At the centre is Greenie Duquette, the fiery proprietor of her own Greenwich Village pastry business. When Greenie's signature coconut cake is served to the governor of New Mexico, he invites her to be his personal chef; impulsively she accepts. And, when she heads west with her four-year-old son but without her husband, she sets in motion a ...
At the centre is Greenie Duquette, the fiery proprietor of her own Greenwich Village pastry business. When Greenie's signature coconut cake is served to the governor of New Mexico, he invites her to be his personal chef; impulsively she accepts. And, when she heads west with her four-year-old son but without her husband, she sets in motion a period of adventure and upheaval - physical, emotional, sensual - not only for herself but for others who are drawn into her orbit: Alan, her psychotherapist husband, alone in New York and trying to make sense of his own life; Walter, the urbane yet old-fashioned gay man who owns the beloved village restaurant where the governor ate Greenie's confection; Scott, Walter's teenage nephew, whose dreams of becoming a musician bring him to his uncle's doorstep; and Saga, a young woman recovering from a traumatic injury. We watch as serendipity and determination pull these lives ever more tightly together over the course of the year that culminates in the tragedy of 9/11 - a day that will galvanise each of the characters to seize life in a wholly new way. Julia Glass is at her best here: bringing a density of imagination to each character; weaving a dazzling tapestry of lives and lifetimes, of people and places; revealing the subtle mechanisms behind our most important, and often most tragic, connections to others. In "The Whole World Over", she has given us another novel that pays tribute to the extraordinary complexities of love.
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I read this book a couple of summers ago, and it still sticks with me. It is the story of a New York baker who moves to the American Southwest to be chef to a governor. But it is also the story of a failing marriage, an animal rescuer, a gay restaurant owner, and an environmentalist. The characters are developed with as much flavor and care as one of Greenie's scrumptious meals. Bon appetit.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-02-27 In her second rich, subtle novel, Glass reveals how the past impinges on the present, and how small incidents of fate and chance determine the future. Greenie Duquette has a small bakery in Manhattan's West Village that supplies pastries to restaurants, including that of her genial gay friend Walter. When Walter recommends Greenie to the governor of New Mexico, she seizes the chance to become the Southwesterner's pastry chef and to take a break from her marriage to Alan Glazier, a psychiatrist with hidden issues. Taking their four-year-old son, George, with her, Greenie leaves for New Mexico, while figures from her and Alan's pasts challenge their already strained marriage. Their lives intersect with those of such fully dimensional secondary characters as Fenno McLeod, the gay bookseller from Three Junes; Saga, a 30-something woman who lost her memory in an accident; and Saga's Uncle Marsden, a Yale ecologist who takes care of her. While this work is less emotionally gripping than Three Junes, Glass brings the same assured narrative drive and engaging prose to this exploration of the quest for love and its tests-absence, doubt, infidelity, guilt and loss. 200,000 first printing; 12-city author tour. (June 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-07-10 When an author uses the same characters in more than one novel, the audio performance can be accurately compared. Fenno, a gay man who emigrates from Scotland to New York's Greenwich Village, is for many readers the most endearing character in Julia Glass's first novel, Three Junes, read by John Keating, who captured the cadences and charm of Fenno's native land. O'Hare, in contrast, produces a rather vague accent that could be Irish or Scottish. He also endows the New Mexico governor with a Texas accent, though the heartiness with which O'Hare portrays him is perfect. Despite these flaws, O'Hare has an eloquent, easy-to-listen-to voice that covers the large canvas of Glass's novel handily. He does particularly well with the main couple, Alan and Greenie, and O'Hare's rendition of their four-year-old son, George, is marvelous. It's a shame that the audio is not available unabridged through retail outlets. (Books on Tape, a division of Random House, has a 23-hour unabridged version on audible.com.) While condensation may work well for Campbell's Soup and tomes that are improved by having their windy digressions clipped, Glass's novel was one of the most wonderful reads of the summer and didn't need editing. Simultaneous release with the Pantheon hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 27). (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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