Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sweetwater by Roxana Robinson and L'America by Martha McPhee

I really enjoyed SWEETWATER. Thanks Nichelle for the recommendation. A widow, Isabel Green disconnects from her life until she meets Paul Simmons. She marries him quickly and visits his family's summer lodge in the Adirondacks. While deal with his WASPY family she has to confront issues in her current marriage and issues from her first marriage. To say there is some family tension would be an understatement. I thought the writing was beautiful, very descriptive. The last third of the book was so tense I couldn't put it down. There were some very funny moments, esp. with her mother-in-law.

L'AMERICA is the second book I have read this year about a dysfunctional relationship between an American woman and an Italian man. Beth and Cesare, 18, meet in Greece during summer vacation in the early 80s. The book follows their relationship to 9/11 with some comments on the next generation. Beth is the daughter of a man who started a commune after her mother died. Cesare is the son of a powerful Northern Italian banking family. The relationship is off and on for years. Beth and Cesare at times are very cruel to each other. They taunt each other with the stories of their affairs. The things that they loved about each other; Beth fearlessness and casualness, Cesare family's history, start to annoy them.

This is supposed to be an epic tale of love, history, loss, old world versus new, etc. However, both characters are so self-absorbed I really didn't care about them.

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