Yvonne, the main character in Vendela Vida's latest novel, The Lovers (Ecco), is newly widowed and on a trip to Turkey, where she and her husband, Peter, honeymooned 28 years ago. Hoping that the trip will trigger long-forgotten memories of her married life, Yvonne is disappointed to find that the beach town they visited years ago has changed beyond recognition. As she tries to pass the time waiting to join her adult children on a cruise, Yvonne quickly becomes entangled in the personal lives of the owners of her rental house and Ahmet, a young boy who collects and sells seashells on the beach. With surgical precision, Vida lays bare one woman's grief in a meditation on love, family, loss, and reconciliation. Her narrative moves swiftly to the startling conclusion, in which we learn that it wasn't just her husband's death that Yvonne needed to reconcile. Vida's novel is a testament to how even the sparest of stories can be a revelation. (Photo by Chloe Aftel)
Tue., July 27, 7:30 p.m., 2010
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