A mature-romance novel set in New Mexico.
Foyt (The Sculpture of Time, 2011) tells the story of Christopher and Marlene, two recent immigrants to Taos, N.M., who fall in love with their adopted city and eventually each other. Christopher, a retired nuclear physicist, works on his first novel, while Marlene, newly arrived from Germany, spends her days painting the landscape and people around her. The two team up to open a microbrewery, and their relationship is tested by the hurdles they deal with along the way: Christopher hits a rough patch in his book, and a powerful enemy of Marlene’s threatens to destroy everything. (Readers also follow the story of Oscar and Susan, the characters in Christopher’s novel.) Although Christopher and Marlene run into their share of troubles while getting their brew pub up and running, the ease with which they eventually manage to pull it off may strain some readers’ credulity, as will the fact that the vice president of the United States shows up for their grand opening. Also, the unpublished Christopher improbably manages to draw a large, attentive audience for multiple readings from his unfinished novel. The author also drops hints throughout his novel (and Christopher’s novel) about a nuclear terrorism threat that turn out to be red herrings. These aspects, however, are in keeping with the book’s appealingly light and airy tone. The shocking conclusion may strike readers as a bit of a departure, however; Foyt, like Christopher, makes a bold decision that may upset some readers, as it brings the book to a dramatic end but leaves unanswered questions.
An often intriguing story of two unconventional characters with a surprise or two along the way.