Losing Mr. North: A Novel

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9780060184742: Losing Mr. North: A Novel

From the author of Somebody's Baby and The Girls comes a powerful and emotionally charged tale of infidelity and mystery.

Married for thirty-one years, Jack and Linda North live on a spread of land seven hours north of Los Angeles. But once a month, this retired police detective and grandfather of four makes the drive to L.A. and another woman -- Rachel, his mistress of six years. For a week, Jack tidies a different lawn, fixes the broken cogs in a different wheel, and makes love to a different woman with a different set of charms. There are no secrets in this triangle -- each knows the names of the players and the rules, and, despite the nagging disapproval of others, the triangle remains stable by tacit consent of all three. Until one hot, dry Monday when Jack leaves to make the monthly drive -- and never shows up. Now, two women who have held tight to their resentment of each other must come together to find the man they love.

With the uncanny ability to breathe real life into her characters, Elaine Kagan writes a courageous story of the uneasy alliance that binds a wife and a mistress. She explores the compassion borne of shared heartache and deftly describes a riveting journey of two women that breaks the pattern of countless stories of infidelity. Losing Mr. North is a brutally honest and brilliant rendering of an unlikely peace.

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About the Author:

Elaine Kagan is an actress and writer who has appeared in films and television series, including Traffic, Goodfellas, Absolute Power, ER, and Alias. She is the author of four previous, critically praised novels, The Girls, Blue Heaven, Somebody's Baby, and No Good-Byes. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is currently at work on her next novel and a screenplay.

From Publishers Weekly:

Writer and actress Kagan (The Girls) pens a domestic drama that turns on a romantic triangle. Jack North is a retired cop and grandfather of four, living seven hours from Los Angeles. Most of the time, Jack is a good husband to Linda, his wife of 35 years. But once a month he gets an itch, leaves home without warning and drives to L.A. to spend a few days with his mistress of six years, Rachel, a freelance journalist. Even though wife and mistress have never met, they each know about the other Linda has read Rachel's articles, for example. When Jack disappears en route to visit Rachel, she has no choice but to contact Linda, and the two eventually meet face-to-face. Kagan is adept at evenhandedly portraying the familial and societal disapproval each woman suffers before Jack's disappearance: Rachel for loving the wrong man and Linda for not leaving him. The author effectively uses the narratives of secondary characters to show why some women stick around and why some good men stray. The big loser here is Jack, who never gets to tell his own story and comes across as boorishly inconsiderate of both women. Unlike the stereotypically salacious triangle, this story is just plain sad, leaving the reader with the thudding truth that many a "romantic" triangle comprises three unexceptional people who have reached an implicit detente. Like Kagan's No Good-byes, this is a good summer read quirky, emotional and simply plotted but readers may wish it offered a bit more sunshine.

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