In her first novel. Hofmann plumbs the highs and lows of familial relationships and the knots of unrequited love - creating a story of a woman who grows, despite overwhelming tragedy.
The novel transforms the subject into a long lyrical poem of passionate love - complete with stunning erotic passages and glowing philosophical insights.
The main character, Marie, emerging from a hardscrabble, occasionally brutalized adolescence in the heyday of the sexual revolution, is drawn to Manny, the eventual love of her life. Though he is both married and Puerto Rican, so unavailable to her.
Marie then marries a supercilious college boy "above her station," but years later begins a decades-long affair with the same Manny, now a New York City cop, she has always trusted.
Though she is on the exterior a model Mom, Marie's life become a casebook of sufferings endured by cheaters: guilt, anxiety,
a death wish, a foray into Pentecostal religion and fruitless attempts to bring her affair to an end. Her frosty, humorless husband leaves her stuck even more.
"Marie likened her life to a verse in a Dylan song; a verse she wrote a long time ago in her best friend's 8th grade autograph book:
'To dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free'.
She assumed that the Tambourine Man could only have one hand unencumbered because he clung tightly to all that was precious in the other: his tambourine, which supplied the music of his life. Still as prized as it was, it couldn't possibly be enough for him, or he would not be so adamant about keeping one hand ready to grab something else."
This book is not mere beach reading. It can be savored on multiple levels - as a deeply moving personal drama, as a gloss on the predicaments of modern marriage, and as a series of prose poems, all illuminating the startling insights Marie brings forth. You will want to re-read it many, many times.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.97(d)|