A Lover's Almanac: A Novel

A Lover's Almanac: A Novel

by Maureen Howard
     
 

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ne of the preeminent novelists of our time, Maureen Howard dazzles us with a love story of radiant intelligence and delicious wit. The exhilarating flights and emotional depths of Howard's storytelling balance the fates of two young lovers in New York: Artie, a bastard, perhaps begot in the mud of Woodstock," now a boyish computer wizard; and Louise, a hotSee more details below

Overview

ne of the preeminent novelists of our time, Maureen Howard dazzles us with a love story of radiant intelligence and delicious wit. The exhilarating flights and emotional depths of Howard's storytelling balance the fates of two young lovers in New York: Artie, a bastard, perhaps begot in the mud of Woodstock," now a boyish computer wizard; and Louise, a hot new painter out of the Midwest, seriously committed to her art. Their romance, seemingly shattered on the eve of the millennium, is played out against the tale of two old lovers lost to each other for a half century. As these two couples search through the cultural flotsam and jetsam for love and happiness, Howard spins a superb novel of ideas and transforms, as only she can, the dear Old Farmer's Almanac into a bright book of life."

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Howard uses the format of the almanac as a framework for the deceptively simple story of the relationship between avant-garde artist Louise Moffett and her partner, computer nerd Artie Freeman, whose love founders at the turn of the millennium. The richness and wonder of this work comes from the characters, relationships, and historical musings that Howard weaves into Louise and Artie's tale and uses to instruct the reader on the nature and meaning of love. Complex and compelling, the work addresses important questions as it compels the reader to make intellectual leaps between the ideas of scholars past and those of the novelist present. This challenging novel deserves to be read more than once. -- Caroline M. Hallsworth, Cambrian College, Ontario
NY Times Book Review
Taking as her model The Old Farmer's Almanac, the novelist plumbs the shallows of millennial irrationality as she follows two young members of Generation X into the year 2000.
Time Magazine
A funny, grouchy, madly nonlinear love story...a brilliant and convincing urban mindscape.
Boston Sunday Globe
Brazenly intelligent....Writing of such gorgeous proportion as to make you gasp.
Kirkus Reviews
The attempt here—a novel as expansive as an almanac, with a bit of everything in it—raises Howard's latest sometimes to considerable heights but as often slows it to a crawl through lives and commentary not always interesting enough for the trip. Louise Moffett, b. 1968, comes to New York from Wisconsin to find her fortune as an artist, and in doing so becomes the lover (later the mate) of gifted ne'er-do-well Artie Freeman. We meet the two at a party on the last night of the 20th century—when Artie proposes but, due to extreme drunkenness, flubs the moment, offends Lou, finds himself exiled from her downtown loft—and retreats to his grandfather Cyril's Fifth Avenue apartment. Moving from winter solstice to spring equinox, Howard's novel follows the lovers as they mope, pine, and are reunited, while those same three winter months afford plenty of space to fill in family backgrounds. Lou's farmer-scientist father (a prof in animal husbandry) failed to understand his daughter's emerging art, her mother went underappreciated, and research scientist Aunt Bea provided a role-model of dedication to her calling. As for math whiz yet school-dropout Artie: His unmarried ex-hippie mother, now dead, never revealed who his father was, leaving Artie eternally in a paternity search; and his widowed grandfather, Cyril, after a Wall Street career, retreated into books of American history—emerging only to continue a romance begun 50 years earlier with Sylvie Neiswonger, who, at 12, fled the Nazis through a backyard in Austria after being raped by a German soldier. Throughout, Howard sprinkles bits of zodiacal lore, rhymes of planting advice, snippets of biographies (Edison,Haydn, Mendel) remarks about computers, electronics, the information glut—all symbolically converging in Lou's newest gallery show of family lore, trinkets, cast-offs, and (literally) broken hearts. A worthy gathering—sometimes Dos Passos, sometimes Faulkner, sometimes Howard—that would have offered greater pleasures, as almanac and otherwise, at, say, two thirds its length.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101502488
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/1999
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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