here's the deal." Joe studies the harbor as if searching for one of the boats he had to give away. "The fuckin' bank slashed my credit line. You know me, Charlie: I been doing business with Eddie Whalen with a handshake for years, and I've paid the bastard faithfully every month. And this is the reward I get."

Joe Medeiros coughs on the smoke or on his anger, hawks up a glob of phlegm to make his point, spits it onto the sand. "So I go down to find out what's the story with the credit line, and I find Eddie sweatin' bullets. Thinks he's going to get the boot now. The FDIC's been goin' over his stuff, and they're tellin' him now that he might of made some loans shouldn't of been made, you follow me. Fact is"— and here Joe Medeiros looks away, unable to meet Charles's eye —"the cash I was gonna use for the premium? I gotta have it for the mortgage payment. It's that simple."

Charles looks out toward Morocco. He has never been to Africa, nor even to Europe. He wishes he had the ability to banish Joe Medeiros from the dunes, make him disappear. He minds his Sunday morning invaded, the scene soured by the talk of business, the panic he doesn't usually feel until Monday's dawn beginning the slow crawl up his spine.

"Same old story, isn't it?" Charles says casually, as he has had to say too often in the past ten months. He is not surprised that the feds have been looking at Eddie Whalen's books. Eighteen months ago, Whalen was giving money away. Sign on the dotted line. As Charles and half the men in town had done.

"Stop by the office tomorrow or the next day," Charles says. "We'll talk. We'll figure something."

With his toe, Charles scratches idle markings in the sand. He knows he ought to have gotten Medeiros's premium up front. The $15,000 commission check would have paid Costa. Tomorrow he will have to call Costa, cancel the construction on the addition. And Costa is a client — Charles will lose his business.

Christ, it never ends, it seems.

"So when are the fuckin' banks going to have a dime to put out on the street? That's what I want to know," Joe says, looking at Charles now. The fisherman takes another drag, throws the cigarette onto the sand, business concluded. Small sparks from the lit end blow toward Charles's bare feet.

"The wife?"

Charles nods.

"The kids doin' OK? I gotta hand it to you, Charlie. You got the whole scene. Am I right?"

Charles hates this part, the denouement, the ingratiating banter after bad news.

"The kids are fine," he says carefully.

Another case shot. Charles fights the panic by looking out to the ocean, imagining the Azores. He focuses on a fishing boat trying to negotiate the gut in the chop.

"So I'm goin' back to my line. Probably snagged a shitload of seaweed." Joe turns as if to leave, then stops. "Listen, Charlie, I'm sorry as shit about this. You know what I'm talkin' about. I know you do. I don't ever forget how you drove out to Jeannette's. After Billy ..."

Charles looks up at Joe. The fisherman's nose and eyes are running in the wind. Medeiros's son, dead before he was twenty-five, drowned off his father's fishing boat. Charles had sold Medeiros insurance on both his sons, and he remembers the drive out to Billy Medeiros's wife with the check. After he'd heard of Billy's accident (seven years ago at four-thirty on a summer afternoon, and Charles was in The Blue Schooner; the news had rippled down the barstools like a loose and slippery eel), Charles had done the paperwork at once, gone that night to the funeral home for the death certificate, cut out the obituary from the local paper, and sent the required documents in to the home office. In ten days he had a check, which he carried in the breast pocket of his suit coat up the steps of Billy Medeiros's small bungalow on the coast road. Charles had seen grief before — it sometimes went with the job — but never anything as bald as on that day. Jeannette, a small woman with thin dark hair, met him at the door, and at first he didn't recognize her. Her face was fish white, years older, and swollen with her pregnancy. Beside her was a daughter, not four years old, who sucked her thumb.

Charles remembers how he took the check from his pocket and handed it to the woman and how her face changed as she comprehended the meaning of the check, how she once again experienced the irrevocability of her husband's accident. And Charles remembers how Billy Medeiros's wife seemed to fold in upon herself, fold in upon the high soft moans that sounded to him almost sexual in nature and struck him as too intimate for witnesses. He recalls wondering what his own grief would sound like if Harriet died, recalls thinking guiltily that it probably wouldn't sound like Jeannette Medeiros's. He had stood helplessly, not knowing if he should touch Billy Medeiros's wife to comfort her, his hands seeming to float huge and useless in his pockets. Finally he had picked up the silent and frightened daughter and taken her out of the house. They'd gone for a Dairy Queen and a round of miniature golf.

Remembering that day and watching Joe Medeiros recross the dunes, Charles thinks again that his job is an odd one to have fallen into — and that is how it seems to him, something he has fallen into, wandered into, not chosen — a far cry from the seminary, though sometimes not. He has few illusions about how his job is perceived by others: an unwelcome (if often necessary) chink in the machinery, a job falling somewhere between that of a CPA and a tax lawyer, the occasional butt of jokes on late-night TV. Usually he thinks of himself as simply a businessman, a salesman with a product, a man who is better with people than he is with the paperwork. Though once in a while, on days when he is filled with hope, he likes to think of himself as a Life Agent, with all that the title, as metaphor, might imply — an agent for Life, an insurer of life, even a kind of secular priest — and he imagines his clients, an entire town of clients (his flock?), as motivated by love, buying insurance from him because they love a woman or a man or a child.

But inevitably there are the bad days, the ones when he wonders if he isn't after all only a paradoxical and unwitting harbinger of mortality.

Last Tuesday was the worst. Just the visual memory of Tom Carney sitting behind his desk makes him shiver involuntarily beneath his hooded sweatshirt. He looks out to sea, as if to shake off the memory, but it is in place now, and though he is watching Cole Hacker tack his Morgan through the gut, it is Carney that he sees.

Charles had pulled into Tom Carney's gas station at twelve-thirty, left the Cadillac by the pumps. A teenage boy with spiky black hair came out of the office.

"Fill her with special," Charles said. "Tom in?"

"He's in the office," the boy told Charles.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Where or When"
by .
Copyright © 1993 Anita Shreve.
Excerpted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Contents,
Copyright,
Dedication,
Epigraph,
Where or When,
The Tape That Charles Sent Siân,
Read More from Anita Shreve,
About the Author,
Connect with HMH,

Customer Reviews

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Where or When 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a hard time with reviewers who balk at 14 year old true love. I met my soul mate at 14. Im 38 now, so believe me when I tell you it was love. I have lived the difference. With that being said, I felt for these characters from the beginning. The loveless marriages made out of convenience or some sense of responsibility, some preconcieved notion of what is right or wrong, what is acceptable versus forbidden behaviour. I gripped all of that in this book. The ending, however, left me heartbroken and unfulfilled. I sat in about 10 minutes of stunned silence when I finished. I give it 4 stars instead of 3 because I enjoyed the writitng style. The back and forth between 14 year old innocent love and 45 year old very complicated love. Because of the ending, I am cautious of reading this author again. If you are looking for an HEA, this is not your book. If you like the pain of unrequited love, by all means, enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was attracted to the book merely from its description and once i began to read i couldnt put it down. the book definitely raises questions about the extent a person or persons will go for the sake of love, even if it means unjustly hurting those around them. i think that to say at 14 you cant have a love that sticks with you can only be made by someone who hasnt had the kind of love these characters shared. if you have ever had a piece of TRUE love, a very rare thing in this world, then you get it. if not, then its just another love story. i am very confused by the ending however. i dont completely understand where things were left. too much is left unsaid that i find myself disappointed. the story was so built up that i found the ending to be very unsatisfying. im still glad i read it, but i wish there were a few more chapters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was well written, but I didn't really buy the premise of the story - that these two characters who met for a week when they were fourteen could really, truly be in love. I didn't really buy that these two people were destined to be together. It seemed that both of them were merely trying to escape from their own unhappy lives, but instead it's written as this great love affair between two souls who missed their chance to be together. I actually liked the ending, and I suppose there's really no other way such a bleak story could have ended, though I would have liked a bit more of a denouement. A note on the Nook edition of this book: the editing was HORRIBLE. There were lots of typos, missing words and punctuation. If I'd realized this, I would probably not have bought it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I have enjoyed every Anita Shreve novel I've laid my hands on to date, this one is the first that left me feeling flat. My feeling was that these people weren't really so much in love with each other as grasping at some kind of straw of hope for themselves out of desperation. Charles is in a financial mess and on the brink of foreclosure, standing to lose both his business and his home. His marriage lacks passion, but the few irritants he can claim about his wife (she rarely puts on music for herself to enjoy while he listens to music all the time she sets goals each day and accomplishes them while he spends a lot of time just staring out at the ocean) are hardly worth mentioning. Even without the affair, he comes across as a selfish boor, not bothering to include her in his risky financial decisions that got them where they are, or even filling her in on the serious state they were in. Did it even occur to him that she might offer to go back to work to help out??? Suddenly he stumbles on a picture of a woman he met and fell in love with when he went to a summer camp for a week 31 years earlier (at the age of 14 no less!) and he's ready to throw his family aside and run off with her. Sian was a little more sympathetic a character, but again, I felt she was not so much in love as trying to grab onto something to make her forget her sad empty life. Her marriage is also dead or dying, she and her husband staying together seemingly out of a shared sorrow of losing their young son at the age of nine. Her future on a failing onion farm with an emotionally distant husband seems bleak. The fact that neither Charles nor Sian ever made the effort to reconnect as young adults makes it hard to believe that this 'romance' was born from memories of a lost true love, but rather one fabricated out of desperation. One wonders if Charles were in a good situation financially if he would have reacted differently to seeing Sian's picture after all those years. That he hadn't thought about her in years is telling. Several people's lives get ruined because of their obsession, and all along they know this will happen. Selfish, pitiful people. Give me some characters I can like!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read a number of Anita Shreve's novels, I really enjoyed this one the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so captivating and reaches every emotion a book possibly can. Anita takes writing love stories to another level. The surprise at the end is totally unexpected it makes you want to go back and read it again from the moment you finish. I strongly recommend this book!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shreve takes you into a dream like state amd has you think about all your past loves and flirt with the idea of reconnecting. The glorious feeling of returning to a familiar place with a lover that has kept an idealized picture of you across all the years is tempered with the awlful destruction the affair has on all the families. The ending is unexpected but serves as a cautionary reminder of the consequences of playing with fire. I felt the dreamy sommulant nature of the writing made me feel the languid sensuality and increasing tension. I loved the book.
beebothezeebo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked some of her other books but felt this read like a Harlequin romance - not her best work.
moonshineandrosefire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Sian receives a love letter from an old flame, she is extremely flattered. However, what starts out as a friendly meeting to reacquaint themselves with each other soon descends into a fiery, volatile affair that rockets into a dark and dangerous obsession. I loved this book and give it an A+!
majorbabs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This tells a couple's story in reverse order, rather off-putting if you're not ready.
brokenangelkisses on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written and, in the end, intensely sad.
dldbizacct on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a disappointment. I've read many of Shreve's books and loved them but this one tanked. I agree with one of the other reviewers who said it read like a Harlequin romance. Some of it was written well but not enough to redeem the faulty, self-indulgent and irritating plot line. The main character is a big, unlikeable dork! The other characters are slightly more likable but fall flat in their shallow dimensionality. More than anything this book irritated me, and I kept hoping it would get better but it was awful to the very last word.
pdebolt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book quickly, so possibly I missed some of the logic that would lead two married 46-year old people to abandon everyone significant in their lives to be together. Their relationship didn't make sense to me. I simply cannot see myself overcome with lust at the sight of someone I thought I loved 31 years ago. I'd like to think that these people required a longer period of connection. Also, how did both of them have so much unfettered time? Did Charles' financial worries disappear when he bought champagne, gifts, meals and a hotel room for them? Didn't his wife's reaction seem a bit odd? I think I am a consummate romantic, but I just didn't buy it.
kakadoo202 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like the story a lot. what a powerful ending. I was so hoping for a different ending, but then it would have been just another romance. breathtaking. intriguing. makes you think what you would do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A sweet story of teenage love rekindled
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*** Review contains NO spoilers *** I'd read a couple other books by this author and was not very impressed with the stories, though I did enjoy her writing style. I picked this book randomly at the library and didn't have very high hopes for it - then I was sucked into the plot because the situations presented are quite relatable. While I can't say I "liked" the ending, I thought it was a realistic view of how it could have happened if this were a true story. You know how it'll turn out, but hope for a last minute happily ever after.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheStephanieLoves More than 1 year ago
Charles first saw Siân at summer camp thirty-one years ago, and he fell in love. He never really lost memory or longing of her, even though they never saw each other again after those few fateful, scorching weeks they spent together; so when he comes across her photograph serendipitously while flicking through a literary magazine, his world begins to spin in a new direction. He needs to see her. Forget the wife, forget the kids—he needs Sîan. His sinking business and financial security set the tone of this gloomy, cryptic novel; little does he know that they will mark his failure, as well as his downfall. I couldn't really get into this one because I couldn't connect with the characters. Each of them are most intimately portrayed by Shreve's dense, flowery prose, but they still seem too detached, too cold. The power of first love—and in that, the illusion of romanticized childhood—is expertly detailed upon, but emotionally, personally... Charles and Sîan are a let-down. I have mixed feelings about the writing style; on one hand, it's gorgeously crafted, but on the other, it's kind of rambly, descriptive in unnecessary places and too vague in others. There's a quaint perceptiveness in Shreve's penmanship that's both distant and generic; I liked this, but it hinders the story's progress, so overall Where or When was sort of difficult to read. The blithe bay setting, with brief flashes of Rhode Island and of east coast beaches, is nice. Nothing powerful, but definitely appropriate for the content and style: hazy, breezy, and static. Ah, but the ending—what in the world?? Unfulfilling, miserable, wretched thing! I like the take on the tragic ending, but the way the author decided to terminate the connection between the two lovers, not so much. I feel like there was a better path she could have taken, so the ending was what finally ruined the story for me. The affliction over an impossible love permeates throughout this book—from the first page, to the last. Even in the title, is a direct allusion: it's where or when, but never and, never both, which signifies how the self-serving motives and foolishly insatiable desires of the human heart will eventually lead to catastrophe. Pros: Intimacy between characters, and between characters and readers // Lush prose // Breezy east coast backdrop // Interesting storyline about childhood lovers Cons: Unmoving // Terrible ending // Style is syrupy; hard to read // Just didn't affect me in any which way Verdict: Where or When is a futile account of a mistaken love that consumes two very unhappy individuals. I say futile because there is nothing about it that's touching or engaging; it's just a flat story with flat characters, and I put it down having gained very little. It does however, contain Anita Shreve's exquisite prose, and well-interprets the tragedy of time, of timing. This wasn't a completely deplorable read, but I don't care for it much, and wouldn't recommend it. 5 out of 10 hearts (3 stars): Doesn't particularly light any of my fires; I feel indifferent about this book. Source: Complimentary copy provided by TripFiction in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first thing I thought about when getting into this book was, "Come on.....a love affair from an encounter at camp when they were 14!?!?" Seemed a little hard to believe and could never really get beyond that throughout the whole book. Then there was the downhill spiral that was hard to stomach....the "love" the characters felt just seemed a little too obsessive, unrealistic, and self-destructive. So all in all, I'd say it was certainly an entertaining read, but not one that I would recommend or even remember years from now....
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donnareads911 More than 1 year ago
Anita Shreve writes a love story of love "gone missing" and then found with all of its twists and turns. This is the story of a young boy and girl, Charles and Sian, their brief summer romance and the years between, and subsequent meeting again. Although its on "tricky" moral ground, (really, how much sympathy/empathy can you have for a couple intent on a full-blown affair), Anita draws you into their lives and leaves you gasping at the end. (And no, absolutely NOT, am I going to fess' up to how this one ends).