Ambivalence, a Love Story is a deeply nuanced accounting in which two people come together to make a marriage work. Rarely has marriage and its compromises been so intimately portrayed, especially when tested by depression, unemployment, miscarriage and other realities of contemporary life. Whether inside the sterile out-placement offices for reengineered executives or traipsing through the suburban homes and competing lifestyles with perky realtors, Donatich muses on life's transitions with rare candor and insight.
Ambivalence traces the inner life of a man coming into adulthood: on being first generation, on interfaith marriage, on playing the accordion and ultimately on the question of whether we are better off solitary or coupled. But at heart, it is a tender -- if circumspect -- love story. An astonishing middle-aged debut.