renée ashley

Someplace Like This

Permanent Press
ISBN 978-1579620905

"Ashley, a prize-winning poet (Salt), makes the transition from poetry to fiction with graceful eloquence in this novel about a couple who move from New York City to their island summer home in an attempt to repair their fractured marriage. The story is told from the point of view of 37-year-old Dore, a thoughtful, withdrawn woman whose discontent with her husband, Evan, is so profound that she declares on the eve of her anniversary, "Tomorrow we've been married at least a thousand years." The couple packs and moves to the cottage, where Dore lives full time while Evan continues to work in Manhattan and comes out to the island for weekends. Their troubles, unsurprisingly, don't lift with the change of scenery. This is Dore's second marriage, we learn, her first having fallen apart after her infant daughter died in a car accident Dore still feels guilty about. These memories emerge during a flirtation with a handsome local waiter, one of the distractions Dore finds on the island, along with gardening and long walks. Dore's marital woes, like the emotional arc of the novel, are familiar, but she is likable and always convincing. Her lively, self-deprecating sense of humor also doesn't hurt. While the novel falls short of revelatory, Ashley shows a fine ear and an emotional acuity that make her book a pleasure to read. "
              — Publishers Weekly


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