Monday, November 6, 2017

Love Finds You

In her new novel, Love and Other Hazards by Claudia Riess, parenting and love take on a new view. Glenda Fieldstone, impregnated by artificial insemination raises her daughter, Astrid, as a modern free spirit.  Astrid is a precocious child who understands more about sex at six than I did when I was sixteen.  But otherwise, she is just a child.
Astrid has a classmate named Meredith.  Meredith’s father is divorced.  But don’t match up the parents, yet.  There are girlfriends and lovers who add to the story.
Glenda is having an affair with her boss.  She doesn’t want to marry so this is the perfect arrangement because he is happily married.  The two of them are just in this arrangement for the good sex.  They understand and fulfill each other’s needs.

Actually, Glenda has sex with just about everybody in the story.  You would think this book is just pornography.  But the sex isn’t gratuitous.  It is actually necessary for the development of Glenda’s character.  The reader would not be able to understand Glenda as who she was, were it not for her sexual liaisons. 

Her step-father was an alcoholic and he and Glenda are estranged.  In fact, the closest person to Glenda is her cousin, who acts as Glenda’s family.  That’s it until Glenda befriends Meredith’s Dad, Eugene.  They’re just friends.  Their work throws them together; then their kids’ activities; and eventually, friendship results.

The reader will like Eugene.  The author gave him a sense of humor.  His thoughts and side comments will make you laugh. His character is very well drawn.  Glenda’s is too.  Claudia Riess descriptions are sharp.  Her diction is clear.  I enjoyed her writing and the story.

Even though I was given the book to review, I was not obligated to write a good review.  The novel itself obligated me to label it “good.”
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Claudia Riess's Bio: 
Claudia Riess is a Vassar graduate who has worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker magazine and Holt, Rinehart and Winston books and has edited several art history monographs. Her first novel, “Reclining Nude,” was published by Stein and Day. Oliver Sacks, author of “Awakenings,” had said her first book was “exquisite—and delicate… a most courageous book, full of daring—a daring only possible to a passionate and pure heart.”

The author divides her time between the Hamptons and Manhattan with her husband, Bob.

Love and Other Hazards Book Summary:
Glenda Fieldston is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her seven-year-old daughter, Astrid, when Eugene Lerman comes walking by with his eight-year-old daughter, Meredith, a schoolmate of Astrid’s. The families spot each other, Glenda and Eugene engage in long-range cursory assessments, and then they go their separate ways.

But not for long. Glenda and Eugene cross paths professionally soon after, and circumstances at work bring them into close association. So begins a friendship fraught with complications. Glenda’s independence is self-imposed and fierce. Eugene’s was foisted on him by a wife who left him. Although Glenda’s and Eugene’s personal demons are incompatible, their longings are, confoundedly, in harmony. Their cautious friendship is further inhibited by past and present relationships, and it remains to be seen if they can break out of their set ways to make a break for uncharted love.

Price/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Family Life, Romance
River Grove
May 10, 2017

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1 comment:

Tribute Books said...

Faith, thanks for the review! :)

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