THE FARTHER SHORE by Robert M. Coates


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For those who remember Robert Coates' chilly Wisteria Cottage (1948) -- this is again a drama of psychological deviation played out to its fatal finale at a New York city summer seaside resort. Anton Cormoris, a middle-aged piano-tuner who leads a lonely life in the rear room of a rooming house, is attracted to the waitress who serves him in the cheap restaurant he frequents, writes her a few sentimental letters, and later follows her uptown and takes her out. Edie responds to his ponderous, protective interest in her, and this drab romance progresses to an affair- and then to a common law marriage (Edie has been married once and has two children- farmed out) through which Cormoris attempts to domesticate her. But while their sexual relationship prods prurient memories of the past, it also arouses many doubts in the present for Cormoris who finds her innocence appealing, her lies disturbing, and he is often ridden by suspicion and latent jealousy. Their uneasy moments together drive them further and further apart until Cormoris puts an end to his nagging doubts and misgivings as he sends her ""far away"".... An uncomfortable and uncompromising observer, Coates records this shabby attachment with splendid precision so that the reader, while not attracted to these people, may well be committed to determine the inevitability of their fate.

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace