Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Banishing Verona

Banishing Verona

A Novel

Margot Livesey

Henry Holt and Co.




A couple begins an intense affair, only to be separated abruptly-and perhaps irrevocably-in this surprising, suspenseful love story

Zeke is twenty-nine, a man who looks like a Raphael angel and who earns his living as a painter and carpenter in London. He reads the world a little differently from most people and has trouble with such ordinary activities as lying, deciphering expressions, recognizing faces. Verona is thirty-seven, confident, hot-tempered, a modestly successful radio show host, unmarried, and seven months pregnant. When the two meet in a house that Zeke is renovating, they fall in love, only to be separated less than twenty-four hours later when Verona leaves abruptly, without explanation, for Boston.

Both Zeke and Verona, it turns out, have complications in their lives, though not of a romantic kind. Verona's involve her brother, Henry, who is tied up in shady financial dealings. Zeke's father has had a heart attack and his mother is threatening to run away with her lover, all of which puts pressure on Zeke to take over the family grocery business. And yet he finds himself following Verona to Boston. As he pursues her, and she pursues Henry, both are forced to ask the perplexing question: Can we ever know another person?

Deftly plotted and filled with unexpected twists, Livesey's Banishing Verona marks the arrival of another lyrical and wise novel from a writer whose work "radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery" (Alice Sebold).



He had replaced five lightbulbs that day and by late afternoon could not help anticipating the soft ping of the filament flying apart whenever he reached for a switch. The third...


Praise for Banishing Verona

“An enthralling, unconventional boy-meets-girl story.” —People (four stars)

“In Banishing Verona, Livesey, a first-rate storyteller, examines the ties that bind families and lovers. Her take on life is original, her use of perspective is deft, and her prose lovely. Zeke is captivating.” —USA Today

“Livesey is interested not in medical conditions but in the human condition. . . . In fact, [she] expands (as is fiction's mission) our notion of what being human can mean.” —The New York Times

“In Livesey's deft hands, their connection is as credible (and incredible) as love itself....[She] pulls it off effortlessly.” —The Boston Globe

“Tantalizing . . . Livesey has taken a familiar plot device and has turned it into such a delicious literary construct that it seems new.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Margot Livesey

Margot Livesey is the award-winning author of a story collection, Learning by Heart, and of the novels Homework, Criminals, The Missing World, and Eva Moves the Furniture, which was a New York Times Notable Book, an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year, and a PEN/Winship finalist. Born in Scotland, she currently lives in the Boston area, where she is writer in residence at Emerson College.

Margot Livesey