Laura spends her days looking at other people's potential calamities. Read more...
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Laura spends her days looking at other people's potential calamities. She works in the radiography unit of a small hospital on the Maine coast, bearing constant witness to the fears of patient after frightened patient. In a job where finding nothing is always the best possible outcome, she is well versed in the random injustices of life, a truism that has lately been playing out in her marriage as well. Since being downsized, her husband, Dan, has become withdrawn, his emotional distance gradually corroding their relationship. With a son in college and a daughter soon due to leave home, Laura has begun to fear that the marital sounds of silence will only deepen once the nest is truly empty.
When an opportunity arises to attend a weekend medical conference in Boston, Laura jumps at this respite from home. While checking in, she meets a man as gray and uninspired as her drab hotel room. Richard is an outwardly dull, fiftysomething insurance salesman. But during a chance second encounter, Laura discovers him to be surprisingly complex and thoughtful, someone who, like herself, is grappling with the same big questions about decisions made and the human capacity for self-entrapment. As their conversation deepens and begins to veer into shared confessions, the overwhelming sense of personal and intimate connection arises. A transformative love affair begins. But can this potential, much-longed-for happiness be married to their own difficult personal circumstances? Can they upend their lives and embrace that most loaded of words: change?
A love story as clear-sighted and ruminative as it is affecting, "Five Days "will have you reflecting about the choices we all make that shape our destinies. Crafted with Kennedy's trademark evocative prose and pitch-perfect in its depiction of the complex realities of modern life, it is a novel that speaks directly to the many contradictions of the human heart.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-03-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Laura Warren is a radiographic technician in Maine, trained to spot disease in others, but unable to determine the cause of her own sadness in the bumpy 11th novel from Kennedy (The Moment). Laura’s family is unhappy–her husband’s lengthy unemployment has made him angry and resentful; her 19-year-old son, Ben, an artist, is bereft over a failed love affair; and she feels disconnected from her teenaged daughter, Sally. Her own midlife and marital crises are taking a toll on her, and after finding herself uncharacteristically shaken by the sadness she inevitably sees in her job, Laura jumps at the opportunity for a weekend conference in Boston. There she meets Richard Copeland, an equally confused and unhappy insurance salesman, and the two feel an immediate attraction. Laura and Richard find in their shared loneliness a common longing to lead a better life together, if they can find the courage to change. While Laura and Richard’s quickly developing relationship is rarely believable, Laura’s confusion and fear are well drawn, and Kennedy ably raises questions about marriage, identity, and happiness. Agent: Antony Harwood, Antony Harwood Literary Agency. (Apr.)