(From the publisher):
The story begins with an unexpectedly revealing conversation between a man and a woman who are barely more than strangers. Bill is finally coming to grips with a lifetime of disappointment, living out his last days as the caretaker of a farm, completely deserted except for the hive of bees that has inhabited a wall of the farmhouse for decades. Nina is Bill's new neighbor, his reluctant but obliging dinner guest, and the unwitting recipient of his most intimate confidence: the story of the illicit affair he had as a young man and the profoundly destructive bitterness with which he was left.
Nina is in her early forties, a private, fiercely independent woman who has nevertheless made something of a dependent life with Tony, a man of large and infectious enthusiasms. Twenty years before, when they were newly in love, Tony persuaded Nina to follow him and the demands of his life as a painter from their native New York City to a small college town in Vermont. Now, still following the arc of his career, they have moved again, to an even smaller town—across the road from Bill—and their life together is threatening to come apart. Tony spends half his time in New York, where he now teaches. Nina's world has become centered at home where she builds and sells intricate kinetic toys she calls "contraptions."
In interwoven narratives, we see how Bill's troubled life unfolded, and how his story comes to obsess Nina, triggering her own memories to tumultuous years with Tony, of their infidelities and yet unmitigated passion for each other, of her clashes with the real and imagined boundaries of their relationship. And we see Nina pushed to test those boundaries for what may be the last time.
Original title: The Honey Wall
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Ties That Bind