After You've Gone is the second novel I have read by Jeffrey Lent. The first one was a Civil War ditty titled In the Fall about a Vermont farmer fighting in the "War," and then returning to Vermont with a former slave, now his wife, in tow. Yeah, things were complicated.
After You've Gone relates the story of Henry Dorn, a college professor, who after his unsatisfying childhood, determines to rectify this by moving away from his home, Nova Scotia, and seeking other places to live. Don't we all like to run from our past sometime? Not necessarily a new idea, at all.
In the process, Dorn marries Olivia, has three children and settles down to live out that life in New York. Of course, when life is planned to be happy ever after, it isn't, and Henry receives the tragedy that sends him "away" from his life and to Amsterdam, where he takes cello lessons from a secretive Russian and meets the "independent" Lydia.
With that little plot summary, the story sounds rather ordinary, but it is Lent's chronological approach, his layering of Henry's childhood with Henry's adulthood, and Lent's beautiful descriptions that make this book a must read.
Blog note: The cover I downloaded was not the one on the book I read, and I this one is much more accurate to the book's content... as much as that is possible -- the one I read -- looked like it could be about anything.
Robyn: I tidied up the length for you.... :)