You Don't Love This Man

( 3 )

Overview

A novel about fatherhood, marriage . . . and bank robbery.

On the morning of his daughter Miranda's wedding, Paul learns that the bank he manages has been robbed—apparently by the same man who robbed it twenty-five years before. As if that weren't enough, Miranda, who is set to marry Paul's former best friend—a man twice her age—seems to have gone missing.

Struggling to reconcile his little girl with the grown woman he's about to walk down ...

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You Don't Love This Man

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Overview

A novel about fatherhood, marriage . . . and bank robbery.

On the morning of his daughter Miranda's wedding, Paul learns that the bank he manages has been robbed—apparently by the same man who robbed it twenty-five years before. As if that weren't enough, Miranda, who is set to marry Paul's former best friend—a man twice her age—seems to have gone missing.

Struggling to reconcile his little girl with the grown woman he's about to walk down the aisle (if he can find her), to accept his onetime peer as his future son-in-law, and to comprehend the strange coincidence of being robbed by the same man two decades apart, Paul takes stock of everything leading up to this moment—as he attempts to navigate the day's many surprises while questioning the motives and choices of those around him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of DeWeese's engaging debut, Paul, a bank manager in the Pacific Northwest, loses his three-year-old daughter, Miranda, for a short time while trick-or-treating. After Miranda disappears 22 years later, on the day of her wedding, Paul begins a series of increasingly frustrating attempts to locate and talk with her. Unable to read relationship cues, Paul is often surprised or angered by the actions of those he thinks he knows well, including his now ex-wife, Sandra, and Grant, a friend who became his daughter's intended without his awareness. Paul's bank is robbed on the day of the wedding by the same man who robbed it two decades earlier, which adds to the trauma and confusion. Essentially decent, caring, and loyal, Paul is more valued than he suspects. Paul learns some valuable lessons as he retraces and re-evaluates his life in this insightful novel. (Mar.)
Lauren Grodstein
“Dan DeWeese’s elegantly written novel tells the story—alternately joyful and heartbreaking—of a father coming to terms with what he’s made of his life. It’s one of those novels I know I’ll return to, and pass on, in admiration and delight.”
Jon Raymond
“In this assiduous, mysterious novel of a father’s doings on his daughter’s wedding day, Dan DeWeese gives us a portrait of one man’s alienation, self-doubt, passivity, and, ultimately, his redeeming passion. With admirable formal restraint and unyielding sympathy, DeWeese delivers a whole adult life in a day.”
Tom Bissell
“Oddly tense and ultimately, cleansingly sad, You Don’t Love This Man wrings an amazing amount of pathos out of one (only seemingly) ordinary life.”
Mary Rechner
You Don’t Love This Man is an exquisite puzzle. . . . This remarkable first novel gives rise to another, purely pleasurable conundrum. Which is more gorgeous, more satisfying here, the story itself, or the language DeWeese uses to tell it?”
Patrick Somerville
“The careful, unpretentious opening of You Don’t Love This Man can’t possibly belie the cataclysm of interpersonal drama it contains. . . . The story has left me in that strange place between emotional exhaustion and raw, refreshed excitement for life. This amazing novel is why novels exist.”
Kirkus Reviews

The day a man's daughter is to be married is not the best day for someone to rob the bank he manages, but such are the circumstances in this literary debut.

Paul is a bank manager in an unnamed Pacific Northwest city, and DeWeese renders him as oddly disaffected and detached. Paul is divorced, but he's comfortable with his former wife, Sandra, and her new husband, at least until their 26-year-old daughter, Miranda, decides to marry Paul's best friend and contemporary, Grant. Now Paul is in debt to pay for a wedding he doesn't want to happen. The book chronicles that fateful wedding day, which is complicated by the robbery by the same bandit who held up the bank during Paul's first days on the job. Worse, Miranda has disappeared, and Paul sets out on a confused search to find her. Using first person and flashbacks to reveal seminal events, the author dissects Paul's life, beginning with his boyhood as the only child of a distracted single mother. Readers learn of Paul's courtship; watch as he relies on Grant for social and personal guidance; and empathize as he struggles with fatherhood. Paul is distanced and yet caring, alienated and yet self-aware, living as if he cannot reach those he loves most. At 49, he has become a curious mixture of melancholic acceptance and ironic appreciation. DeWeese deftly uses dialogue to reveal character, not only for Paul but also for Grant, Miranda and Sandra. He also brings to life minor characters such as Gina, who was Paul's sexual mentor during college, then Grant's one-time lover, and finally Miranda's employer. Another likable character is Catherine, an assistant at Paul's bank, who serves as a perfect foil to reveal Paul's loneliness.

Life, both mundane and off-kilter, is revealed in this fine novel about a man who may not be as lost as he thinks.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061992322
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2011
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,440,458
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan DeWeese teaches writing at Portland State University. His fiction has appeared in Tin House, New England Review, Washington Square, and other publications. In 2009, he created Propeller, an art, film, and literature quarterly magazine, for which he serves as editor in chief.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    You Don't Love This Man

    You Don't Love This Man is a superb novel on the human experience. It's a slice of life story involving Paul and the day of his daughter Miranda's wedding. On this morning, his bank is robbed by the same thief who robbed him some twenty years ago. He now has to deal with the bank's security team, making sure his daughter's reception is ready, and dealing with his ex-wife. The novel flashes back to certain times of Paul's life, like when he was happily married, when Miranda was born and is relationship with his best friend Grant. Through al, we get to learn about who Paul is and how important the people in his life are. I found this story to be so moving that I shed a few tears.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Consequences Of Decisions

    You Don't Love This Man follows Paul on the day of his daughter's wedding. His daughter is marrying Paul's former best friend, Grant, and the engagement was the reason the two men are no longer friends. Paul is a bank manager, and as the day progresses, he looks back over his life trying to decide if his relationships and his career choices have been the correct ones.

    Many of Paul's relationships seem tentative, or muddied by emotions that he can't decipher. Paul is divorced from Sandra. Theirs was not a marriage that dissolved in passion and anger; it just died from boredom and familiarity. He loves his daughter, Miranda, but she is incomprehensible to him; he has no map that tells him why she does the things she does, or what she might do next. He worries that this marriage, to a man his own age so obviously old enough to be her father, is a bad life choice, and is frustrated that he doesn't seem to have any input into her decision.

    There are other characters. Grant, the groom, is a confident wealthy man who has always acted as a mentor to Paul, although they are peers. He met Grant the day he was robbed and beaten by a bank robber. Grant was dating Paul's ex-girlfriend, Gina, and he wasn't sure how he felt about that. Paul had just started dating Sandra and the couples were close for a while. Grant remained a part of Paul and Sandra's circle over the years, and Miranda ended up as an adult working for Gina.

    You Don't Love This Man is recommended for readers interested in a book that makes one consider their life choices and the consequences that flow from each decision. It also brings up the concept that what happens to us, good or bad, affects our lives for many years in both good and bad ways; the connection to events that becomes more and more clear as one ages. DeWeese has given the reader an entrance into Paul's thoughts, hopes and desires in a way that books rarely do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a terrific character study

    Bank manager Paul is the father of the bride as his daughter Miranda will marry his former best friend Grant. The morning of the wedding Catherine at the bank calls Paul informing him they were robbed and the cops had arrived. Catherine tells him to enjoy his day as everything is under control; he wonders why call him if that is so.

    When he learns Miranda is missing, Paul thinks back over two decades ago when he was with his then three years old daughter trick or treating only to lose her temporarily. He is frustrated by his ex-wife Sandra who is unconcerned as well as her brother Bradshaw of the big vocabulary. Paul tries to find his daughter just like he tried the first time she vanished. Adding to his bewilderment is learning the robber was the same thief who robbed the bank over twenty years ago.

    You Don't Love This Man is a terrific character study of a person who believes his life was futile but looks back anyway. This leads to Paul reexamining who matters and why to him and him to them. With a nod to It's A Wonderful Life (without Clarence), readers will empathize with the protagonist who begins to understand relationships 101; as he concludes that having someone's number in his cellphone does not mean they will answer his call.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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