by Warren R. B. Dixon

"He could see his own brief life in theirs. He could look into this mirror, this coming-home, at death."

Morgan Sizemore harbors the bohemian lifestyle almost as if he has no choice. Living in a drafty beach house owned by his friend Ragnar Jack, Morgan works as a university professor of literature almost as an afterthought. Professionally, his torturous thoughts turn instead to writing the next novel in a collection of commercially ignored works. Morgan’s escape is found in the company and the intimacy of the opposite sex, which is hindered or accelerated by his inability to commit to a single lover. Thrice divorced because of his wandering eyes and hands, Morgan now acknowledges his own inability to settle down, opting instead to alternate between his lovers depending on his physical and emotional needs. Told over four parts each representing a season of 1973, this story follows a man struggling with detachment on all social levels, looking for a way to find contentment.

Beautifully written with strong metaphors and powerful imagery, every detail of this book comes to life. The sputtering engine fumes of a Volkswagen bus, the nipping cold of New England winters, sights, sounds, smells, and people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean—all of these find life in the words of the author. Morgan’s character can be a hard one to like or even root for considering his debauchery and misanthropic tendencies, but that challenge may come from how identifiable his worries and concerns can be for readers. Too bleak to be a beatnik, too unfulfilled to be anarchistic, the outlook of this story’s character feels as confused and yearning as anyone’s oft-discussed mid-life crisis. As readers follow Morgan on a quest for any kind of lasting, internal peace, they will be drawn in by the author’s deft linguistic touches and powerful command of storytelling.

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