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Vital Signs by Tessa McWatt
  

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Vital Signs is a novel that takes us deep inside a marriage in crisis, teasing out the unspoken rules that run - or ruin - love relationships. So much is taken for granted in a long marriage, so much is relied upon, so much is resented, so much is never spoken.

If you like Tessa McWatt you might also like to read books by Tessa Hadley, Anne Enright and Rachel Cusk.

Synopsis

Vital Signs by Tessa McWatt

When Anna, Mike's beautiful and self-possessed wife, begins to mangle her sentences as a result of a brain aneurysm that could kill her at any moment, it's as if Mike has woken from a long dream in which he was only thinking about himself. Or is he still only thinking about himself? In his panic to show his wife that she has been his entire universe, will he finally confess all the ways in which he rebelled against her power over him, the way he betrayed her? Incoherent with guilt, he uses his talent as a graphic artist to draw his way closer to his wife, trying to communicate with her, and himself too, through signs and symbols. Mike is deeply flawed, hovering on the knife-edge of a confession, selfishly looking to the woman he loves for absolution even as she faces the possibility of her own death. And through this portrait of a marriage in crisis, Tessa McWatt leads us deftly and deeply into the workings of a relationship that blooms and withers and reblooms over time, and into the lies and the truths necessary to sustain it.


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Reviews

A gripping story focusing on a complex marriage as it reaches crisis point. * Easy Living * Depicts the power struggles and compromises of a long marriage with bracing honesty. * Financial Times * Part love story, part forensic examination of the psyche, Tessa McWatt digs deep into what makes us human in this disturbing portrait of family life. -- Camilla Gibb Packed with fascinating insight ... It's a gripping read -- Cynthia MacDonald * Globe & Mail * A mesmerizing read. . . . [A] beautiful book. . . . A story of such enigma and economy . . . She depicts the undulating landscape of an enduring marriage with poignancy and power . . . Vital Signs is a work of literature, criticism and philosophy all at once: A formidable intellectual hat trick. At the same time McWatt tells a sincere and simple tale, that like children, we wish would never end. -- Donna Bailey Nurse * National Post *


About the Author

Tessa McWatt was born in Guyana, and moved to Canada with her family when she was three. She is the author of five earlier novels; her second, Dragons Cry, was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the City of Toronto Book Award. She developed and leads the MA in Writing: Imaginative Practice programme at the University of East London. She divides her time between London and Toronto.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2013

Author

Tessa McWatt

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Publisher

Windmill Books an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Paperback
176 pages

Categories

Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780099538295

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