Margot Livesey

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  • 2004
  • Henry Holt & Co. and Picador
  • Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, iBook
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Banishing Verona

Zeke is twenty-nine and working as a carpenter and painter in London. Verona is thirty-seven, headstrong, and seven months pregnant.

When the two meet in a house that Zeke is renovating, they fall in love, only to be separated less than twenty-four hours later when Verona mysteriously disappears.

After much searching, Zeke discovers that Verona has traveled to Boston to help Henry, her brother, disentangle himself from some shady financial matters. Just as impulsively as he fell for Verona, Zeke decides to follow her to Boston. It is here that both lovers take on further and more desperate searches of their own.

In the Author's Words

"I was thrilled to publish Eva Moves the Furniture but it also left me somewhat adrift. For more than a decade, after the publication of each new novel, I had returned to working on Eva for a few months, before again giving up and moving on to a new project. So finally finishing the novel took me by surprise. I found myself returning to a long cherished character, a young man with Asperger's Syndrome, who had never quite found a place in any previous work.

"I became interested in Asperger's not only because the children of various friends had been diagnosed with this condition but also because it seemed like a wonderful lens through which to examine human behaviour. Two of the defining characteristics of Asperger's are difficulty with intimacy and an inability to grasp subtext: irony, humour, mendacity, hyperbole. I decided to put my character, Zeke, in the situation that is surely one of the ultimate tests of our grasp of subtext: falling in love. And who would be the object of his affections? It had to be someone very different from himself. Enter Verona, tall, plain, eight years older, seven months pregnant, and struggling with her n'er do well brother's complicated affairs."

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Praise for Banishing Verona

"Banishing Verona reminds me just why Margot Livesey is one of my favorite contemporary writers, those who keep the novel alive and vividly engaging. For her keen wit and wise heart, for her mingling of the tender and the diabolical—never mind her knack for holding the reader in thrall to a suspenseful story—she is a master, pure and simple." Julie Glass

"Remarkable ... In Banishing Verona, [Livesey] weaves a story that has plenty of heft—and that challenges the reader to rethink their own notions about the power of romantic love." People

"Livesey's winning new book ... captures the magic of an unlikely young romance by never subjecting it to too much analysis... [Her lovers'] longing for each other, tender, mutual, and inexplicable, is this lovely book's powerful underlying chord." Entertainment Weekly

"An enthralling novel of desire, deception, and trust." O The Oprah Magazine

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