About a month ago or so my friend Sue Guiney gave away this book, The New Perspective by K. Arnold Price on her blog. I was lucky enough to be the winner.
The book is about Pattie and Cormac, a long married couple. The book starts as they return from the wedding of their last born son to, who Pattie calls, "a dull girl". They are now free of the responsibilities of parenting, a task Pattie (who tells the story) has found perfunctory. She is happy to be back again. alone with Cormac but still upon returning to their home she feels suddenly annoyed and unsettled.
She has spent 26 years married to Cormac and yet, slowly, she discovers tiny but important details about him that shake her foundations of assumptions. He finds drama and acting "the lowest form of art", for example. One day he decides they should buy a different house. This helps Pattie with her sense of ennui as she and Cormac busy themselves making the new house a home.
Then Cormac buys a violin. This seems an odd purchase to Patti, until she discovers that he knows how to play. Not only does he know how, he adores it, but for all of the years of his marriage and some before he was denied because he needed to take up the responsibility of running the family antiques business when his father died.
Patti knows Cormac as an even tempered man. She can't remember him ever adoring anything, ever missing something "terribly". This troubles her. It makes her wonder about all of the years that they've been together, the honesty of those years. The purchase of the violin leads Patti into a downward spiral.
There are many things I loved about this book. In only 85, sparsely printed pages, the author, is able to simply but truthfully get to the crux of many long term relationships, especially ones with children. That time when the children go off on their own can be a difficult time. Suddenly the noise subsides and the partners, often buffered by the busyness of raising children, are alone with the other who in some cases has become a stranger.
This was K.Arnold Price's first novel which was published when she was 84. This tells an important story in and of itself. It is never too late. And sometimes it really is about experience. Lastly, that sometimes genius gets lost in the crowd, or, in this case, behind a very terrible cover.
This is not an easy book to get a hold of, and not cheap either. I found it here and here.
Since I received my copy of the book through the goodwill of the blogsphere, it is only right that I pass on the present. Please leave a comment below explaining why you would like me to send you this copy of the book. In two weeks, on the 19th of November, I will pick a winner.