This is a well-crafted and lyrically written narrative, evocative of an era gone by. It tells the story of Olympia Biddleford, the unusually erudite and well-educated fifteen year old daughter of a Boston Brahmin. One hot and steamy summer in turn of the century New Hampshire, she falls passionately and utterly in love with her father's friend, forty one year old John Haskell, a physician and man of letters, who has a wife and four children. She, captivated by his intelligence and his crusade on behalf of exploited mill workers, and he, drawn to her youth, intelligence and beauty, leave all thought of propriety behind. Breaking every moral and social taboo of the time, they enter into a forbidden, illicit love affair, which is ultimately doomed, with cataclysmic ramifications for all whom the affair touches.
The book explores how this young woman copes with the loss of her life in a larger social milieu, once the affair enters into the public domain, through the machinations of another. She and the doctor, as well as their respective families, are tainted with scandal and presented with the fruit of that illicit love. The book explores how Olympia must reconstruct the tatters of her life into one in which she is finally able to expiate her youthful indiscretion within the context of the mores of the time. In doing so, she goes on a voyage of self-discovery. Yet, through it all, she never once renounces her devotion to the man who introduced her to the throes of a passion so deep and profound that she gave herself over to it, body and soul. How these star-crossed lovers finally come to terms with their grand passion is a story that the author seamlessly weaves into a book that will hold the reader in its thrall.
Translated into Spanish, those for whom Spanish is their first language are now afforded the opportunity to read this wonderul book.