If You Knew Me by Anne Roiphe, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
If You Knew Me

If You Knew Me

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by Anne Roiphe
     
 

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Headed into midlife, biologist Leah takes leave from her job to spend the winter at her beach house. She meets Ollie, a high school teacher, and they fall in love. To make a commitment, each must compromise, reveal secrets, and face a personal crisis that will redeem—or destroy—their love.

Overview

Headed into midlife, biologist Leah takes leave from her job to spend the winter at her beach house. She meets Ollie, a high school teacher, and they fall in love. To make a commitment, each must compromise, reveal secrets, and face a personal crisis that will redeem—or destroy—their love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An unlikely love affair between two lonely, awkward, middle-aged people is the subject of Roiphe's ultimately moving novel. Burnt out and restless, 40-ish molecular biologist Leah Rose is on sabbatical from her job in Manhattan, living quietly in her childhood home in a small seashore community. She meets English teacher Ollie Masters when she helps rescue his retarded, obese sister Sally from the surf. Leah and Ollie's ensuing relationship is shadowed by Sally's demanding presence, Ollie's sense of responsibility toward his sibling and the dark secret he eventually reveals. Roiphe's characterization of three difficult, needy people is subtle and intense. Those familiar with her lengthy and detailed novels of family life ( Lovingkindness ; The Pursuit of Happiness ), will be surprised both by the brevity of this work and by a new prose style. Perhaps in an effort to approximate a scientist's direct, rational thought process, Roiphe uses terse and repetitive declarative sentences:``She rubbed her leg. She felt hot and cold. She gulped down her tea.'' The unadorned prose becomes increasingly appropriate as Roiphe moves a deceptively simple plot (with several intriguing subtexts) toward a twisting denouement that not only effectively confounds the reader's predictions but is at once realistic and poignant. Moreover, as the narrative tension accelerates, one becomes aware of Roiphe's maturing wisdom about life and love and human relationships. (Aug.)
Library Journal
The author of Up the Sandbox ( LJ 10/15/70) and Pursuit of Happiness ( LJ 6/15/91) tells the story of two just-over-the-hill people who fall in lust, in love. Microbiologist Leah Rose has retreated to her childhood summer home, the fictitious West Pine, Long Island (in the Hamptons), to await scientific inspiration. Alone there, as in the city, and lonely, though loathe to admit it, she moves slowly into a relationship with Ollie Marcus, a local high school teacher burdened with the care of his retarded sister. Their dance toward intimacy is fraught with memories of the past--hers of her suicidal mother, Ollie's of being a ``peculiar'' child, shy, an outsider--and the realities of the present. Most of the novel is an inner dialog, as each character grapples with feelings of fear and hope. Despite the apparently happy ending, this novel is pervaded by sadness. The intricate prose and endless sentences add to the heaviness. Roiphe can certainly craft a story, but this one is somewhat heavy-handed. Perhaps for patient readers and fans of her previous novels.-- Francine Fialkoff, ``Library Journal''

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446670715
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
08/25/2004
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.51(d)

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If You Knew Me 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago