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The Essence of the Thing

Nicola only went to buy cigarettes and upon returning finds a stranger in her apartment. He looks like her live-in boyfriend, Jonathan, but he can't actually be the dependable known quantity whom Nicola loves that goes by the name of Jonathan. Can he? Before Nicola stands a man who is strong and adorable just like the old Jonathan, only this one is no longer hers! This sad tale of love gone south still has its funny side. You have either to laugh or cry when you see, as acutely and elegantly as St John captures it here, the things women will do to hold on to love, and the things men will do to escape it. "St John's intelligence transforms a simple story into a much larger commentary on love and loss." - Mademoiselle "The Essence of the Thing grabs the reader's sympathy and attention from the startling first pages and doesn't let go." - Newsday "A brisk, sophisticated, and artful narrative" - New York Times Book Review Hide synopsis

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