Image of Cleaning Nabokov's House: A Novel

CLEANING NABOKOV'S HOUSE

Image of Cleaning Nabokov's House: A Novel
Author(s): 

This literary novel is a pleasure to read, with beautiful language and original characters. While the combination of an unknown Nabokov novel about Babe Ruth, a cathouse for middle-aged women and a woman finding her true self seems improbable on the surface, it works. Readers can look forward to light humor and the dreamy sensation of dropping into another world where nothing is too unusual to happen or too painful to bear.

After the death of Barb’s father, she and her husband move from New York City to her husband’s small hometown. Her husband is contemptuous and controlling of her and when she leaves him and her two children, she finds she can’t get the children back. Barb finds a motel room to live in and gets a job writing letters to customers who write to the Old Daitch Dairy. One day she’s considering whether to jump to her death when events lead her to a house where Nabokov lived and may have left part of an unpublished manuscript. It’s the start of a new life she could never have imagined, one that includes a cathouse for the town’s women, a handsome carpenter and a new Barb. (TOUCHSTONE, Mar., 336 pp., $24.00)
Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor