INNOCENCE

Author(s): 
This beautifully written book spans 15 years in the life of aspiring actress turned teacher Evie Garlick. The plot examines Evie's life from her arrival in London from Ohio at 18 to study acting to years later, when single-mother Evie is haunted -- figuratively, by dreams deferred and literally, by the ghost of her dead friend Robbie.

Robbie's reappearance, as unexplainable as it is, comes at a time when Evie is hiding from life and love in the guise of taking care of her son. Robbie forces her to re-examine her choices, regrets and desires. In doing so, Evie realizes that she needs to dream and love again if she is to live rather than exist.

Tessaro vividly brings the pain of Evie's lost love and dreams to life. She effortlessly captures, without cliche, the carelessness with which people throw themselves into their first love affairs and the pain that results when love dies. The setting of London in the '80s (and beyond) and the strong supporting characters, from Robbie to Evie's landlady, Bunny, to the two loves of her life, Jake and Piotr, strengthen and add dimension to a story that stays with the reader long after the last page. (Jun., 384 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Stephanie Schneider