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"The Feast of Love" by Charles Baxter

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Three interweaved narratives populate Charles Baxter's "The Feast of Love." One involves Bradley Smith, something of a putz whose two unfortunate marriages (so far) ended badly: one wife leaves him for a woman, and the second leaves him for her long-time sex partner. That relationship ends badly for the self-absorbed cheating wife.

My favorite plot has to do with Chloe (pronounced clo-WAY). Chloe has outrageous sex with, and then marries, Oscar. A couple of months later the poor thing is widowed. Chloe has visions; she's quite young but has wisdom in worldly matters; she sees mystical things while high, but understands their import in the cold light of day. She undergoes the worst heartache in the book, but she emerges from it. She's a goddess - she even says so. You can't read this book and not fall in love with her. She's Venus with 21st century techno-patter.

"The Feast of Love" is replete with lessons: don't pick someone based solely on looks; don't blame the other person exclusively when he or she cuts and runs; don't settle; don't invest too much emotion in your partner; trust your local psychic.

This highly readable book will engage you with its characters. You will come away wiser and with an appreciative smile for the author. By all means, read "The Feast of Love."
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