A woman finally discovers what she wants–and what it costs.
Ellie Homans keeps a running tally of â€œshoulds” in her mind, a list of her failures as the wife of an eminent surgeon from one of Boston’s first families and mother to a son following in his father’s footsteps and a daughter who hates her. The list is a catalog of battles she’s lost over the years, from the decoration of the house to where her daughter Annie should go to college. The result for the still-beautiful woman in her early 40s is an empty marriage to a cold, arrogant, dismissive husband. Her sole escape is her art studio, where she spends several hours painting each day. The solitude has paid off, and as she’s about to host her first single-artist show, an old friend returns to the neighborhood. Like Ellie, Alex Lindsay has reached midlife and finds himself caught in a passionless marriage, and like Ellie’s husband, he is the son of a prominent family and an accomplished man of ambition–on the verge of running for the Senate, he is also considered a possible presidential candidate. Ellie and Alex feel a connection immediately, and they soon discover the love and passion they had missed for so long. Before they are able to ask their respective spouses for divorce, however, Alex’s wife is stricken with cancer and dies. Then Ellie’s husband reveals his knowledge of the affair and threatens to ruin them both unless they break off their relationship. Though the predictable story lags toward the end, Curtis (Song for a Lifetime, 1999) unfolds this romantic drama set among the New England aristocracy with an assured hand.
Rich, engaging characters demonstrate that love often comes at a high price.