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Breakable You

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Author Brian Morton returns to New York, a setting he painted to perfection in A Window Across The River (2003 ). Once again his characters are fully realized, passionate, funny, and flawed, perhaps microcosms of ourselves. Adam Weller is 63 years old, a novelist, and some may say hectored, others may say encouraged by his younger ambitious mistress, Thea. She's new to the City and the ways of it. Incredibly beautiful she's a former high school beauty queen and Miss Junior Wyoming. Now working as an assistant producer for Charlie Rose, she likes to call Adam by his last name because 'she thought it made her sound cynical and worldly like Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not.' However, what Adam needs is a bestseller, not reminders that he's a has been. His former wife, Eleanor, suffers from his rejection, although she was aware of his previous affairs she had not expected him to leave. Adam had left 'because of the explosive combination of Thea and viagra.' Although she's a psychologist, Eleanor is overweight and resentful, initially spurning the approach of the first man she loved and left for Adam. Maud, Adam and Eleanor's daughter, is a rather fey spirit who is deeply immersed in her studies of philosophy. She suffers from depression and seems committed to the life of a student until she meets Samir, an Arab American, with whom she begins a torrid affair. Fate has a way of intervening in Adam's life when the promising manuscript of a late colleague comes into his hands. The man was his mentor and friend yet Adam takes the manuscript as his own. The intermeshed lives of these people provide the plot lines in this remarkable novel, subtly crafted, unforgettably wise. - Gail Cooke

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