SmartSellTM - The New Way to Sell Online

We won't be beaten by anyone. Guaranteed

The Essence of the Thing


Product Description
Product Details


Nominated for the 1997 Booker Prize, this third novel by St. John (The Women in Black, Ulverscroft, 1994) is a magnetic story about what happens to a couple in the aftermath of their relationship. Set in contemporary England, the novel begins when Jonathan abruptly breaks up with Nicola and asks her to move out. Nicola, who had thought that all was well with their relationship, seeks a reason for this unexplained breakup. With the support of friends, Nicola lets go of Jonathan, her feelings evolving slowly from devastation to independence and strength. At the same time, St. John reveals Jonathan's emptiness, his deteriorating world, and his realization that he may have made the biggest mistake of his life. St. John addresses all the subtle details pertaining to starting one's life again after breaking up. Readers will be drawn into this remarkable novel by the author's ability to convey the feelings of Nicola and Jonathan with conviction. Recommended for all libraries.‘Judith Ann Akalaitis, formerly with the Supreme Court of Illinois Lib., Chicago

The difficulties of committing to a relationship make wonderful fodder for St. John's insightful, often hilarious third novel (after A Pure Clear Light). Out of the blue, Jonathan, a 30-something London lawyer, bluntly informs Nicola, his live-in girlfriend of six years, that they should split up because he feels the relationship "just isn't working." The impact of this decision stuns Nicola, who dutifully moves out of their apartment and tries to understand where things went wrong. Creating a brilliant primer on the battle of the sexes, the author brings together the observations of Nicola's married friends, Susannah and Geoffrey; Jonathan's married friends, Lizzie and Alfred; and the parting couple's respective parents. Although it is occasionally difficult to immediately discern who is speaking, the multiple viewpoints work well to enliven the pace and present a multifaceted glimpse into Nicola's predicament and Jonathan's unexpected reactions to the domestic tragedy he set in motion. Watching Nicola grieve for her lost love, readers experience everything from her bewildered sense of denial that she and Jonathan are actually breaking up to her final acceptance of her changed circumstances, and the bittersweet conclusions she comes to as she seeks other possibilities for romance and excitement. Using spare prose, sparkling dialogue and painfully true observations on family life, St. John creates a winning combination of humor and pathos. (Sept.)

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
Look for similar items by category
People also searched for
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling The Essence of the Thing on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top