When three fortyish couples lease a ramshackle farmhouse in the Berkshires for the summer, they think they've found their Utopia. For their children, the farm is a welcome escape from city dangers and disarray, and for the adults, a reprieve from psychic clocks ticking inexorably toward middle age. There's Chad, the high-rolling writer, and his wife Leslie, for whom perfection is the minimum acceptable standard. Advertising executive Calvin is going to write that novel at last, while his therapist wife Jane has arranged a sabbatical to take stock of her life. Professor-cum-scriptwriter Zack is also reevaluating his future as wife Polly tries to figure out if she even has one. For a while the promise of renewal seems within reach. The children, teetering on the brink of adolescence, exult in their freedom, while the adults explore the gifts of time and tranquillity. But as the summer drones on the veneer wears thin, and the couples begin to flounder in the miasma of tired, careworn marriages, pangs of only middling professional success, and demands of children whose need for love seems more a distraction than a joy. It is through the children, however, with their own games, secrets, rivalries, and loyalties, that the adults come to see the frail but undeniable connections spun by love, family, and friendship. With multiple narrative perspectives, poignant insights, and sometimes painful honesty, Kit Reed creates a story of individuals confronting the insubstantiality of their dreams and discovering - and surviving - their own flawed humanity.
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February 1996 : USA Hardback
|Title: J. Eden: A Novel|
Author(s): Kit Reed
ISBN: 0-87451-746-X / 978-0-87451-746-0 (USA edition)
Availability: Amazon Amazon UK Amazon CA