Bennett proves adept at stirring together past and present, plus feelings of doubt and trust, in an evocative natural setting. As “the squeal of the wind around the eaves and distant boom of the surf fade away” the couple find themselves dancing despite Ace’s nervousness about how she’ll respond to his trembling hands and aged flesh. With exquisite tenderness, Bennett writes, “And then she does that thing she used to do that melted the space between them and transfigured everything, that erased time: that soft sigh of her body into his.”
Much of this short, affecting novel’s page circles those feelings of “erased time”: As Bennett’s protagonists look back on their short time together long ago, and face together all the life and love that each experienced in the interim, the gulf between youth and age never quite vanishes. It can’t, and Bennett is wise enough a writer to acknowledge the challenges this possible couple faces. But the joy of that coupling, and their long-ago comfort and arousal in each other? That’s the same as it ever was, dramatized with a lyric power that will thrill readers of grown-up romance.
Takeaway: This stirring grown-up romance finds old flames rekindling a full lifetime later.
Great for fans of: Anne Tyler, Pat Conroy.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A