The Romantic

A Novel

Barbara Gowdy

Metropolitan Books

Download Image Barbara Gowdy The Romantic

Available Formats

BookeBook
From the author of The White Bone, a piercing novel of passionate attachment and of the fear and freedom of letting go

Louise Kirk learns about love and loss at an early age. When she is nine years old, her former beauty queen mother disappears, leaving a note that reads only—and incorrectly—“Louise knows how to work the washing machine.” Soon after, the Richters and their adopted son, Abel, move in across the street. Louise’s immediate devotion to the exotic, motherly Mrs. Richter is quickly transferred to her nature-loving, precociously intelligent son.

From this childhood friendship evolves a love that will bind Louise and Abel forever. Though Abel moves away, Louise’s attachment becomes ever more fixed as she grows up. Separations are followed by reunions, but with every turn of their fractured relationship, Louise discovers that Abel cannot love her as fiercely and exclusively as she loves him. Only when she faces another great loss is Louise finally forced to confront the costs of abandoning herself to another.

Skillfully interweaving the stories of Louise and Abel at different ages, Barbara Gowdy produces a powerful exploration of love’s many incarnations: a motherless daughter who yearns to be adopted, a husband eternally linked to a wife who has left him, a girl bewitched by the boy next door, a woman who refuses to let go of a magnetic, elusive man. Haunting and profound, The Romantic is a story about love in all its exquisite variations.

Connect with the Author

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

From The Romantic:

I fall in love with Mrs. Richter immediately, Abel the following summer. I know how unlikely it sounds, a ten-year-old girl falling in love at all, let alone with a middle-age woman. But to say I become infatuated doesn’t describe the gravity and voluptuousness of my feelings. I trail after her to the grocery store and touch the grapefruits she has fondled. I gaze at her flannel nightgown billowing on the clothesline and am uplifted, as if by music. Under the pretext of welcoming her to the subdivision or asking if she gives piano lessons, asking if she heard about

Read the full excerpt

Back

Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

Back

About the Author

Barbara Gowdy

Barbara Gowdy is the author of six previous books, including The White Bone (Picador 0-312-26412-7), Mister Sandman, and We So Seldom Look on Love. Recipient of the prestigious Marian Engel Award, she lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Barbara Gowdy

Back

Reading Guide

Organizing a Reading Group

1

Get the Guide

Download PDF
2

Tell Your Friends

Share
3

Find More Books

Go to Website
4

Stay Updated

Sign Up
Back

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

The Romantic
A Novel
Barbara Gowdy

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
May 2004
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466829602
ISBN10: 1466829605
320 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312423247
ISBN10: 0312423241
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 320 pages
$19.00
Back

From The Publisher

Metropolitan Books

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter

Back