Joyce Maynard was a freshman at Yale when she published her memorable New York Times cover story, "An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back at Life." Her most recent novel, To Die For, is now a movie produced by Columbia Pictures. She lives in Keene, New Hamphire, with her three children.
Maynard's precocious debut 23 years ago at age 18 was founded on unsparing commentary on contemporary American life‘but the same reliance on pop culture and brand names reduces her new novel to a paean to the middlebrow. Claire Temple is part Martha Stewart, part supermother, a children's museum director in a New England town. A curiously colorless character, she is involved in a series of relationships with vividly drawn‘if not very competent‘men. Ex-husband Sam fights dirty for custody, paints her as the heavy and never contributes enough money. Mickey, met through a personal ad, is Claire's one true love, but he communicates with her only by phone and, in any case, says he doesn't like children. Tim is a penniless biology teacher with a sad-sack seven-year-old: it is the loss of his child (reminiscent of The Good Mother)that proves the one compelling story element here. Meanwhile, Claire's children have the requisite melodramatic flourishes: a blue-haired, nose-ringed friend; scrapes with the law; a pregnancy scare; an auto accident. As an everywoman, Claire rings true, if familiar, but her ruminations on the way love dies are provocative. Literary Guild alternate; author tour. (Aug.)
"This is a splendid, heartfelt novel that knows far too much about what is going wrong between men and women in these strange and dizzying times. Joyce Maynard's subject is love, but her gift is presenting it in all its many masks and stoney guises as men and women blunder toward each other with all the tenderness of their wounds open for all to see. Her book feels real enough to live in."
-- Pat Conroy "Where Love Goes is a novel that has the intimacy and directness of a voice whispering in your ear. It is about love, loss, memory, music, men, women, children -- and how they drag us kicking and screaming into adulthood. A lovely book. And true." -- Erica Jong "The subject here is love, between parents and kids, husbands and wives, and lovers -- how we beat each other up with it, misplace and misunderstand it, and fall on our swords over it, then find the touchingly human bravery to get up the next day and start pursuing it again. Joyce Maynard has written a pitch-perfect, wise, heartbreaking, and ultimately triumphant book." -- Charles Gaines "Funny, tender, and true...Maynard's best yet." -- Kirkus Reviews
It's romance, 1990s style, as Claire meets the love of her life‘another divorced parent like herself. Unfortunately, the effort to make their two families one has mixed results.