When Colt and Francie Hart stumble upon an empty 150-year-old house during a weekend drive in the country, they each fall in love with it and want to buy it -- for entirely different reasons. For Colt, the house will become a trophy representing his enormous success at trading stocks. For Francie, a blocked poet, the house seems to whisper hints ...
When Colt and Francie Hart stumble upon an empty 150-year-old house during a weekend drive in the country, they each fall in love with it and want to buy it -- for entirely different reasons. For Colt, the house will become a trophy representing his enormous success at trading stocks. For Francie, a blocked poet, the house seems to whisper hints for reawakening her creativity. Picking up the house for a song, the couple begins the transition from city dwelling to country life and find for the first time in too long that they have something to work on together. Yet the more the Harts learn about the house, its history, and its previous inhabitants, the more it drives them apart. And when Francie discovers an old family cemetery hidden on the property, it somehow brings out qualities in each of them that come as a total surprise to the other. Events that conspire to destroy their marriage could just as easily bring the couple together again in this story of two people who, in looking for a place to call home, find themselves instead.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-10-25 Better living through chemistry. That's what Francie Hart, the Stepford wife-like protagonist of this melodramatic novel by Kowalski (Eddie's Bastard, etc.), thought she was getting by taking Benedor to treat her manic depression. But on a trip with her husband, Colt, from their home in Manhattan to visit their newly purchased country house, she runs out of pills. As the drug's effects wear off, Francie realizes that the chemicals had been stifling her natural creative powers as a poet, and that the life she was leading as a bored, wealthy urban housewife was unfulfilling. That shift in clarity is the linchpin of the novel, which chronicles the tense, awkward unraveling of the Harts' nearly 10-year marriage. Kowalski pumps up the plot by adding a parallel series of intense, often violent flashbacks focusing on the Musgroves, the family that built the Hart's country home 150 years earlier. Not even a whirlwind of outlandish developments-from grave desecration and fratricide to space travel and kidnapping-are enough to make up for the novel's one-dimensional characters, however. Colt is a comically arrogant stock broker, while Francie is the stereotypical tortured artiste who just wasn't made for this cruel world. Kowalski's vigorous storytelling will keep the pages turning, but it's hard to muster much sympathy for Francie and Colt's struggles and redemption. Agent, Anne Hawkins at John Hawkins & Assoc. (Dec. 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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