Sunday, November 8, 2009

Review: Remedies by Kate Ledger

"Whatever had kept her marriage aloft had begun its slow exhalation, and what was left in her hand was like the string of a deflated balloon."

Simon Bear is a respected and well-loved internist, albeit with some questionable medical treatments, operating his Baltimore practice from a wing in his stately home. His wife, Emily, is a partner in a PR firm, and while she's successful at work, she feels like a failure as a mother to their sullen and rebellious teenage daughter.

The tragic loss of the couple's firstborn, as an infant, created a fissure in the foundation of their marriage, and years of refusing to talk about it or grieve properly have served to steadily widen the crack.

When Simon discovers and tests a surprising new treatment for chronic pain and Emily begins an affair with an old boyfriend, the rift grows larger. And, just as Simon realizes he needs Emily more than ever, if only more professionally than personally, she realizes that she doesn't need him at all anymore.

Although neither Simon nor Emily were particularly likeable characters, I nonetheless cared about their respective fates, wondering how, and when, their poor decisions would catch up with them. Ledger's writing is powerful, as she has a talent for "just right" descriptions. She deftly tackles big issues and thoughtfully examines the unraveling of a marriage, exploring how much pain can be endured before a breaking point.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Thanks for the honest review Jill. I need to like the characters (in some way) in order for a book to be a hit with me.

S. Krishna said...

This book sounds interesting, though I'm not sure I'd enjoy a book in which I didn't like the characters. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like an interesting, though somewhat saddening novel. It interests me though as I love books that explore relationships.

Beth F said...

Sounds fascinating. I wasn't sure what this one was about. THanks so much for linking up with the AE challenge.