Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Principles Of Navigation by Lynn Sloan

Alice and Rolly Becotte are young professionals, married and living in the Midwest where they'd moved after college for Rolly's job.  He is an art professor at the local college while working on his sculpture on the side.  She is a reporter on a small local paper which means she covers farm news, local festivals and events and everything else that comes along.

Rolly is about to break out in his career and is very focused on his work.  He has a show lined up and his sabbatical will take them to Norway for a year.  Alice is focused not on her career but on her dream of having a family.  More than anything, she wants to be pregnant with their first baby.

As the months roll by, the difference in focus and motivation starts to create fissures in their relationship.  Rolly feels that Alice is tying him down and sees a family as the beginning of the end of his artistic vision and work.  Alice resents Rolly for not wanting what she does and not being willing to commit to a family.  Soon each is caught up in strategies to get what they want and the anger and resentment start to crack the solidness of their marriage.

Lynn Sloan has written a hauntingly beautiful tale of what happens to relationships even when both parties are in love but the pair are not focused on the same goals.  The reader is caught between the two protagonists, able to see each's point of view and heartsick at the choices they make as time rolls on.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction as well as women's literature and anyone interested in marriage and what makes it succeed or fail.

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