An Imaginative Experience

An Imaginative Experience

Book - 1994
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Baker & Taylor
A comedy of manners follows the love that builds, after a chance meeting, between an impulsive woman and a man who has recently lost his wife and child

Blackwell North Amer
Sylvester Wykes is on his usual train ride home to London when suddenly he smells the burn of brakes as the emergency cord is pulled and the train hisses to a stop in the middle of the countryside. A white-faced woman has leapt from the moving train to save a sheep stranded near the tracks. As the other passengers look on in horror and embarrassment, Wykes sees something more: a face full of anguish. He is captivated by the woman, and continues to watch as she leaves the train and threads her way through the hurrying crowd. Dressed in a long black coat down to her ankles and a big black hat pulled low over her nose, she reminds him of Greta Garbo in the film Ninotchka, seen long ago in black and white.
Only later will Sylvester learn the source of Julia Piper's sorrow: the sudden deaths of both her husband and child in an automobile accident. Julia is still stunned by her loss, unable to fill her days, yet unable to share her grief with anyone. Even the trip downstairs to the corner store, which is owned by the doting Patel family, is nearly more than she can bear. Sylvester's life is also at sixes and sevens - his wife has left him, and though he's curiously unmoved by her desertion, he finds himself impulsively posting an advertisement on the bulletin board at the corner store: Cleaner wanted four hours a week. And unbeknownst to any of them, it is Julia herself - in a desperate attempt to do something - who will answer his ad.
Sylvester is never home when his cleaning lady arrives and it is the Patels who supply Julia with the key to the apartment. The only way Sylvester knows she's been there is that the apartment is spotless - and by her little notes, reminding him "You need more bath soap" and "Your garden requires TLC." It will be Julia who supplies the loving care the garden needs - and in bringing it back to life, she brings several other things to life as well.
A train ride interrupted, a life interrupted: from this chance encounter unfolds a tale of unforgettable strength - of grief, release, comic fatalism, and the "imaginative experience" of love.

& Taylor

An accomplished and affecting comedy of manners, from an eighty-year-old author, follows the love that builds, after a chance meeting, between an impulsive woman and a man who has recently lost his wife and child. 15,000 first printing.

Publisher: London : New York : Bantam, 1994
ISBN: 9780670856497
Characteristics: p ; cm


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