April 2011 Guest Editor Lesley Lokko on Douglas Kennedy...
The blurb on the back (or is it the front?) of his novels says ‘no one does stylish, damaged women better.’ How true. When I’m in the mood for something I cannot put down, Kennedy never lets me down. They’re all uniformly good – The Big Picture, The Pursuit of Happiness, The State of the Union and the one I’ve just stayed up all night reading, Leaving the World. It’s rare to read a man who’s got such a handle on women but Kennedy scarcely puts a foot wrong. It’s a bit like watching The Office...scarily familiar, scarily good and often cringe-worthy. We can all remember making that last, desperate phone call when we really, really shouldn’t. What Not To Do, not Wear.
On the night of her thirteenth birthday, Jane Howard made a vow to her warring parents – she would never get married and she would never have children.
But life, as Jane comes to discover, is a profoundly random business. Many years and many lives later, she is a professor in Boston, in love with a brilliant, erratic man named Theo. And then Jane falls pregnant. Motherhood turns out to be a great welcome surprise – but when a devastating turn of events tears her existence apart she has no choice but to flee all she knows and leave the world.
Just when she has renounced life itself, the disappearance of a young girl pulls her back from the edge and into an obsessive search for some sort of personal redemption. Convinced that she knows more about the case than the police do, she is forced to make a decision – stay hidden or bring to light a shattering truth.
Douglas Kennedy’s exceptional new novel is a portrait of the way we live now, of the many routes we follow in the course of a single life, and of the arbitrary nature of destiny. Like his previous highly acclaimed novels it is also a compulsive read – and one which speaks volumes about the dilemmas we face in trying to navigate our way through all that fate throws in our path.
|Publication date:||18th February 2010|
|Publisher:||Arrow Books Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Douglas Kennedy's previous novels include the critically acclaimed bestsellers The Big Picture, The Pursuit of Happiness, A Special Relationship and The Moment. He is also the author of three highly-praised travel books. The Big Picture was filmed with Romain Duris and Catherine Deneuve; The Woman in the Fifth with Ethan Hawke and Kristen Scott Thomas.His work has been translated into twenty-two languages. In 2007 he was awarded the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2009 the inaugural Grand Prix de Figaro. Born in Manhattan in 1955, he has two children and currently divides his time ...More About Douglas Kennedy