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You Lost Me There
     

You Lost Me There

3.2 25
by Rosecrans Baldwin
 

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"Beautiful, brainy, and offbeat" (Entertainment Weekly), a perfect sophisticated summer read.

By turns funny, charming, and tragic, Rosecrans Baldwin's debut novel introduces leading Alzheimer's researcher Dr. Victor Aaron, who spends his days alternating between long hours in the lab and running through memories of his late wife, Sara. He's

Overview

"Beautiful, brainy, and offbeat" (Entertainment Weekly), a perfect sophisticated summer read.

By turns funny, charming, and tragic, Rosecrans Baldwin's debut novel introduces leading Alzheimer's researcher Dr. Victor Aaron, who spends his days alternating between long hours in the lab and running through memories of his late wife, Sara. He's preserved their marriage as a perfect, if tumultuous, duet between two opposite but compatible souls. Until the day he discovers a series of index cards in Sara's handwriting that chronicle the major "changes in direction of their marriage." Suddenly this eminent memory expert finds his faith in memory itself unraveling, and he must, along with his support network of strong women-from his lab assistant to Aunt Betsy, the doddering doyenne of the island where they all live-determine a way to move on.

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Editorial Reviews

Fiona Zublin
…moving and genuine…Baldwin is not writing about the kind of sadness that can sweep us away, the Heathcliff-banging-his-forehead-on-a-tree kind of grief. The sadness in these pages is about the emotional inadequacy that everyone feels, that total loneliness that overtakes us despite love and family, and the ultimate fear of losing our faculties, losing what makes us who we are…Baldwin's prose is wise and nimble, clever without being self-conscious, true to the myriad voices of his characters.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
"Baldwin's prose is wise and nimble, clever without being self-conscious, true to the myriad voices of his characters." ---Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews

In this flaccid first novel, a scientist picks through memories of his marriage to a writer.

He's no slouch, this Victor Aaron. The 58-year-old geneticist is a top Alzheimer's researcher; after stints at Harvard and NYU, he's now professor at a prestigious institute on Maine's Mount Desert Island. His personal life is a mess since Sara, his wife of 33 years, died in a car accident. Victor has been meeting secretly once a week with Regina, a young postgraduate researcher on campus who writes poetry and enjoys burlesque dancing. Is she just "bereavement therapy"? Maybe so, for the sex has petered out since Victor became impotent, and Sara is always on his mind. When their marriage was going through a rough patch, her therapist had them write about its most important moments; in her index card notes, Sara comes through loud and clear. Professional advancement was important for this childless couple; Sara's path was rockier than Victor's. It was not until she turned 40 that she hit paydirt with a feminist play that became a Broadway smash. Another fallow period ended with her greatest success, a screenplay for a romantic comedy. Not surprisingly, Sara and Victor have different memories of these pivotal moments. Their adultery-free marriage is threatened only once, whenan ill-chosen word of Victor's leads to separate bedrooms and Sara's departure to Los Angeles. The incident confirms the stereotypes of Temperamental Artist and Insensitive Scientist ("Victor listens to neurons, not people"). Baldwin tries to spice up his thinly plotted novel with an array of minor characters (his libertine best friend, his outspoken goddaughter, his gossipy aunt), all of them feistier than the bland Victor.

Fails to achieve liftoff.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594485244
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/02/2011
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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From the Publisher
"Baldwin's prose is wise and nimble, clever without being self-conscious, true to the myriad voices of his characters." —-Washington Post

Meet the Author

Rosecrans Baldwin is a founding editor of the popular Web site The Morning News, host of the annual "Tournament of Books," and his work has appeared in New York magazine and the Nation.

Johnny Heller has earned multiple Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for Closing Time by Joe Queenan, and has earned two Audie Awards and many more nominations. Named one of the Top Fifty Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile, he has recorded over five hundred titles.

Jo Anna Perrin is an accomplished actor who has appeared in film and television, as well as on stage in New York, Los Angeles, and regionally. The narrator of numerous audiobooks, Jo Anna has garnered critical praise from AudioFile magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

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You Lost Me There 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
SAHARATEA More than 1 year ago
Bruce Willis. Die Hard. "Moonlighting" How often do you run into Mr. Willis and his oeuvre in literary fiction? He may not appear frequently (maybe not at all) yet he fits in perfectly with this substantial and insightful novel about memor by Rosecrans Baldwin. You Lost Me There is a complicated story, with twists and surprises and feinted paths, as well as scientific details about disease and the research to fight it. Beyond the serious details, it is a fun novel as well, thus Bruce Willis references prevail throughout the story and with surprising relevancy. "Years in the past, someone thought my wife was a knockout, one night long ago in a restaurant. A night I didn't remember." So realizes Victor Aaron, a brilliant scientist who is now realizing just how ignorant he's been. In the time since his wife's fatal car accident, he's been lost and unable to find his way, too young to retire but too old to feel any real enthusiasm for his life or work. As a scientist researching Alzheimer's disease, he's enthralled with the concept of memory and works to find a cure. His work gives him opportunities to study case histories on how the brain is wired, and the novel doesn't hesitate to dip into scientific explanations. That the memory specialist is unable to recall much about his wife, anything accurate, is a puzzle he needs to solve. He stumbles upon note cards that his wife had written, as suggested by a marriage counselor they had hired, in an effort to stall what appeared to be an inevitable divorce. Their marriage had become a quiet battle of pathos versus logos, with a bit of ethos thrown in by crazy Aunt Betsy. Aunt Betsy appears to be the voice of balance in the novel, even though she is described by Victor as "an amateur anthropologist. [who] studied misbehavior. She tracked her stories doggedly and did not hesitate to use them." Victor is most astonished by how his wife Sara describes him in her note cards: "He was so focused on research and making a name for himself that we were landlocked by his lab schedule, him at sea and me in the window." She had a successful career, as did he, they were wealthy, and he didn't see a problem in their marriage that couldn't be fixed without him simply apologizing. That his apologies were vague and noncommittal didn't occur to him, and as he continues to read her notes he realizes how differently he and she had interpreted significant events in their lives. However, the story doesn't limit itself to their marital discord, which would probably be a really sappy novel that would ultimately be a bore, and then a television movie. Instead, Baldwin goes deeper into what memories Victor has, from a childhood friend's suicide to his closest friend's obvious creepiness. It's as if seeing his wife Sara's version of himself has freed him to reexamine himself from other angles. Yet you can't be lulled into thinking this is a fable that ends with everyone awakened to their flaws and eager to change. Can you change who you are if you can't remember what you've been? Baldwin creates a thriller-like pace, and he weaves in details such as the "We Will Never Forget" bumper stickers of 9/11, and how in placing them on cars, people are essentially admitting that they need to be reminded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You Lost Me There is a stunning debut for Rosecrans Baldwin. His book captures the emotional feel of a man who has discovered, too late, that his marriage was not has he remembered. As a scientist, I also greatly appreciate the detail with which Baldwin renders the scientific process (which is usually treated quite superficially). Highly recommended.
LBanks More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading You Lost Me There. I loved this book. This made me want to board a plane immediately to Mt Dessert Island and track down Aunt Betsy for a cocktail down by the docks. Victor makes a very interesting narrator as he has such an analytical mind. The love story between him and his dead wife struck me as truly authentic. You can almost hear the characters speaking aloud as you read as they seem to be real people. Especially Aunt Betsy, she was a hoot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've been a big fan of TheMorningNews.org for a long time and have been really looking forward to reading Rosecrans Baldwin's first novel. I'm pleased to say that all the hype is real - this novel doesn't disappoint. It's funny, poignant, and full of well-crafted characters that stuck with me long after I'd finished reading.
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grateful65 More than 1 year ago
Did I read the same book as the other reviewers? Actually I couldn't even finish it. Boring and NOT insightful - does the world need a novel about a self-centered, rich, liberal academic feeling sorry for himself? And I hate gratuitous political grandstanding in a novel. Really - it was so important that his friend take a "We Will Always Remember 911" sticker off his car that it was mentioned several times? And did Aunt Betsy sitting outside the local with some political posters really advance the plot at all? Glad I didn't pay for this one.