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What I loved : a novel
Siri Hustvedt
Adult Fiction HUSTVED

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Summary: A powerful and heartbreaking novel that chronicles the epic story of two families, two sons, and two marriages What I Loved begins in New York in 1975, when art historian Leo Hertzberg discovers an extraordinary painting by an unknown artist in a SoHo gallery. He buys the work; tracks down the artist, Bill Wechsler; and the two men embark on a life-long friendship.Leo's story, which spans twenty-five years, follows the evolution of the growing involvement between his family and Bill's-an intricate constellation of attachments that includes the two men; their wives, Erica and Violet; and their children, Matthew and Mark. The families live in the same building in New York, share a house in Vermont during the summer, keep up a lively exchange of thoughts and ideas, and find themselves permanently altered by one another. Over the years, they not only enjoy love but endure loss-in one case sudden, incapacitating loss; in another, a different kind, one that is hidden and slow-growing, and which insidiously erodes the fabric of their lives.Intimate in tone and seductive in its complexity, the novel moves seamlessly from inner worlds to outer worlds, from the deeply private to the public, from physical infirmity to cultural illness. Part family novel, part psychological thriller, What I Loved is a beautifully written exploration of love, loss, and betrayal-and of a man's attempt to make sense of the world and go on living.


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main characters Leo Hertzberg
Male
Married
Erica's husband; secretly in love with Violet.
Art historian

Erica Hertzberg
Female
Married
Leo's wife; English professor.
Professor

Bill Wechsler
Male
Divorced
Violet's husband; painter.
Artist

Violet Wechsler
Female
Married
Bill's wife; Ph.D. student; model for her husband's paintings.
Graduate student



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