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Fred and Lorraine Stone met at the famous Woodstock music festival in upstate New York. And as all couples must, they grew up– just not in the same direction. Now in their forties, Fred has becom...
Fred and Lorraine Stone met at the famous Woodstock music festival in upstate New York. And as all couples must, they grew up– just not in the same direction. Now in their forties, Fred has become Frederick, a sell-out accountant whose last vestige of his free-wheeling years is a vegetarian diet. Meanwhile, Lorraine, who now goes by the name Chandra (Sanskrit for changeable), has morphed into a psychology teacher and animal rights activist.
When Chandra suddenly moves out, Frederick turns back to Woodstock, that magical time, for answers. Can he discover what went wrong and reclaim their summer of love? Or has marital harmony left them behind for good?
In A Marriage Made at Woodstock, Cathie Pelletier takes an honest and hilarious look at a marriage on the verge of dissolution—and how hard it can be to reconcile who we once were with who we have become.
Dawn was just coming to Ellsboro Street as Frederick Stone tiptoed across the dewy grass for his morning paper. He stopped in his driveway, as he always did, and surveye...
Dawn was just coming to Ellsboro Street as Frederick Stone tiptoed across the dewy grass for his morning paper. He stopped in his driveway, as he always did, and surveyed the street. He felt it arrive again, the sweet sense of satisfaction that he was the first person in the neighborhood to be awake. It had not always been that way. For two years, while the Andersons lived in the light blue Cape across the street, their son Tommy had risen daily at four thirty for his paper route. Frederick Stone was glad that the Andersons had taken their little automaton and transferred to another state. Now a bank manager and his teller wife lived in the blue Cape. Frederick needn’t worry about their lights coming on before six o’clock, not unless they were embezzling. He looked at his watch. Five fifty-eight, and already he had coffee perking and an English muffin sitting on a paper towel in the microwave. He would dawdle the two extra minutes, just for the hell of it, just because when one gets up at five forty-five one can spare two meager minutes. Above his head, the Victorian turret of his house pointed like a medieval steeple toward heaven. On the lawn a plump robin was canting its head toward the soil, searching for the next available earthworm. Frederick could hear a wall of bird calls and notes rising up from all the hedges. The birds had beaten him, but birds were just birds. Five fifty-nine. One more minute to wait.
He made his way through the wet grass, toward the front porch. Like the turret, the porch was a bit dated, the old-fashioned kind one sees on farmhouses in the country. But it was another reason that his wife, Chandra Kimball-Stone, had loved the house so. Frederick now had a better view of the street from the porch’s top step. Thirty more seconds. He pulled his pajama sleeve down over his fist and wiped at the cast-iron mailbox, which was nailed next to the front door. FREDERICK STONE, the small, dignified lettering announced, STONE ACCOUNTING & CONSULTATION. Beneath this sign, a tailless orange cat, no doubt another of Chandra’s strays, was curled into a sleepy ball on the throw rug. Ten more seconds. The morning paper landed with a thump on the front porch, prompting the robin to fly off on quick wings and the orange cat to spring to life. Five seconds more and it would be six o’clock sharp. Bingo! As Frederick watched, a light burst forth from an upstairs window of the house next door.
“Take that, Walter Muller!” Frederick said. Walter Muller, also an accountant, had once questioned Frederick’s good business sense in regards to working out of his house instead of a downtown office. And yet here it was six o’clock and Walter was just now stirring. By the time Frederick sat down at his computer, muffin crumbs on the kitchen counter, to begin work on a client’s account, Walter Muller would be just staggering out of the shower. And by the time Walter Muller was approaching the on-ramp and morning traffic, Frederick would already have an hour’s work done. He gave Walter’s window an emphatic thumbs-down. He was sincerely proud that his neighbors—through chats over their backyard fences—had come to know Frederick Stone as the earliest riser on Ellsboro Street. Frederick had made slight reference to his habit each time one of them took a break from their lawn mowing or hedge trimming to say hello. “I sure miss Tommy the paperboy,” Frederick inevitably got around to mentioning. “It gets lonely, you know, when one gets up with the birds.”
His wife, Chandra, felt none of this Early Bird Pride, however. “They probably think you’re a lunatic, Freddy,” was her only praise. “An early-rising nut.” But then, how could she understand his inner Puritan? There were mornings when Frederick rose in the dark, reached a hand beneath a lamp shade, and discovered that the bulb was still radiating heat from its filament, Chandra only recently retired. One kept late hours, it seemed, when one had a degree in psychology and was concerned with matters of the mind.
Frederick Stone remembered the day Chandra had abandoned teaching psychology to high school students in order to begin a counseling service for Portland’s emotionally confused. Seminars in Human Psychology, her new business card announced. For Students of the Mind. He had turned it over and over in his hands before he asked the ageless, aesthetic question: “How much money can you make?” Frederick knew that loonies desperate for a seminar in anything, much less an odyssey into the unchartered regions of the human brain, abounded in Portland, Maine. As long as Chandra didn’t take up with any convicted murderers who may or may not be working on their autobiographies. But Chandra had scolded him, insisting he cared only about money and not the betterment of mankind. Frederick had carefully considered this comment from his wife. After all, they were both products of the altruistic sixties, had even met at Woodstock’s famous music festival. “How much money can you make?” Frederick Stone had asked again.
• • •
It was time for his first cup of coffee, made from his specially blended beans. It had taken many months of combining the wide selection available at Full of Beans to achieve what he now considered to be the perfect coffee taste. The secret was not only his special ratio of several different Colombian varieties, but also the addition of beans from Africa’s Ivory Coast. Frederick had attended a “Coffee Blender’s Forum,” via his computer modem, and had learned that the African beans robusta are slightly higher in caffeine and other alkaloids than the arabica beans from South America. This gave his morning coffee a nice little boost. He smiled again. Walter Muller probably drank Sanka.
Frederick took the cup of coffee with him to the upstairs bathroom. He could have performed his morning toiletries in the dimly lighted downstairs bath—the one Chandra referred to as his bath—but he preferred the upstairs mirror for facial inspections, which he did daily. It had huge lights encircling its circumference, and mirrored panels that opened for profile viewing. He lathered his face with shaving cream and then doused his razor, the Sensor, Gillette’s newest triumph, in the basin of hot water. Now, here was a comfortable, close shave. He was most grateful to Consumer Reports for their generous tip about the razor. It had taken Gillette thirteen years before they found a way to get the twin-cartridge blade to not only swivel, but to ride on minuscule springs. Thirteen years and $200 million to perfect a razor that maneuvered like a dream and protected its owner from nicks, cuts, and pulls. Yet it cost Frederick Stone $3.50 to own it. If he shaved six times a week and averaged eleven shaves per blade, he would spend less than $25 a year to rid himself of facial hair. Such was the modern world in which he lived. Not to mention the fact that he no longer had to listen to Chandra complain about how the disposable razor he’d been using—he tossed out forty plastic ones a year—was adding to the demise of Mother Earth. “If a million men throw out forty disposable razors a year,” she’d lectured, “the plastic would fill a box twenty feet high and twenty feet wide.” Who figured these things out? That’s what Frederick Stone would like to know. He was about to resort to a full beard until he read about Gillette’s little jewel. Chandra would simply have to suffer the disposal of his blades. Frederick had done his math and he felt quite sure that 28.4 used blades would require only the tiniest of boxes.
His shave complete, Frederick began his daily assessment. The usual whisper of gray was still entrenched at his temples, a smoky coloring he had noticed for the first time on August 4, 1981, a Tuesday that had promised to be as regular as any other morning. But Tuesday, August 4, 1981, had lied, forcing Frederick to pull up his computer calendar of important dates and list the discrepancy, next to August 4, 1977, when he had smoked his last cigarette. And lately, to Frederick’s dismay, an obscene puffiness loomed about his eyes, regardless of how much sleep he got. He tipped his face to one side, searching again for the cheekbones he had hoped to inherit from his father’s side of the family. But his genetic coding seemed determined to bequeath him the jowliness that had struck down his mother’s face in its prime. Her brothers, his maternal uncles, had grown to look like rotund court jesters, red cheeked, jolly, pleasing to the king. But at least they had all lived to a seasoned old age. On the other hand, all three of his paternal uncles had gone handsomely into their caskets with elongated, youthful faces. Even the funeral director had noticed. “It’s like burying Gregory Peck, over and over again,” he had whispered to Frederick. Frederick’s father was the last to die, from a congenital heart problem. “He had the same bad heart as Jim Fixx, the runner,” Frederick had heard the funeral director explaining to an employee. Yet, at the age of forty-four, Frederick was still torn between longevity and cheekbones.
He decided in an instant to ignore the puffiness, at least for the time being. No need to call up the computer’s calendar one day only to find the puffiness gone the next. And why trouble The Girls—known to those ancient Greeks as the Fates, Clotho, Dumbo, and Zippo, or something like that—when they had been so kind to him thus far? True, he had no fear that The Girls would pick up their skirts and desert him over a little swelling about the eyelids, but they might be unnecessarily concerned. They were women, after all. Frederick had always prided himself in being able to prevail with the weaker sex, shuffling out that certain je ne sais quoi at the last moment. And The Girls were not immune to his charm. He wondered if Chandra was right, that his daily compulsion about aging was directly attributable to a tiny flaw in his character. “Hubris,” Frederick had heard her mutter, mornings when she had risen to use the bathroom while he shaved and assessed. “Complete and total hubris, Freddy,” she would caution, her words accompanied by a musical stream of pee.
At the bedroom door he paused to cant his head, his listening stance. Chandra was breathing evenly, dreaming no doubt of sound lessons in humanity for unsound minds. Frederick was reminded of the counseling she had recently given Paul Jablonski, a portly butcher in his midsixties who was lusting heavily for his twin great-nieces, aged ten. Chandra had hypnotized the butcher and was now convinced that his pedophilic preoccupation was all because of an unfortunate incident in an earlier life, one as a nineteenth-century headmaster of a school for retarded girls. But Jablonski hadn’t settled for this Karmic-Dickensian notion. He seemed to think, good butcher that he was, that the little nieces were yearning for his kielbasa. To Frederick it was, by God, and finally, a classic case of the hubris of which he himself had been accused.
Downstairs, he opened the refrigerator door in search of an apple. A sheet of typing paper caught the sudden breeze and flapped at him. It had been pinned there with two magnets—one a butterfly, the other a duck with an abnormal-looking head—and was undoubtedly one of Chandra’s famous pronouncements. He poured himself a second cup of coffee before he pulled the sheet loose of its magnets and took it to the kitchen table.
“Jesus!” Frederick shouted, and jumped just enough that a trickle of hot coffee laced its way down his wrist. A sly movement in the window had startled him, but now he saw what it was: the same orange cat that had been on the front porch. Now it was stretching itself on the windowsill. Frederick ignored it. Over the rim of his cup, and through the lens of his newly acquired no-line bifocals, Frederick read the note. It is of earth-shattering importance that you wake me at nine. Sukie will be here at ten. Who the hell was Sukie? We have to drive to Augusta. Frederick rolled the note up into a ball and pitched it at the window. It hit exactly where he intended, into the blurry face of the orange cat, which was peering hopefully through the glass.
“Sorry, but the soup line’s not open yet,” Frederick said. The cat frisked back and forth on the window ledge, meowing pitifully. “Why don’t you call back around nine fifteen? Madame should be up by then.” He didn’t really dislike cats, but he was allergic to them. Yet Chandra brought strays home as though they were nothing more than doughnuts or pencils. His job was to feed them until they went to a good home. And he received no pity for his allergy since she insisted it was all in his head. She was right about it being in his head. Or in his eyes and nose, to be more precise. Of course, the stray cats were easier to take than the stray humans. Sukie. Frederick wondered what Sukie’s real name was, and if Paul Jablonski had ever served as her meat man. By the time he finished his second cup of coffee, the orange cat had fallen asleep, like a soft field of orange poppies, spread out along the windowsill.
It was nearly eight o’clock and threatening rain when Frederick went into his office and turned on the computer. He pulled up the accounting software and began updating ledgers and entering weekly payroll information for Portland Concrete, his largest client. Having just landed a contract with the city, the company had hired a string of new people, and now Frederick added each one to the list of employees, filling in the necessary personal profile data. There were Theodores and Allans and Margarets, all straightforward and unpretentious names, names borrowed from their ancestors, most likely. There was not one Chandra or Sukie. And, thankfully, there was no Paul Jablonski.
When he’d finished the lengthy data entry, Frederick pressed the keys to automatically print the payroll checks. They had to be delivered by eleven. Just as Portland Concrete’s last check was sputtering out of the printer, the phone in the den rang suddenly, two loud bleats. He listened as the answering machine clicked on. Hello. This is Chandra, he heard, followed by a brief message of instructions. He glanced briefly at his own phone, his separate business line, a necessity if he was to get any sensible work done. He couldn’t spend hours a day prattling brainlessly to Chandra’s students of the mind, not to mention those of the crotch. But, out of curiosity, and in case there had been some family emergency—to Chandra’s family this might mean the toaster burning up—Frederick went begrudgingly into the den and pushed the Play button. There was a call from his brother, Herbert, from the previous evening, which he’d forgotten to erase.
“Hey, Freddy!” Herbert said happily. Frederick could hear laughter in the background, mixed with music. Herbert was no doubt down at the China Boat, his favorite hangout since his wife had packed up and left him. “This is your brother. I was just wondering if…” Frederick pushed the fast-forward button and Herbert’s invitation to dinner sped past in a whir of words. The Girls were not kind to Herbert Stone these days, it was true. But then, Herbert had never been light on his feet when it came to women.
“Lorraine, it’s your mother,” the next voice declared. “I realize that nine thirty is much too early for you to be up, but when you do turn out, call me. Joyce is quite upset that you forgot her birthday yesterday. She says strangers with mental problems are more important to you than your own sister.” There was a sharp click, and then the blessed tone again. Chandra was going to hit the proverbial roof. Frederick smiled appreciatively. He had allies in the strangest of places. He considered taking his mother-in-law on as a client, for free, to repay her for all those years of unknowingly airing his grievances, but her widow’s mite would barely warrant his expertise. Too bad. She deserved his finding her a deduction here and there in the IRS haystack. The old battle-ax was good: Lorraine, I realize nine thirty is too early…
Nine thirty? Frederick looked at his watch. Updating Portland Concrete had taken longer than he had anticipated. Then he remembered Chandra’s declaration on the refrigerator. It is of earth-shattering importance. They had been married for over twenty years; everything in Chandra’s life was of earth-shattering importance.
In the kitchen he filled a cup with hour-old coffee and headed upstairs to their bedroom. When all those blended beans went stale, they were still better than the coffee at Cain’s Corner Grocery that Chandra was addicted to, although she now carried her own ceramic mug in a personal effort to speed up the demise of Styrofoam.
“Honey,” Frederick said, and poked at the lump in their bed. “You’d better get up. Here’s some coffee.” Chandra stretched out her arms, a crucifixion figure, as she did every morning. Frederick had seen the symbolism in it. Not yet ten o’clock and already nailed to the cross for her sacrifices to humanity.
“What time is it?” she asked. She yawned as she reached a hand out in search of the cup.
“A little later than you wanted to get up,” Frederick admitted.
“God, this tastes good,” Chandra said, and he knew she meant it. He had given up on her taste buds years ago. Just as he had given up on the stray cats. “So what time is it, really?” she asked. With a quick flash of her wrist, one slender hand rose up and, with fingers acting like a comb, she swept them through her hair.
“About nine thirty,” he said, though by now it was almost nine forty. He tried to sound frivolous, as though time were a thing to be courted, perhaps, but never obeyed.
“Nine thirty!” Chandra said. “Jesus Christ, I’ll be late for the boycott!” She was suddenly sitting up in bed. With over twenty years of practice, he had still not grown used to how quickly she could switch like that, from being stretched out to sitting up suddenly with a new idea, from being pacifist to wishing anticonservationists would get ambushed in back alleys.
“Damn it, Freddy, I asked you,” Chandra said. She flashed past him to the bathroom, and he followed. “I suppose you had your nose in that computer’s face again.” She was adjusting the knobs for her shower. “You can be pretty thoughtless sometimes,” she said. He leaned against the wall.
“What boycott?” he asked.
“The National Veal Boycott, is all,” Chandra said. “True, there’s no software offered on the subject, but out there, in the hard wear of the world, some important things are taking place.”
“It’s not even ten o’clock,” Frederick said, “and already you’ve come up with a computer pun.”
“I don’t ask you to join me,” Chandra said, and flopped a thick bath towel onto the floor beside the shower stall. “But I do ask you to wake me up.”
“I’ve never understood your aversion to clocks,” said Frederick, bringing up a point he’d mentioned more than once. “Almost everyone, including me, has to wake up to an alarm. That’s what you call a rude awakening. But you get a gentle nudge in the side and a cup of coffee.” He watched as she unbuttoned the top of her pajamas and tossed it past him. It landed with a soft swish in the hallway. Her small breasts bounced as she bent to remove the bottoms.
“Put my pajamas in the hamper, would you please?” The bottoms flew past his head.
“Excellent coffee, I might add,” he said. He watched as she pulled her hair up into a quick ponytail, most of it still brownish-blond with youth, but some strands now gray. It was, Frederick realized, as if an old abacus, that first computer, was busy at work, counting one hair at a time, numbering the days, marking the years. It was all a means of keeping track, wasn’t it? Updating humans. Jesus, but the years were swift bastards.
“One of these days your little country with the secretive coffee beans may need our help,” Chandra was saying. “And it’ll be people like Sukie and me who fight to keep it going so that people like you can keep making excellent coffee.”
“That little country happens to be a thriving democracy,” Frederick said, and was thankful that the Ivory Coast was the only African country to offer beans to the Western world. Otherwise, Chandra might be right. Frederick could tune in to CNN some heartless morning to learn that half the beans of his prized blend was now in the hands of some upstart military regime. “They have a president now and can get along quite nicely without any help from you and Spooky. Incidentally,” he added, “there’s an orange cat on our windowsill.”
“Just until I get it a good home,” Chandra said. “Ignore it.”
“It has no tail,” Frederick said.
“That I can’t do anything about.” The shower door slammed in his face.
• • •
Back at his computer, Frederick paged down his menu of clients to James Bennett, DDS. As the files appeared on the screen, he heard the back door to the kitchen open with a gentle creak.
Who in hell? he thought, wondering if perhaps Joyce, maddened beyond logic, had come after Chandra with a kitchen knife, a birthday gift no doubt from someone who cared. But it was not Joyce. Before him he saw two women who looked as though they were editors of one of those feminist magazines, The Lesbos Biannual, The Menses Monthly, or maybe Sister Sappho, circulation twenty-eight and growing. They peered at Frederick as if to ask what he was doing there.
“We did as the paper told us,” said the shorter woman. She was dwarfish, with a long, thick braid trailing down her back. Frederick accepted the paper she handed him. Sukie. Go around to the back and let yourself in, the note said. The door’s unlocked. How many times had he told Chandra to lock the goddamn doors! And what good did it do for him to lock the things when she left such notes upon them? Chandra seemed to think murders couldn’t occur in Maine. Maybe she and Sukie had boycotted them there or something. And why hadn’t he seen the proclamation when he went out for the morning paper? Walter Muller’s upstairs light, Frederick supposed, had garnered all his attention.
“Sukie, I presume?” Frederick asked, and balled the second note that day into a perfect salvo. He looked at the windowsill for the cat, but it was gone.
“I’m Halona,” the woman said. “This is Sukie.” A pale, thin creature, looking every bit as tall and anemic as Sukie suggested, peered at Frederick over the other woman’s head.
“Chandra’s just getting out of the shower,” he said, and moved in front of the computer monitor to shield Dr. Bennett’s records, as though they were the dentist’s exposed private parts. “Make yourselves at home,” he added sarcastically.
“What’s that?” asked Sukie, and pointed at the computer.
“It’s a computer,” Frederick replied. Good Christ. Had they stepped completely out of the crumply pages of the sixties?
“I mean, what’s all the numbers for?”
“It’s an accounting package,” said Frederick.
“A computer,” said Halona, pushing past Sukie and staring wide-eyed. She pointed at the screen. “Is that the game where somebody steals something and you try to catch them?”
“Game?” asked Frederick. “This isn’t a game. This is information on one of my clients.” It would be futile, he realized, to explain his work to these women. It was then that Chandra breezed into the room, still buttoning her plaid shirt.
“Sorry I’m late,” she said. “Faulty alarm clock.” She threw the sarcasm in Frederick’s direction and then disappeared into the kitchen.
“By the way,” Frederick said as Chandra appeared again, a yogurt in one hand, spoon in the other. He’d been savoring the moment. “There’s a message from your mother.” He watched the frown appear on her forehead. Sukie and Halona, trained picketers that they were, followed her obediently into the den. Frederick heard the button click, and then the curt message. Lorraine, it’s your mother.
“Lorraine?” he heard Sukie’s shrill voice ask. He smiled, delighted.
“My name before I changed it,” he heard Chandra explain. A minute later the trio was on its way, like a tiny mob, back to the computer room and on out to the kitchen. Frederick followed them out of good-natured curiosity. “I even had a notary public involved so the name would be, you know, official. It’s on my license. I mean, it’s legally been my name for over twenty goddamn years, and she still leaves messages like that.” Frederick shrugged his shoulders helplessly when Chandra’s eyes met his.
“An emergency?” he asked, and pushed the tailless orange cat away. The visitors must have let it in, as they did themselves, and now it was twisting snakelike about his calves, marking him well with its scent. He put a foot beneath its stomach and scooted it aside. He could sense a sneeze coming on.
“Emergency my ass,” Chandra said. “Joyce is another year along into what she calls the frightful forties. She likes for people to turn up on her birthday and pity her. Well, I’m afraid I have too many important things to do.” She helped herself to an orange in the fridge and then offered the basket to Sukie and Halona. They shook their heads in harmony.
“Do you need to call her back before we leave?” Sukie asked. “We still got time.”
“I never answer her messages when she calls me Lorraine,” said Chandra. “She says Chandra, she gets called back.”
Frederick remembered the first time he’d ever heard her speak the name Chandra, as though it were a little song, a breeze from along some river running through the night. Chandra. And he remembered her as she had been, her hair thick, wet with rain, smelling slightly of marijuana. “It’s Sanskrit,” she had told him, and he was caught up instantly in how her lips moved when she uttered syllables, as though they were coins she was offering him. “It means moonlike.” And so it did. And so did she, lovely, pale, changeable thing that she was. My God, but he had fallen in love with her faster than you could format a floppy disk.
“It took her about ten years,” Chandra was now saying, “but she finally caught on. If it’s something important she wants, however, you’d be surprised how quickly she can remember names. By the way, my seminar this month, ‘The Psychology of Names,’ is in two weeks. Why don’t you come?” Frederick suppressed a grimace. He imagined the house full to the rafters with Berthas and Lucilles hoping to become Sukies and Halonas.
“My name means fortunate,” Halona said then. “It’s Native American Indian.” Frederick stared at her. With her flaxen hair, blue eyes, and buxom chest, he could imagine her as a kind of woman warrior at the vanguard of some Anglo-Saxon assault upon a castle. Mildred, maybe, but not Pocahontas.
“What does your name mean?” Chandra was asking Sukie.
“I don’t know,” Sukie said. Her hair was thin and fine as a spider’s web, her eyes those of the walking wounded. She would have made an excellent Moonie, Frederick decided.
“Where’d you get it?” asked Chandra.
“My mother gave it to me,” said Sukie, backing up a bit, as though Chandra might heave the orange at her in disgust.
“But what does it mean?” asked Halona.
“I don’t know,” Sukie admitted. She seemed ready to run. Perhaps she sensed what Frederick already knew: it’s a dangerous thing when picketers turned on one another. “It just means Sukie, I guess.”
“You need to come to my seminar for sure,” said Chandra. She gave Frederick a quick kiss. “Bye, sweetie. See you after the boycott.” Fine words from the woman he married. See you after the boycott. “Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a dozen or so marigolds at Home Depot. I’ll set them out tomorrow.”
Chandra gathered up some posters from a corner of the kitchen. He hadn’t noticed them before, but there they were, sad calf faces peering out of tiny crates. He felt that pang again, the swift kick of guilt. Frederick the Abandoner. He shuffled the orange cat, batting it along on the end of his foot, out onto the porch behind the three picketers. The membranes in his nose were vibrating wildly.
“Have you found a home yet for the cat?” Sukie was asking.
“Not yet.” Chandra sighed.
“You should keep him,” Halona said as the cat tried to sneak back in past Frederick’s legs. He shut the door in its orange face.
“We can’t keep a cat,” he heard Chandra say. “Frederick thinks he’s allergic to them.”
“Psychosomatic?” Halona asked. Frederick felt the membranes tickling frantically, demanding his attention. He let fly a worthy sneeze, and hoped it was loud enough to alert the cynics on the porch.
“How long have you been married?” It was Sukie, since the voice was shrill.
“In October it’ll be twenty-one years,” Chandra said, her own voice soft and lilting, hanging on to the rim of excitement. After all, she was on her way to the National Veal Boycott, no less. “We met at Woodstock,” she added.
“He went to Woodstock?” Halona asked, just as Frederick gave in to another robust sneeze.
“I experienced equal measures of belly laughs and tears in my eyes as I read this poignant, funny, and bittersweet novel. Pelletier is a treasure.” - Wally Lamb, autho...
“I experienced equal measures of belly laughs and tears in my eyes as I read this poignant, funny, and bittersweet novel. Pelletier is a treasure.” - Wally Lamb, author of She’s Come Undone
“Cathie Pelletier...[is] in top form. The real marriage here is the natural union of humor and sadness.” - Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
“Pelletier's comic timing is impeccable, topping one absurd scene with another. ” - Chicago Tribune
“Frederick Stone, Woodstock hippie turned oblivious accountant, may have sold his marriage up the river when he sold out to yuppie greed in this exuberant latest from Pelletier Hippie/Yuppie angst rendered hilarious and human by the effervescent wit of rising star Pelletier” - Kirkus
“One of those rare writers who, like Anne Tyler, can make a description of a refrigerator into an entertaining and insightful study of human nature... Pelletier’s quirky voice and highly original sense of humor keep readers enthralled.” - Annette Foglio, Entertainment Weekly
“In a novel that will surely bring her new fans, Pelletier takes scathing aim at the vanities of older baby boomers, reading a generation's identity into imported coffee beans and therapy seminars. ” - Publishers Weekly
“In this always entertaining, often laugh-aloud account of the painful dissolution of a longtime relationship, Pelletier has produced an immensely satisfying novel that echoes the lives of many fortysomething readers. An excellent purchase for public libraries.” - Library Journal
Length: 8 in
Width: 5.25 in
Weight: 0.00 oz
Page Count: 336 pages