Set in Berkeley, California, in the 1970s, this novel "charts the breakup of an abusive, seventeen-year marriage. Their 'intellectual companionship' long over, Connie and her bullying husband Howard, a plant physiologist, fight so much their home 'reflects a Middle East battle zone,' with their two children the victims of their constant arguing. Complicating things further is Connie's relationship with her manipulative, belittling mother Elsie, an artistof some renown. ... Connie's lack of self-confidence enables Howard to victimize her, and aids Marc, a psychiatry teacher she meets at a party, in his seduction and abandonment of her during the course of their short-lived affair.As the violence in her marriage escalates, Connie knows she must find the courage to leave Howard. ... She must also learn to stand apart from her domineering mother."
Brenda gives an overview of the book:
Brenda Webster was born in New York City, educated at Swarthmore College, Columbia University, and University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her Ph.D. She is a freelance writer, critic, and translater who splits her time between Berkeley and Rome, and she is the...