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An odyssey of the heart begins the moment theater director Lucas Cameron discovers a box of letters left behind by his deceased grandmother, the famous stage actress Constance Bernhardt. The letters were ...
An odyssey of the heart begins the moment theater director Lucas Cameron discovers a box of letters left behind by his deceased grandmother, the famous stage actress Constance Bernhardt. The letters were written by her protege Jessica Fontaine, who disappeared from the stage years before. Even in the midst of his busy world - staging a new Broadway play, coping with the overwhelming needs of his former wife and the social ambitions of his current girlfriend - Luke finds himself returning again and again to the letters, recognizing in them a deeply passionate young woman discovering herself and the magic of the theater. Luke begins to realize that he has fallen in love with the woman who wrote them. Finally he can bear it no longer - and tracks down the elusive Jessica Fontaine. But when he travels to her hideaway on Lopez Island off the coast of Washington, nothing is as he expected it. In one brief, magical week, Luke and Jessica face emotions and decisions that turn their worlds upside down.
In a rich, emotional novel, the bestselling author of Possessions and Ruling Passion presents a story of an odyssey of the heart. Upon discovering a box of letters written by his late grandmother's protegee--actress Jessica Fontaine--theater director Lucas Cameron seeks out the passionate, talented woman to try and convince her to return to the stage. 384 pp. Author tour. National media publicity. 300,000 print.
Lucas Cameron is one of the world's most famous and respected directors: his plays are legendary for their honesty and intensity. Lucas is also a bachelor, although his desperate ex-wife Claudia is determined to keep him a fixture in her life. The only person with whom Lucas shares his fears, hopes, and innermost thoughts, however, is his grandmother, the renowned actress Constance Bernhardt, who raised him after his parents died. Constance loves her "Luke" (as he's known) but harbors a secret hope that he will someday fall in love with her soulmate, the younger (Luke's age) and equally renowned actress Jessica Fontaine. When Luke and Jessica meet, however, Luke is still involved with Claudia and no sparks fly; the couple's paths don't cross again until Constance dies years later. When Constance's death comes suddenly in her villa in Italy, Luke heads there and discovers, among other things, his grandmother's cache of letters from Jessica. The correspondence (spanning 30 years) reveals a profound, mutually beneficial relationship between the two actresses; Luke also finds himself transfixed by this woman who was such an important part of his grandmother's life. When he tracks Jessica down, he's disillusioned at first; but as time goes on, both he and Jessica learn why both thought Constance the most insightful woman around.
The letter excerpts used throughout—Jessica's to Constance, Constance's to Jessica, then Luke's to Jessica and vice versa—get old about halfway through, seeming less a judicious use of technique than a means of avoiding present-day plotting and dialogue. The love story, though, is a winner.
Dear, dearest Constance, I want to thank you again (and again and again and again if I only knew different ways to do it!) for your wonderful, warm, generous encouragement last night. When you said I did a fine job playing Peggy, I knew I really was an actress and I'd be one for the rest of my life because Constance Bernhardt said so. The play is all you, of course, and probably no one else even noticed me, but it means the world to me just to be on stage with you. My mother said 16 was too young for summer stock, but I had to try and oh, I'm so glad I did! Thank you, thank you again! With my eternal love, Jessica.
Dearest Constance, you won't believe this but Peter Calder got the male lead, which means I've got to do two love scenes with him. Wasn't it just last year that you and I swore we'd never get within ten feet of him? Well, here I am and I'll be fighting off his gelatinous hands for the run of the play.
FATAL DERAILMENT IN CANADA
More than fifty passengers were killed and three hundred injured Monday evening, about 10:30 p.m., when The Canada Flyer derailed in Fraser River Canyon, eighty miles northeast of Vancouver. Using searchlights and rescue dogs, teams from nearby towns searched through the night in the wreckage and along the rocky banks of the Fraser River in temperatures that fell well below freezing. Among those rescued near dawn on Tuesday morning was Jessica Fontaine, world-renowned stage and film star, who had been in Vancouver for the past four months starring in a production of The Heiress. She is listed in critical condition. The train, bound for Toronto, had left Vancouver at 8 p.m. Cause of the accident, the worst in the history of Canadian rail travel, is not known.
Posted December 28, 2001
Posted November 12, 2001
This book is surely bound to be on best books ever written list! The book itself has a power that can reach people on a personal level, every event can be related to a part in you own life, an event that was welcomed or not.The characters are well depicted, and well written. There is not an emotion that can not be validated or a character that can not be precieved as some one you know. Overall it is an excellent book,a MUST read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2000
I may only be 13 but I do know a thing or two about books and reviews. I just finished reading this book and plan to read it once more to pick on the smudge of details I missed. The characters were so real I felt I was siting next to them sharing their emotions seeing their expressions change. As I read this book all of my emotions came out joy, sadness, loneliness and some I couldn't even begin to describe. It was so amazing how the end turned out. The title I do believe didn't really relate to the story but did make me want to pick it up. The title is also very catchy and heart-stopping.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.