Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a gentle and thoughtful book about the dissolution and formation of friendships, relationships, and the fascination of gods.
What? Well, honestly, it's about a middle-aged couple and their mild and complicated relationship in a comfortable middle-class household, where she becomes disillusioned and he discovers a new love, and such things are mirrored interestingly with the inclusion and complicated immersion into a particularly well-beloved Greek Myth, walking the earth.
The whole book is rather introspective in effect, if not always in action, diving heavier into interpersonal reactions and how easy it is to be lost in ideas, in gut-reactions, and the misery of not knowing what you want, or in taking what you think you want, learning that it was all a mistake.
Of course, this is a rather deep exploration of both points of view in the grand myth of Persephone and Hades, too, so it's actually rather rich in contemplation.
If what you're looking for is straight magical realism in comfortable middle-class topes, you'll find a mild tale with deep and fascinating characters that pop with detail, but don't expect much in the way of plot. Expect thematic exploration, interpersonal angst, and an attempt to discover some sort of balance with summer and winter. Growing older doesn't always mean growing wiser, after all.
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!
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