In the rainswept summer of 1968, Rose sets off for the United States from Kentish Town to meet a man she knows as Washington Harold, in her suitcase a polka-dot dress and a one-way ticket. In a country rocked by the assassination of Martin Luther King and a rising groundswell of violence, they are to join forces in search of the charismatic and ...Read MoreIn the rainswept summer of 1968, Rose sets off for the United States from Kentish Town to meet a man she knows as Washington Harold, in her suitcase a polka-dot dress and a one-way ticket. In a country rocked by the assassination of Martin Luther King and a rising groundswell of violence, they are to join forces in search of the charismatic and elusive Dr Wheeler - oracle, guru and redeemer - whom Rose credits with rescuing her from a terrible childhood, and against whom Harold nurses a silent grudge. As they trail their quarry, zigzagging through America in a camper van, the odd couple - Rose, damaged child of grey postwar Britain, and nervous, obsessive, driven Harold - encounter a ragged counter-cultural army of Wheeler's acolytes, eddying among dangerous currents of obscure dissent and rage. But somewhere in the wide American darkness, Dr Wheeler is waiting.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-11 In Bainbridge's (1932-2010) final, unfinished novel, she transports readers to the spring of 1968. In this era of high-profile assassinations Rose, a damaged young Englishwoman, arrives in Baltimore to begin a cross-country odyssey in search of Dr. Wheeler, a member of Robert Kennedy's entourage. Rose met Wheeler in the U.K. and fell somewhat in love, as he provided much needed solace from her unhappy life: warring parents, a child taken away and given up for adoption. Accompanying Rose on her trip is Washington Harold, a friend of a friend, who also seeks Wheeler, but his motives are more sinister: Washington Harold's wife committed suicide after having an affair with Wheeler, and he wants revenge. The story reaches its apogee in L.A. at the Ambassador Hotel, where the private fates of these two people collide with RFK's very public one. Assembled by Bainbridge's editor from her manuscript after her death, this is a novel that the author longed to complete; the pacing isn't always right and the characters could be more sharply defined. Still, for lovers of Bainbridge's oeuvre, this is the book that places the period at the end of her life's work and shouldn't be missed. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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