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Thursday, April 18, 2013

"The Boy" by Lara Santoro (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu)




"Anna has always been a risk-taker and a free spirit, but now she is raising a young daughter on her own and she has to play it safe. Her twenty-something neighbor with the slow, easy smile is in no way part of Anna's plans. She resists temptation in every way she can, yet Anna is soon drawn into a reckless and obsessive affair.

Provocative, headlong, and utterly compelling, THE BOY is the story of a woman on the edge, torn between love and compulsion, desire and duty. Lara Santoro writes in "hypnotic and swiftly paced" prose (Daniel Woodrell) about the hazards of passion and motherhood and about one woman's unthinkable rebellion."

"The Boy" is one of those books that are hard to discuss without sounding ridiculous as they transcend so much their ostensible subject  - Anna drunken former journalist and risk taker with rich British ex from hell and young daughter Eva to whom she devotes her life after running away from the cheating ex and she is now trying to raise in the wilderness of New Mexico with gambler housekeeper Esperanza of many problems, falls at 42 for the gorgeous but troubled - Ivy league drop-out - 21 year old son of her neighbor and well, this ain't going to end well as everyone knows - to give a novel that is so powerful and so compelling that I can only say, check out an excerpt and see how it's going to hook you and it becomes a must read...

Funny, sensual, sad, ironical, cynical on occasion and an extraordinary reading experience:

Here is the first paragraph:

"She could not remember meeting him. She tried, sifting through the early hours of that first night of summer, to retrieve the instant when their eyes first met, their hands first touched, but found that she could not. The boy had slipped into her life sideways: one minute he was not there, the next he was seated to her right, asking her things."

Here is one of the unforgettable phone conversations with the rich, "posh" ex when he was having their daughter in the Uk for her annual summer visit:


"Anna gave her a sympathetic nod then, suddenly overcome by the molecular imperative to hear her daughter’s voice, she pulled out her cell phone and ran out of the store.

She had to go through the girl’s father, of course. He answered the phone with typical boorish
ness.
“Oh hello, Anna. Why, yes, Eva is standing right here.”

“Let me speak to her.”

“I’m very well, thank you for asking. And you? Are you in jail? In an asylum? Or should we be so bold as to set our sights on a halfway house?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let me speak to my daughter.”

“Rumor has it you were caught snogging a twenty-year-old. I told Eva she’d be wise to keep an eye on her little playmates when she gets back.”

“God, how funny. How about you? Still with the Nobel laureate?”

“Nothing wrong with a trophy wife, nothing wrong. At least she’s legal.”
 

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