FOR LOVE gradually dissolves the steely emotional barriers protecting journalist Lottie Gardner’s fragile heart as she prepares her childhood home for sale. Through a series of pivotal events, Lottie discovers the subtle connections between love, pain, and death which have long influenced her personal drama. These include a fatal car accident, a painful cavity which grows to root canal proportions, and dashed hopes for rekindling the fading romance in Lottie’s six-month-old marriage via a weekend rendezvous with her husband, among others. Lottie is reactive to the events which invade the solitude she experiences while remodeling her mother’s house with her college-bound son until she acknowledges that her marriage is worth fighting for despite her husband’s infatuation with the memory of his deceased first wife.
As usual, Miller creates evocative characters, interweaving Lottie’s recollections with subjective observations of her immediate world. Through Lottie’s eyes we meet her brother Cameron, son Ryan, and husband Jack, and explore the alcohol-influenced emotional scars inflicted by her now-senile mother during Lottie’s formative years.
Another significant character in Lottie’s forty-fifth summer is her former neighbor and childhood nemesis Elizabeth. Recently returned to her own mother’s house to escape an unfaithful husband, the “perfect” Elizabeth provokes first Lottie’s jealousy, later her compassion.
(The entire section is 375 words.)
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