I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Girl With a Clock For a Heart by Peter Swanson

This bizarre book follows the life of George Foss during two times in his life, his first semester of college at Mather, and his current life forty years later.  At a college party at the beginning of the semester, George meets Audrey Beck and falls hard for her.  The rest of that semester they spend every available moment together.  Then George finds out, when he comes back from winter break, that Audrey committed suicide.  Unable to accept this, he takes a bus down to her home in Florida and discovers that the girl he was in love with was not Audrey, but a girl named Liana, who quite possibly did something really bad.  For the rest of the next twenty years, George would spend time looking into crowds for her, even hunting down a porn star that looked like her, only to be disappointed.

During this time, George works as a manager of a literary magazine and has had an on-again-off-again relationship for the past fifteen years with Irene who works for the Boston Globe.  They're best friends who date other people and are always there for each other.  One night at their usual bar, George sees Liana and sends Irene home so he can find out for sure if it's her.  She says she needs him to do her a favor.  She's in trouble and needs his help.  George, of course, can't resist.

She stole money from a man she was sleeping with who was married but made some of his money illegally, and now some threatening guy, named Donnie Jenks, is after her to kill her if she doesn't turn in the money.  After George returns the money to the man, he runs into the real Donnie Jenks and now wonders who the guy is that he met, who nearly ruptured his kidney that he thought was Donnie Jenks.  He meets Liana later that night for dinner and she spends the night with him but leaves before he wakes up.

That morning, cops show up at his door.  The man he returned the money to is dead and the diamonds in his safe are now missing.  George feels as though he has been played the fool by Liana once again.  And confesses all he knows to the cops, of whom, one actually believes him.

This tale of love, lust, and betrayal is truly wicked.  You have no idea just who Liana really is and neither does George, until its too late.  The twist at the end might leave you a little frustrated--it did me.  This is one smartly written book that I definitely recommend.

Approaching forty, George felt as though his world had been slowly drained of all its colors.  He’d passed that age when he could reasonably expect to fall madly in love with someone and raise a family, or to take the world by storm, or to have anything surprising lift him out of his day-to-day existence.
--Peter Swanson (The Girl With a Clock For a Heart p 6-7)

Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Clock-Heart-Novel/dp/0062267507/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479144050&sr=1-1&keywords=the+girl+with+a+clock+for+a+heart

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