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Crazy in Love

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Overview

In this acclaimed early novel New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice takes readers on an intensely moving journey through the intimate terrain of a rapturous marriage in sudden jeopardy–and follows one woman’s courageous search to find her way when everything, even her heart, seems lost.…

Georgie Symonds didn’t think anything could shake her perfect marriage. She and Nick were meant for each other, everyone said so, and their life on the Connecticut shore, among Georgie’s...

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Crazy in Love

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Overview

In this acclaimed early novel New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice takes readers on an intensely moving journey through the intimate terrain of a rapturous marriage in sudden jeopardy–and follows one woman’s courageous search to find her way when everything, even her heart, seems lost.…

Georgie Symonds didn’t think anything could shake her perfect marriage. She and Nick were meant for each other, everyone said so, and their life on the Connecticut shore, among Georgie’s close-knit family, is picture-perfect. But lately Nick has been consumed with his job on Wall Street, and Georgie finds herself plagued with suspicions too awful to contemplate. To distract herself, she plunges into her work with the Swift Observatory, examining the stories of people whose lives have been changed by unexpected tragedy. But it’s when a handsome stranger arrives on her doorstep that Georgie learns firsthand that when your dreams are in danger of collapsing, it’s time to create new ones.…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Georgie Swift Symonds is crazy in love with her Wall Street lawyer husband Nickso ``crazy'' in fact, that she has paranoic fantasies that he is unfaithful, and she hounds him with obsessive suspicions. And, she so cherishes her familyher pugnaciously senile grandmother Pem; her TV-celebrity mother Honora; her sister Clare, brother-in-law Donald and two nephewsthat she spends much of her time dreading any change or loss in their close intimacy. The three generations of women and the men who have married into the clan live in a family compound on the Sound in Connecticut. Though she is childless and nearly devoid of domestic responsibilities, Georgie doesn't want a job that will remove her from the family nest. She conceives of a project she dubs the Swift Observatory: interviewing people whose lives have been radically altered by sudden tragedy. But try as she might to avoid it, change does come to Georgie and her family in unpredictable ways. Rice (Angels All Over Town) conveys the delights and pains of loving relationships with verve and charm, and she charts Georgie's deepening maturation with a sure hand, mingling humor and poignancy. While readers may find Georgie's immersion in the hermetic family relationship a bit suffocating and cloying, Rice's skill with fluid dialogue and the appeal of her engaging characters more than compensate for this drawback. (August)
Library Journal
Georgie Swift is surrounded by loved onesgrandmother, mother, and sisterin a matriarchal compound on Connecticut's Long Island Sound. It's all very close and loving, so close that after eight years of marriage, Georgie is obsessed with ``togetherness'' and cannot bear to spend a night away from her husband. To overcome this, she sets up the Swift Observatory with herself as the Observer. Through this organization, which oddly enough is supported by a foundation, she, as the Observer, combs the newspapers for human interest tales of tragedy, and arranges interviews with the victims. When tragedy inevitably strikes her own family, the Observer must turn her sights on herself. For public libraries. Marion Hanscom, SUNY at Binghamton Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780783894416
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 445
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Luanne Rice
Luanne Rice is the author of twenty-five novels, most recently Last Kiss, Light of the Moon, What Matters Most, The Edge of Winter, Sandcastles, Summer of Roses, Summer’s Child, Beach Girls, and her soon-to-be-released new hardcover, The Letters, written with Joseph Monninger. She lives in New York City and Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Biography

Luanne Rice is the New York Times- bestselling author who has inspired the devotion of readers everywhere with her moving novels of love and family. She has been hailed by critics for her unique gifts, which have been described as "a beautiful blend of love and humor, with a little magic thrown in."

Rice began her writing career in 1985 with her debut novel Angels All Over Town. Since then, she has gone on to pen a string of heartwarming bestsellers. Several of her books have been adapted for television, including Crazy in Love, Blue Moon, Follow the Stars Home, and Beach Girls.

Rice was born in New Britain, Connecticut, where her father sold typewriters and her mother, a writer and artist, taught English. Throughout her childhood, Rice spent winters in New Britain and summers by Long Island Sound in Old Lyme, where her mother would hold writing workshops for local children. Rice's talent emerged at a very young age, and her first short story was published in American Girl Magazinewhen she was 15.

Rice later attended Connecticut College, but dropped out when her father became very ill. At this point, she knew she wanted to be a writer. Instead of returning to college, Rice took on many odd jobs, including working as a cook and maid for an exalted Rhode Island family, as well as fishing on a scallop boat during winter storms. These life experiences not only cultivated the author's love and talent for writing, but shaped the common backdrops in her novels of family and relationships on the Eastern seaboard. A true storyteller with a unique ability to combine realism and romance, Rice continues to enthrall readers with her luminous stories of life's triumphs and challenges.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Luanne:

"I take guitar lessons."

  • "I was queen of the junior prom. Voted in, according to one high school friend I saw recently, as a joke because my date and I were so shy, everyone thought it would be hilarious to see us onstage with crowns on our heads. It was 1972, and the theme of the prom was Color My World. For some reason I told my guitar teacher that story, and he said Yeah, color my world with goat's blood."

  • "I shared a room with both sisters when we were little, and I felt sorry for kids who had their own rooms."

  • "To support myself while writing in the early days, I worked as a maid and cook in one of the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. I'd learned to love to cook in high school, by taking French cooking from Sister Denise at the convent next door to the school. The family I worked for didn't like French cooking and preferred broiled meat, well done, and frozen vegetables. They were particular about the brand—they liked the kind with the enclosed sauce packet. My grandmother Mim, who'd always lived with us, had taken the ferry from Providence to Newport every weekend during her years working at the hosiery factory, so being in that city made me feel connected to her."

  • "I lived in Paris. The apartment was in the Eighth Arrondissement. Every morning I'd take my dog for a walk to buy the International Herald Tribune and have coffee at a café around the corner. Then I'd go upstairs to the top floor, where I'd converted one of the old servant's rooms into a writing room, and write. For breaks I'd walk along the Seine and study my French lesson. Days of museums, salons du thé, and wandering the city. Living in another country gave me a different perspective on the world. I'm glad I realized there's not just one way to see things.

    While living there, I found out my mother had a brain tumor. She came to Paris to stay with me and have chemotherapy at the American Hospital. She'd never been on a plane before that trip. In spite of her illness, she loved seeing Paris. I took her to London for a week, and as a teacher of English and a lover of Dickens, that was her high point.

    After she died, I returned to France and made a pilgrimage to the Camargue, in the South. It is a mystical landscape of marsh grass, wild bulls, and white horses. It is home to one of the largest nature sanctuaries in the world, and I saw countless species of birds. The town of Stes. Maries de la Mer is inspiring beyond words. Different cultures visit the mysterious Saint Sarah, and the presence of the faithful at the edge of the sea made me feel part of something huge and eternal. And all of it inspired my novel Light of the Moon."

  • "I dedicated a book to Bruce Springsteen. It's The Secret Hour, which at first glance isn't a novel you'd connect with him—the novel is about a woman whose sister might or might not have been taken by a serial killer. I wrote it during a time when I felt under siege, and I used those deeply personal feelings for my fiction. Bruce was touring and I was attending his shows with a good friend. The music and band and Bruce and my friend made me feel somehow accompanied and lightened as I went through that time and reached into those dark places.

    During that period I also wrote two linked books—Summer's Childand Summer of Roses. They deal with the harsh reality of domestic violence and follow The Secret Hour and The Perfect Summer When I look back at those books, that time of my life, I see myself as a brave person. Instead of hiding from painful truths, I tried to explore and bring them to the light through my fiction. During that period, I met amazing women and became involved with trying to help families affected by abuse—in particular, a group near my small town in Connecticut, and Deborah Epstein's domestic violence clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. I learned that emotional abuse leaves no overt outward scars, but wounds deeply, in ways that take a long time to heal. A counselor recommended The Verbally Abusive Relationshipby Patricia Evans. It is life-changing, and I have given it to many women over the years."

  • "I became a vegetarian. I decided that, having been affected by brutality, I wanted only gentleness and peace in my life. Having experienced fear, I knew I could never willingly inflict harm or fear on another creature. All is related. A friend reminds me of a great quote in the Zen tradition: "How you do anything is how you do everything."
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      1. Date of Birth:
        September 25, 1955
      2. Place of Birth:
        New Britain, CT

    Read an Excerpt

    Crazy in Love


    By Luanne Rice

    Random House

    Luanne Rice
    All right reserved.

    ISBN: 0553587811


    Chapter One

    1


    MY HUSBAND, NICK SYMONDS, COMMUTED to work in a seaplane. This was unusual, of great interest to people who lived in our small town on Connecticut's shore and to the people we met at parties in New York. They loved to hear about how he and three other Wall Street lawyers, all of whom had pilots' licenses and lived in Black Hall, beyond reasonable commuting distance to New York, had bought and refurbished a third-hand seaplane for less money than it would cost to buy a new station wagon. Only during bad weather and when the bay iced over did they drive into the city. Still, I considered the seaplane an ominous portent. It symbolized the extremes to which Nick would go for Wall Street. The trouble was, we loved each other madly, but the Street was stealing him from me.

    It was early May; the leaves were out. I stood on the wide porch watching Nick go through his briefcase. Every morning he inventoried its contents. I stared at his wavy hair, wild in the wind. I saw the scene as a tableau, as an outsider would see it. My black hair and white nightgown were whipping behind me as if I were a heroine about to be left. I wanted to pull him inside, take off his dark topcoat, have him with me all day. We could go back to bed for an hour, eat a big breakfast, fish for snapper blues, ride bikes along the Shore Road.

    "Baby, don't go," I said. I always called him "baby" when I wanted to make light of something I felt murderously strong about.

    He stood and hugged me close, and then I pulled back so I could see his eyes. They were black, nearly purple like India ink. They held my gaze for a while, but then I heard the plane taxiing across the choppy bay.

    "Why don't you drive today?" I asked. "It's too windy to fly." The Tobins' flag was snapping like gunfire.

    "There's not time now, Georgie," he said. He sounded a little sad; lately I had become more anxious about his flying. I could hear the voice of a Coast Guard commander: "We're sorry, madam, the plane and all passengers were lost."

    "I have to go," he said. He kissed me and ran for the plane. Nick was tall; his strides were long. His black coat flapped in the wind. For a few steps he ran backwards, waving at me. I watched him climb into the rear seat behind my brother-in-law, Donald Macken. How incongruous it looked, that shabby yellow plane full of pristine lawyers! I could see them only from the chest up, wearing identical dark coats, white shirts, dark ties. Nick was identical to no one; he only dressed that way. The plane taxied into the Sound, gaining speed as it bounced across the waves, then took off. It circled once over the pine trees, casting a black shadow on the bay. Then I did what I always did when Nick flew in windy weather: I walked next door to visit my mother.


    PEM, MY GRANDMOTHER, stood at the kitchen door. "You ought to cover yourself up," she said, holding the cuff of my nightgown between her thumb and forefinger. I kissed the top of her head. She had once been five feet six, my height, but she had shrunk to five one and developed a humpback. She was eighty-six. Her white hair was sparse and wild, her nose prominent. She resembled Einstein.

    "No one saw me," I said.

    "Those birds in the plane did."

    "True, but one of them is Nick and one of them is Donald."

    "Who are they?"

    "Your grandsons-in-law."

    "My granddaughters are married?"

    For eight years, I was about to answer, but then my mother called from the living room. She sat in a wicker chair, wrapped in a red plaid blanket, a tiny portable radio on the table beside her. She had a famous smile, wide and radiant and nearly square, but her expression was pained that morning. For effect, she swept back her thick shoulder-length chestnut hair with one hand and held it there. "A winter sea in May," she said.

    "It's not that bad," I said, feeling vaguely angry that she should bring up the subject so abruptly, as if I wouldn't be worrying myself.

    "I don't think those guys should be flying at all," she said. "No jobs are worth risking their lives in that plane. I have to say, Georgie, that you and Clare should tell them what's what. The plane is a rattletrap, winds on the Sound are fluky . . ."

    "You're not helping, Mom."

    "Another thing-remember the hurricane season begins in June."

    I thought, not for the first time, of how incredulous her audience would have been to know that Honora Swift, the woman they had watched nightly as Channel 6's weather forecaster and Saturday mornings as Weather Woman, placed weather at the head of her ever-changing list of One Hundred Things to Fear Most. This list included the dangers of walking barefoot on the beach at night, the dangers of pigeons, the dangers of cans left too long in the refrigerator.

    Clare walked in, followed by her two sons and Pem. "You know what Mom did?" Clare asked, kissing my mother, then me. "She called before dawn to tell us the wind speed and wave heights."

    "I wish they hadn't flown," I said, hating to admit it in front of Honora. Clare smirked, slipping off her down parka. Casey came to sit on my lap and Eugene pressed my nose hard. "Ouch," I said, and did it back to him.

    "Hey, hey," Pem said, laughing.

    "I'm not saying the wind is actually dangerous today, but it's important to be aware. You girls of all people should know how dangerous weather can be." She was referring to our father, who had died on a North Sea oil rig in Force 10 weather.

    "I think that's a really mean thing to bring up," Clare said.

    "Your father was a scientist-he knew the dangers. My God, they had been predicting that storm all week. But those precious bottom samples were so important, so almighty important to him. Just like
    Wall Street for Nicky and Don."

    "Shut up, Mama, and eat your peanuts," Pem said, a bland expression on her face.

    Honora looked at her with hurt eyes while Clare and I tried not to laugh. "That is a very vulgar saying," Honora said.

    Ignoring her, Pem spoke to Eugene. "It's an old Irish saying. My mother used to say it to her mother."

    "Your mother was English and she was lovely," Honora said. "My grandma would never say anything like that. Mrs. Dawkins told us that story, it was about a bridal shower where the mother kept mentioning the girl's old flame, over and over again, until the girl finally said, 'Shut up, Mama, and eat your peanuts.' "

    Put out, Pem watched Honora across the heads of her great-grandsons. She stuck out her tongue. Still wounded by the story, my mother looked away. "Do you believe my mother is making faces at me? Who would believe the dignified matriarch makes faces at her daughter? Two days ago the librarian called her 'the grande dame of Bennison Point.' "

    Our great-aunts had told us that Pem had been a hellion as a child, but none of us had really believed it until she had started to get senile nine years ago. The white-haired matriarch became a naughty girl. She would start boxing matches. She would say "Oh, I'll smash you," and mean it, if she didn't get her way. Having always admired the color pink, she one day dyed the living room's predominantly ecru chintz curtains and slipcovers damask rose. Then she dipped the sponge mop in a bucket of leftover dye and pinkened the white patches on the hooked rugs. She had always loved our family, but now she loved us exclusively, if pugilistically. In public she became overly polite, as if she knew that once her guard dropped the antics would start. She stopped wanting to go out. She was happiest when we were all together at her house. "Is the family coming home tonight?" she asked Honora every night, never mind that Clare and I had families of our own, that we lived in houses my grandfather had built on his property during the years Clare and I were born. Our proximity gave her no comfort; we had to be under her roof, and that included Nick, Donald, Eugene, and Casey, even though she could never remember their names. Although Pem was frantic for our presence, no one but my mother would have been surprised if Pem decided to smash all the sherry glasses or started putting lit matches between our toes. My mother continued to treat her like a normal person, like her mother, as if she hoped the condition would go away and they could get back to their regular shopping-and-lunch days.

    "I'd better go home and change," I said.

    "Waiting for Nick to call?" Clare asked in a funny tone, as if she were teasing me about having a crush on him.

    "Doesn't Donald call when he gets to his office?" our mother asked, leaving no doubt that she thought he should.

    "That's the worst trap a woman can get into," Clare said. "You spend your time waiting for the phone to ring and if it doesn't you're sure he's dead. Or kissing someone. Same thing anyway-Donald kisses someone else, he's dead."

    Clare and I laughed; Honora tightened her lips and shook her head. Then I left. To go home and wait for Nick to call.


    NICK AND I HAD a fine telephone romance. This was fortunate, considering the twelve or so hours he spent at the office every day. For six and a half years he had worked for a securities law firm where he specialized in "tender offers," top secret transactions in which one company would take control of another, often in an arrogant, hostile manner. Every deal had a code name: Project Hamlet, Project Broadsword, Project Blue Lightning. Telling anyone about the deals was forbidden. Before joining the Tender Offer Squad, Nick had had to swear on the Bible never to talk about the deals, even by their code names, to anyone outside the firm. He had to specifically swear not to tell me. The senior partner who had administered the oath told him that wives were the worst: they were always giving inside information to cabdrivers, hairdressers, Park Avenue doormen. The senior partner had held the Bible before Nick and said solemnly, "You must swear, son, never to tell Mrs. Symonds about your work, no matter how curious she becomes." Nick had sworn, but the oath was invalid, since Nick had sworn not to tell Mrs. Symonds, and I had kept my own name, Swift, after our marriage. Besides, we always told each other everything.

    The phone rang. I knew it was Nick before I answered. "Hi," I said.

    "Safe and sound," he said quickly.

    "It's incredibly windy here, Nick," I said ominously.

    "But if I hadn't flown, I would have had to get up two hours earlier. Think of what we did in that time."

    We had made love and fallen back to sleep. But the memory didn't make me smile. "Will you be busy today?"

    "Very, and it's already starting. The clients are here from Project Broadsword. They're going into the conference room now, but I have a few minutes."

    We sat there, silent, connected by the phone line. Nick never put me on the speakerphone. He said he liked talking to me through the receiver, something he could hold on to.

    "Is this a big deal?"

    "Very big. Four billion dollars will be exchanged." He laughed. "That's what we say-'exchanged.' Doesn't that sound totally unrelated to money? Like wampum, or chickens exchanged for medical care in rural Spain?"

    "It does, exactly." I smiled, but he had missed my point. I didn't care about the money involved in his deals, but the figure he quoted gave me an idea of how late I could expect him to be each night. Four billion dollars was a very, very late deal.

    I heard someone in the background at Nick's office. A male voice telling him they were ready to leave for the meeting.

    "Are you interviewing anyone today?" Nick asked.

    "I have a few possibilities, don't worry."

    "I'm not worried about keeping you busy, Georgie." He paused. "I love you," he said, even though someone was standing right there.

    I hung up feeling angry; I had started to notice I often felt angry after talking to Nick. That was one secret I kept from him. He knew I was bothered, but he didn't know how much. I barely knew myself. At the beginning his job had been an adventure, not to mention being the type of work about which every law student dreams. Everything about it felt larger than life: the clients he represented, the amounts of money involved, the way we lived in a house directly on Long Island Sound while many of his law school classmates had small rent-stabilized apartments in the city, the way he flew in and out of Black Hall by seaplane, the exotic places we went on business trips. But gradually the stakes had grown higher. He had been at the firm for nearly seven years, and he was thinking about partnership. That meant longer hours and major pressure. A tiny mistake could cost a client millions and Nick his chance.

    Occasionally we considered returning to New York, where the commute would be twenty minutes by subway instead of an hour by seaplane, but I loved living in the country. Our shingled house perched on a rocky point jutting into the Sound. My grandparents, Penitence (Pem) and Damon Bennison, had built houses for Honora, me, and Clare, and prayed we would always love the place. We had flower and vegetable gardens and an entire hillside covered with heather. Migrating birds passed through every March and September. Every winter, seals came down from Maine to swim in the bay. For years I had been working on a profile of the bay, from the rocky bottom to the water column itself, but now I had another job. I operated the Swift Observatory, an institution that observed neither galaxies nor constellations but human nature.

    It began with a lie. I lied to Nick. Or, rather, I failed to tell him the whole truth. Six months earlier I had answered a classified ad and started working as a maid. I did not tell Nick. Later I saw this as an act of pure defiance, a private protest against his endless working nights, but at the time I felt nearly out of control, in need of a secret. When Nick would call late in the afternoon, asking where I had been, I would say, "The fish store." It astonished me, the fact he never suspected. I hid my wages in an envelope in my desk drawer. I imagined whipping it out some day, handing it to Nick, and saying, "Pack your bags, baby, we're going to the Bahamas." Sometimes I considered buying him an extravagant birthday present. Mainly I saved the money for our future.


    Excerpted from Crazy in Love by Luanne Rice Excerpted by permission.
    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.

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 3
    ( 8 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 24, 2007

      Not So Great

      I just couldn't get into a book like this. I just got really annoyed while reading. I do not recommend this novel.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 17, 2006

      Not Her Best!

      I have read practically all of Luanne Rice's books and have really enjoyed them, but this one was not nearly as captivating. I couldn't shake the feeling of wanting to slap the main character, Georgie, back into reality! I usually can't put down one of Luanne's books but I really had to will myself to continue reading this one. I felt that all of the characters just weren't believable and I couldn't relate to any of them. Hopefully, she will return to her past captivating heroines! Also, I was very disappointed that 'Beach Girls' was so transformed for television. I enjoyed the book so much more! But that's usually the way.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 6, 2006

      a fair book

      It was an OK book. The character of Georgie was, in my opinion, so self-absorbed that I had trouble getting into the story.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted March 10, 2014

      If I could have given this no stars I would have.  I only finish

      If I could have given this no stars I would have.  I only finished it because when I start a book I have to know how it ends.  It was a total waste of time.  I just couldn't deal with Georgie's codependence on her family.  None of them made a move without consulting the others.  I found it ridiculous!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 26, 2011

      I concur.

      I am in agreement with the other customer reviews. I usually love Rice's books, but I found myself constantly annoyed by the main character. I found some elements of the story, most notably the "swift observatory" absurd and not believable. It was to the point that I was unable to finish the book.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted November 25, 2010

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      Posted January 18, 2011

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      Posted September 19, 2009

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