The author of the classic Bury Me Standing now gives us a riveting first novel that reaches from the Indian Ocean to London and New York, and into the most confounding precincts of the human heart.
Jean Hubbard is a syndicated health columnist, her British husband, Mark, a successful advertising executive, and after more than twenty years together they revel in a sabbatical on a remote tropical island. But when Jean discovers a salacious love letter addressed to Mark, she realizes that she has misdiagnosed some acute pathologies in her own life. The long idyll of their mutual ease is over—but a more vivid and compelling quest has just begun. Looking for answers, Jean goes undercover with a surreptitious e-mail correspondence that propels her on to alarming, and illuminating, adventures of her own in her adopted home of London and her native New York.
Assured, funny, tender, and provocative, Attachment is unflinching in its depiction of desire, of the responsibility that comes with age and family, and of the impulses that color and disrupt our lives even as they reveal, ever more clearly, the nature of love.
About the Author
Born in New York and educated at Columbia and Oxford, Isabel Fonseca worked at The Times Literary Supplement, and her writing has appeared in a wide range of publications, from The Wall Street Journal and The Nation to The American Scholar, The Economist, and Vogue. She lives in London with her husband and two daughters. Her first book, Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey, was an international best seller.
"[Attachment is a] savvy, sometimes hilarious, sometimes tender voyage into one woman's midlife crisis [with] a surprisingly refreshing denouement...It's a great read." –Sally Valongo, The Toledo Blade
"Just thinking of this novel, I smile. Attachment was so gratifyingly readable. It is plot-rich, which most literary novels are not: an airport novel with an agreeably sophisticated air. This is Isabel Fonseca’s first novel, and she seems born to the fictional trade...When it comes to deciphering our new world and its emotional intricacies, Fonseca is spot on." –Fay Weldon, Financial Times
"Fonseca charts Jean's emotional temperature and her thought processes with brisk lucidity. And she excels at the art of description—of car rides through the streets of London and around a poor but lushly flowering island; of shaving a bed-ridden parent; of examining one's husband with a loving but honest eye." —Misha Berson, The Seattle Times
"Fonseca's vivisection of matrimony and desire is cruelly exacting." –The New Yorker
“An astute observer of human behavior, both real and imagined, [and] a literary heavyweight…Fonseca ultimately transforms the familiar into the foreign, forcing both her characters and her readers to examine their unquestioned perceptions about who they and their loved ones really are.” –Chelsea Bauch, Time Out New York
"Not only smart but smart in a pleasing and all-too-uncommon way: It's insightful about grown-ups in the throes of grown-up emotions...Fonseca is commendably clearheaded and unsentimental about the nature of attachment, particularly in long-standing relationships." —Adelle Waldman, New York Sun
"A gracefully written novel about aging, parents and children, and the mystery that even married partners can be to each other." —Charles McGrath, The New York Times
“A confident, smart first novel [with] a story that seems personal and deeply felt...Fonseca is especially adept at making middle age look shockingly similar to adolescence [in] all its corporeal and sexual insecurities.” –Helen Schulman, The New York Times Book Review
“Fonseca's exploration of middle-aged displacement, both mental and physical, is intelligent, nuanced and immensely satisfying...as fruity and delicious as the cocktails served on the fictional tropical island where it's primarily set.” –Alexandra Jacobs, New York Observer
“An acerbic, funny, and maddening coming-of-wisdom novel…Fonseca’s frank takes on sexuality, sexism, age, and how fear undermines love are canny and tonic.” –Donna Seaman, Booklist, starred review
“Fearless…Fonseca shows off a vicious humor and an unsparing prose style in this ink-dark foray into marriage’s murkier precincts.” –Vogue
“Meandering and thoughtful…Intense and realistic, full of sexual imagery and churning emotion.” –Library Journal
“Fonseca possesses a considerable novelizing talent–a wonderful eye and vocabulary for the observable world, a natural gift for portraiture, and at times a nasty wit about characters we’re not meant to like. She also regularly notices things men might wish women didn’t notice; though in other quarters might wish they did. All, though, is perfectly suited to her complex subject–one worth taking seriously: the difficulty of loving someone you already love, and its corollary, the stony impenetrability of others.”
“A compelling fiction debut…Fonseca’s nonfiction Bury Me Standing drew a vivid portrait of the international Gypsy community, and she shifts locales and emotional registers with evocative ease here, delving deeply into her ensemble’s motivations. She’s as unsparing of their flaws as she is frank about their desires…A dramatic demonstration of the limits of attachment.” —Publishers Weekly