by Larry Watson
Category: Fiction / General
336 pages; ISBN: 0671567748
Rating: 7/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
In the summer of 1955 in Vermont, eleven-year old Paul Finley meets Laura Coe Petit for the first time when she escapes for a breather and a smoke from the party hosted by his parents. Laura, a twenty-two year old rising poet, was smoking a cigarette outside Paul`s bedroom window when she inadvertently woke him up. They briefly talk and for the rest of his life, Paul knows that Laura is the mark that he compares other people, especially women, and his own sense of essence to.
Over the next thirty plus years, Paul and Laura have occasional brief encounters that further destroy any possible relationships the younger man may foster. Instead Paul remains obsessed with the woman he always knew he could never have. From the first time they met when he was a child she planned to seduce his father at that New England party.
LAURA is a an entertaining cogitation on how far obsession can twist a person. The insightful story line is well written (as expected from Larry Watson), especially the background historical events that serve as a bigger stage for the meetings between Paul and Laura. The secondary cast provides reflection, impetus, and depth although Mr. Watson never showcases them as he concentrates on Paul`s psyche. The lead protagonist`s obsession turns him into something that seems more like a stalker and quixotically, a more humane individual. Mr. Watson shows why he is an award-winning author with this compassionate character study.
Buy Laura at amazon.co.uk
Buy Laura at amazon.com