All That Is

Perhaps the last word of this title was edited out, “Disappointing”. I was caught up in the masterly writing of Salter from the start, but became jaded by the twists and turns his characters took. Various grand love affairs consume the aging but still handsome Bowman, divorced early and burned by a conniving woman who took the farmhouse he purchased for them. It was a bit too obvious that something was going to happen to the mom and son in the train when Eddins packs them away into the car and waves goodbye. I was especially displeased by the eye-rolling need for Bowman’s character to whisk the daughter of the conniving girlfriend away to Paris, only to leave her a note in the hotel room and smirk about how her mother would take it. But the ending was the weakest part: he realizes that he needs to hide his shriveled old man legs beneath pants so the new girlfriend won’t see, and proposes a trip to Venice in November. He doesn’t even like this new girlfriend, but we see him churning on, always in need of a companion. (Poor review of this book due mostly to the fact I finished it a week ago and tried to purge it from memory)