by Doris Mortman
This was the selection for my f2f bookclub. It's a chunkster with 626 pages, but it was good. I waffled about reading it because it looked like a romance and I really don't like romances. There was romance, but I would classify this book more as a drama.
The main character finds herself divorced, without a job, an aunt that is dying, and a son in boarding school. She is unskilled so she has a hard time landing a job. Eventually she uses her knowledge of antiques, move to NYC, and changes her name slightly and is hired by an antiques dealer. Her life spirals up and down from there.
The reason the book is so long is because there are several characters and each of their recent life histories are told. Their histories help me care more about the people and it complicated the plot, making the story more interesting.
I liked this book well enough to look for others titles Mortman has written. There were a few lines that I especially liked. This line came from the narrator during a scene with Gaby and her Aunt Simone. "Both of them knew that the page on which they had charted their life together was running out of space." I thought it was a beautiful way of expressing the simple idea that time together was growing short.
This line came when Gabby was asking Armand about the medieval banquets and why they didn't have dining room tables. Armand says, "The did have dinner parties, but the ones you're thinking of were held in the grand hall, not a dining room. And while the table may have been enormous, it was little more than a huge board on thick trestles. All the guests sat on backless stools, the one chair being reserved for the lord of the manor, who sat at the head of the table. He was the 'chair man of the board.'" I love finding out little tidbits of history and the origin of words and terms.
Another great line: "Like most opportunities, this one didn't knock as much as it slid into place, greased by timing and coincidence."
Last one: "Deceit, like nuclear energy could be contained, and yes, some of its uses were good not evil, but with something that continued to gain strength and momentum even in its confinement, there was always the risk of a leak, always the danger of a ruinous explosion."