The World Before Her

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-05-13
  • Publisher: Mariner Books
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The year is 1880 and the place is Venice. Marian Evans'”whosenovels under the pen name George Eliot have made her one of the most famous Englishwomen of her time'”has come to this enchanted city on her honeymoon. Newly married to John Cross, twenty years her junior, she hopes to put to rest all of her guilt. For twenty-five years, until his death, Marian lived with George Henry Lewes, a man she never married. She took tremendous risks and paid a high price for that illicit union, but she also achieved great happiness and created important art. Now she wants to be happy again. In this new marriage in this new place, can this writer give herself the happy ending that she gave to "Middlemarch's" Dorothea Brooke?The parallel story of a sculptress named Caroline Spingold brings us to Venice one hundred year later, in 1980. Linked by city, as well as by themes of art, love, and marriage, "The World Before Her" tells of these two women'”and their surprising similarities'”in alternating chapters. Caroline's powerful, older, wealthy husband has brought her to Venice against her will to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. She once spent a perfect childhood summer here with her parents before her father left her mother and had wanted never to return. In a city where the canals reflect memory as much as light, two women separated by a century confront desire'”and each assesses what she has and who she is. At the heart of this sumptuously and evocatively written novel is the eternal dilemma of how to find love and sustain it, without losing one's self and personal ambition in the process.

Author Biography

Deborah Weisgall has written extensively about the arts — painting, music, performance — for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Esquire, Connoisseur, and The New Yorker. She is the author of the novel, Still Point, and the family memoir, A Joyful Noise. Weisgall lives with her husband and daughter in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

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