LEFT: A LOVE STORY
Hogan breaks from her young adult background with a stunning and poignant novel that will hit readers straight in the heart. Fay is a fully realized protagonist with nothing to hide from readers. We’re with her as she realizes her husband is slowly slipping away from dementia and as she finally comes to terms with her new reality. The prose is spotless, with descriptions of New York brownstones and edifices that pull readers even deeper into the tale.
When the end of a vacation in Spain turns into a nightmare for Fay, she holds it against her husband. She married Judge Paul Agarra when she was in her early twenties and he was a divorced father in his mid-40s. While he insists that he did nothing wrong when he left her alone on a Spanish street corner, Fay is truly hurt. She starts fantasizing about a stately apartment building in New York she discovered one day and creates a running commentary in her head about the inhabitants and what her future home in the building might be like. Still mad at Paul, she punishes him in petty ways, until one night the police show up at her door. Now she must take seriously the changes that are happening in Paul. His court clerk can only cover the judge’s forgetfulness for so long, and even the dog is getting wise to Paul’s missteps. Paul’s son and ex-wife will fight Fay for a while, but being a caregiver is far from the fantasy that Fay longs for. (WILLIAM MORROW, Jun., 256 pp., $15.99)