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Becoming Strangers
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After more than half a century of marriage, Dorothy and George are embarking on their first journey abroad together. Three decades younger, Jan and Annemieke are taking their last, as illness and incompatibility bring their unhappy union to an end. At first the luxury of a Caribbean resort is no match for the well-worn patterns of domestic life. Then the couples' paths cross, and a series of surprises ensues--a disappearance and an assault, most dramatically, but also a teapot tempest of passions, slights, misunderstandings, and small awakenings that punctuate a week in which each pair struggles to come to terms with what's been keeping them apart. A hit with readers and critics alike when it was published in England last year, Becoming Strangers is a different kind of love story, in which there's seldom a happy ending but sometimes a chance to redeem a life half-lived.
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PRAISE FOR BECOMING STRANGERS "Breathtaking . . . Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . Becoming Strangers is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary. For Dean, it marks the beginning of what promises to be a spectacular career."--San Francisco Chronicle "Dean peels back the skin of these marriages with an unflinching lack of sentimentality and an immense talent for close observation and evocative, often poetic detail. She can reach straight into a character's heart . . . The ending is unexpected, yet entirely deserved. Dean has produced an ideal novel."--The Atlantic Monthly PRAISE FOR BECOMING STRANGERS "Breathtaking . . . Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . Becoming Strangers is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary. For Dean, it marks the beginning of what promises to be a spectacular career." San Francisco Chronicle "Dean peels back the skin of these marriages with an unflinching lack of sentimentality and an immense talent for close observation and evocative, often poetic detail. She can reach straight into a character s heart . . . The ending is unexpected, yet entirely deserved. Dean has produced an ideal novel." The Atlantic Monthly " PRAISE FOR "BECOMING STRANGERS" "Breathtaking . . . Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . "Becoming Strangers" is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary. For Dean, it marks the beginning of what promises to be a spectacular career." "San Francisco Chronicle " "Dean peels back the skin of these marriages with an unflinching lack of sentimentality and an immense talent for close observation and evocative, often poetic detail. She can reach straight into a character s heart . . . The ending is unexpected, yet entirely deserved. Dean has produced an ideal novel." "The Atlantic Monthly" " PRAISE FOR "BECOMING STRANGERS" "Breathtaking . . . Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . "Becoming Strangers" is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary. For Dean, it marks the beginning of what promises to be a spectacular career.""San Francisco Chronicle " "Dean peels back the skin of these marriages with an unflinching lack of sentimentality and an immense talent for close observation and evocative, often poetic detail. She can reach straight into a character s heart . . . The ending is unexpected, yet entirely deserved. Dean has produced an ideal novel.""The Atlantic Monthly" " PRAISE FOR "BECOMING STRANGERS" "Breathtaking . . . Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . "Becoming Strangers" is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary. For Dean, it marks the beginning of what promises to be a spectacular career."--"San Francisco Chronicle " "Dean peels back the skin of these marriages with an unflinching lack of sentimentality and an immense talent for close observation and evocative, often poetic detail. She can reach straight into a character's heart . . . The ending is unexpected, yet entirely deserved. Dean has produced an ideal novel."--"The Atlantic Monthly" PRAISE FOR"BECOMING STRANGERS" "Breathtaking . . . Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . ."Becoming Strangers"is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary. For Dean, it marks the beginning of what promises to be a spectacular career."--"San Francisco Chronicle " "Dean peels back the skin of these marriages with an unflinching lack of sentimentality and an immense talent for close observation and evocative, often poetic detail. She can reach straight into a character's heart . . . The ending is unexpected, yet entirely deserved. Dean has produced an ideal novel."--"The Atlantic Monthly" PRAISE FOR "BECOMING STRANGERS" "Breathtaking . . . Dean crafts a gut-wrenching tale of marital recklessness and guilt that is reminiscent of John Updike at his most masterful . . . "Becoming Strangers" is poignant, authentic, funny and extraordinary. For Dean, it marks the beginning of what promises to be a spectacular career." "San Francisco Chronicle " "Dean peels back the skin of these marriages with an unflinching lack of sentimentality and an immense talent for close observation and evocative, often poetic detail. She can reach straight into a character's heart . . . The ending is unexpected, yet entirely deserved. Dean has produced an ideal novel." "The Atlantic Monthly" "Very accomplished . . . Dean has a deliciously lucid and seemingly effortless style, as well as the gift of being able to write about each character from the inside, making their motives and actions clear. She has an unerring ear for dialogue, particularly between married couples . . . An exceptionally enjoyable book." --"Daily Mail" (London) "What keeps an unhappily married couple together? [This] impressive debut [answers that question] . . . Dean is at her best in interior moments, when characters ponder their lives with private, brutal candor . . . Adept at sharp dialogue and brisk plotting, Dean is also attentive to character development, choosing authenticity over sentimentality . . . [Her book] is poignant, often funny, and unexpectedly redemptive." --"Publishers Weekly" "Caribbean resorts bring together all manner of people in all stages and conditions of life . . . This rich story, replete with well-drawn characters . . . is a masterpiece about the human condition that will rile the reader's emotions."--"Library Journal" "Travel can broaden the mind, but it can also [underscore] old habits and prejudices if, as is the case with the Europeans populating this novel, emotional baggage is lugged along with the suitcases . . . Dean suffuses ["Becoming Strangers"] with a comic touch and handles her several narrative threads with skill. Give [this novel] to readers who enjoy thoughtful, character-centered fiction."--"Booklist" " Very accomplished . . . Dean has a deliciously lucid and seemingly effortless style, as well as the gift of being able to write about each character from the inside, making their motives and actions clear. She has an unerring ear for dialogue, particularly between married couples . . . An exceptionally enjoyable book." -- "Daily Mail" (London) " What keeps an unhappily married couple together? [This] impressive debut [answers that question] . . . Dean is at her best in interior moments, when characters ponder their lives with private, brutal candor . . . Adept at sharp dialogue and brisk plotting, Dean is also attentive to character development, choosing authenticity over sentimentality . . . [Her book] is poignant, often funny, and unexpectedly redemptive." -- "Publishers Weekly" " Caribbean resorts bring together all manner of people in all stages and conditions of life . . . This rich story, replete with well-drawn characters . . . is a masterpiece about the human condition that will rile the reader' s emotions." -- "Library Journal" " Travel can broaden the mind, but it can also [underscore] old habits and prejudices if, as is the case with the Europeans populating this novel, emotional baggage is lugged along with the suitcases . . . Dean suffuses ["Becoming Strangers"] with a comic touch and handles her several narrative threads with skill. Give [this novel] to readers who enjoy thoughtful, character-centered fiction." -- "Booklist" " Remarkably moving. The first half [of the book] is a fine display of economic writing, never wasting a word and yet revealing a wealth of emotion, history, and desire. It reads like mature Anne Tyler . . . The second half, as the action accelerates, is even better, both page-turning and heart-breaking. This is the sort of book that makes you want to immediately go back to page one and start again . . . One of the best books of the year." -- "The Independent" (London) " Quite exceptional . . . There aren't many first-time novelists I' d dare to compare to Alan Bennett, but Louise Dean has his wicked yet empathetic eye, his ear for pathos, and his almost supernatural talent for observing and measuring the comedy and tragedy of ordinary, heartfelt lives." -- "The Guardian" (London) "Remarkably moving. The first half �of the book� is a fine display of economic writing, never wasting a word and yet revealing a wealth of emotion, history, and desire. It reads like mature Anne Tyler . . . The second half, as the action accelerates, is even better, both page-turning and heart-breaking. This is the sort of book that makes you want to immediately go back to page one and start again . . . One of the best books of the year."--"The Independent" (London) "Remarkably moving. The first half [of the book] is a fine display of economic writing, never wasting a word and yet revealing a wealth of emotion, history, and desire. It reads like mature Anne Tyler . . . The second half, as the action accelerates, is even better, both page-turning and heart-breaking. This is the sort of book that makes you want to immediately go back to page one and start again . . . One of the best books of the year."--"The Independent" (London) "Quite exceptional . . . There aren't many first-time novelists I'd dare to compare to Alan Bennett, but Louise Dean has his wicked yet empathetic eye, his ear for pathos, and his almost supernatural talent for observing and measuring the comedy and tragedy of ordinary, heartfelt lives."--"The Guardian" (London)

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