"The emotional and moral complexity that [Jane Smiley] uncovers in the characters of these resonant novellas confirms [her] singular talent. ORDINARY LOVE & GOOD WILL is an extraordinary achievement."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
At a reunion with her grown children, a woman recalls the long-ago affair that ended her relationship with their father--and changed all their lives irrevocably.
Despite the carefully self-sufficient life he has designed for his small family, a man discovers that even the right choices have unexpected consequences--sometimes heart-breaking ones.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Ordinary Love and Good Will|
|Release Date: 01-05-2011|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Ordinary Love and Good Will
I sit back on my heels and say, "It's only six-thirty. What's with you?"
But I know. We both know. He crosses the kitchen and pours himself his first cup of coffee. He drinks them three at a time, I've noticed this summer, hot and with lots of milk and sugar. Now he turns away from the coffeemaker, and the cup is half empty before he sits at the table. He is grinning. Michael will be here today. Michael, Joe's identical twin, has been teaching mathematics in a secondary school in Benares, India for two years. That is why I am buffing the floor, why neither of us can relax.
The floor is pegged maple, about seventy-five years old. The boards vary in width from two inches to five, and are laid diagonally. In the last fifteen minutes, I have worked my way from the pantry to the back door, into a long bronze leaf of sunlight that colors my forearms and turns my hands muscular with shadows. I like this floor, troublesome as it is: caring for it, I remind myself of my mother, and this city, in spite of all its trees, seems rather like Nebraska, where I grew up. The long, rhythmic motions with the rag are soothing and productive at the same time.
Joe says, "I think I'll leave for the airport about nine." He is bouncing in his chair. I smile and say, "Why don't you leave now?"
"I'm relaxed, Mom. What makes you think I'm not relaxed?" His expression is almost maniacal. They are twenty-five, and they have not seen each other in two years. "You, woman, get up and have a cup of tea or someth...