The Remedy for Love: A Novel

Roorbach, Bill

Published by Algonquin Books, 2014
ISBN 10: 1616203315 / ISBN 13: 9781616203313
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FINALIST FOR THE 2014 KIRKUS PRIZE FOR FICTION

“A flat-out funny, sexy, and poignant romantic thriller.”*

They’re calling for the “Storm of the Century,” and in western Maine, that means something. So Eric closes his law office early and heads to the grocery store. But when an unkempt and seemingly unstable young woman in line comes up short on cash, a kind of old-school charity takes hold of his heart—twenty bucks and a ride home; that’s the least he can do.

Trouble is, Danielle doesn’t really have a home. She’s squatting in a cabin deep in the woods: no electricity, no plumbing, no heat. Eric, with troubles—and secrets—of his own, tries to walk away but finds he can’t. She’ll need food, water, and firewood, and that’s just to get her through the storm: there’s a whole long winter ahead.

Resigned to help, fending off her violent mistrust of him, he gets her set up, departs with relief, and climbs back to the road, but—winds howling, snow mounting—he finds his car missing, phone inside. In desperation, he returns to the cabin. Danielle’s terrified, then merely enraged. And as the storm intensifies, these two lost souls are forced to ride it out together.

Intensely moving, frequently funny, The Remedy for Love is a harrowing story about the truths we reveal when there is no time or space for artifice.

“One of the best novels of this or any year.” —*David Abrams, author of Fobbit

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014: Roorbach’s previous book, Life Among Giants, was an Amazon Best of the Month “spotlight” pick and one of my favorites of 2012. In The Remedy for Love, he again creates believably damaged, oddball characters: a buttoned-up, cuckolded small-town stud (Eric), and a bruised, half-starved mystery girl (Danielle). Eric is a lawyer. He does pro bono work. He’s separated from his wife. Danielle is... well, we’re not sure who she is. She looks homeless, but we soon catch glimpses of her “retractable beauty, like a cat’s claws.” Eric feels responsible for her somehow—“a moral tug.” So after buying her groceries, and carrying them to her cabin in the woods, Eric returns to the cabin as a snowstorm begins to shut the roads and blanket the town white. In no time, the two are locked inside as the snow piles higher. Cynical readers may need to make a leap of faith here. (I found myself once asking, “Really?”) Even Danielle seems freaked out by Eric’s irrational helpfulness. “Get the f**k out!” she screams at him. “You’re so nicey-nice, you f**king creeper.” The story then finds its theatrical groove, with crackling, smart dialogue that made me think Taylor-Burton in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? (“I like when you call me Eric.” “Then I’ll stop.”) Within the chilled and claustrophobic confines of the cabin, as Danielle’s mysteries unfold and the storm outside rages, you think you know where things are headed, but how Roorbach gets us there is unexpected, sexy, and intense. Edgy and quite moving, the story stuck with me for many days. –Neal Thompson

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Title: The Remedy for Love: A Novel
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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