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Banishing Verona

Livesey, Margot

571 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0805074627 / ISBN 13: 9780805074628
Published by Henry Holt & Co, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2004
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

SIGNED on Title Page. 1st Edition-Stated. 1st Printing-Full # Line. New copy. Never read. Not price clipped. Not a remainder. Bottom corners of boards have tiny crush marks. Dust Jacket has the same tiny crush marks. Still a very nice copy. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 001999

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Banishing Verona

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


A couple begins an intense affair, only to be separated abruptly-and perhaps irrevocably-in this surprising, suspenseful love story

Zeke is twenty-nine, a man who looks like a Raphael angel and who earns his living as a painter and carpenter in London. He reads the world a little differently from most people and has trouble with such ordinary activities as lying, deciphering expressions, recognizing faces. Verona is thirty-seven, confident, hot-tempered, a modestly successful radio show host, unmarried, and seven months pregnant. When the two meet in a house that Zeke is renovating, they fall in love, only to be separated less than twenty-four hours later when Verona leaves abruptly, without explanation, for Boston.

Both Zeke and Verona, it turns out, have complications in their lives, though not of a romantic kind. Verona's involve her brother, Henry, who is tied up in shady financial dealings. Zeke's father has had a heart attack and his mother is threatening to run away with her lover, all of which puts pressure on Zeke to take over the family grocery business. And yet he finds himself following Verona to Boston. As he pursues her, and she pursues Henry, both are forced to ask the perplexing question: Can we ever know another person?

Deftly plotted and filled with unexpected twists, Banishing Verona marks the arrival of another lyrical and wise novel from a writer whose work "radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery" (Alice Sebold).


Margot Livesey's Banishing Verona is the story of two people who enjoy an enchanted evening together, and then spend the next few weeks chasing each other across continents in order to decide if it's the real thing. Zeke Cafarelli is an endearingly timid, rather obsessive-compulsive housepainter who dismantles clocks, "laying out the springs and coils in careful sequence and putting them back together," in order to gain the courage to leave his house. Verona MacIntyre is a seven-months-pregnant radio talk show host who goes back and forth between wanting to rescue her wayward brother and simply wanting to rescue herself. The backdrop for this ethereal novel is London and Boston, and Livesey does a masterful job of creating characters out of the cities and places that house her protagonists.

Banishing Verona is a love story at its core; however, Zeke and Verona are seen together in only a few scenes. Instead, Livesey tells the story from each character's perspective, overlapping time and place yet creating entirely unique situations. Each event is described with such precision that even the most mundane tasks take on a sense of importance that feels almost palpable. ("Then he noticed the red light on the phone, blinking ... He raised the receiver and heard only the usual high-pitched note; he had no idea what to do next.")

While her attention to detail may seem a bit excessive at times, Livesey is undeniably adept at creating a vivid, colorful world whose only purpose is to exist as a backdrop for Zeke and Verona's search for self, and for each other. Even secondary characters, like Zeke's employee Emmanuel and Verona's brother Henry, are only there to accentuate the good (and the bad) in our hero and heroine. Still, the underlying message here is that no one ever really knows anyone else, or as Zeke says, "Only years later ... did he grasp that even at their most vivid ... his thoughts were invisible, not only to teachers and tyrants, but to everyone..." What keeps us reading this dreamy novel until the very last page is the hope that people exist who are willing to take a chance on what can never truly be a sure thing. --Gisele Toueg

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