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Good Hearts

PDF The time is now; the man and woman are Rosa and Wesley. Good and powerfully magnetic people, they have lived in marriage for twenty-eight years. They have good jobs, their skills are valued, and they have a good home. They mostly cherish and honor one another. Yet with no clear warning, their marriage breaks one evening in December. Soon they are more than light years apart. Wesley is in Nashville with a younger woman and all the ghosts he has tried to leave. Rosa is alone at home in Raleigh; in the absence of the man who vowed to protect her, she suffers a dark and mysterious assault. Too brave to settle for easy answers, they spend a long winter facing the trials of freedom and duty, madness and pain. Then, as spring comes, they try—with the help of family, friends and strangers—to turn again to face one another.

In his first novel, A Long and Happy Life, Reynolds Price created a whole rich world centered on the courtship of Rosacoke Mustian and Wesley Beavers. The beauty and passion of those young lovers made them famous overnight. Their story has never been out of print in twenty-five years, and a new generation now knows them in their enduring power. They launched their creator on the distinguished career that reached a recent peak with the publication of Kate Vaiden, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award as the best novel of 1986.

Now in Good Hearts, his seventh novel, Reynolds Price makes a whole new, independent world from the same man and woman in the midst of full lives. On the story's first day, he says this of them, "…they'd come through again as what they'd been most days of their lives—people worth watching and hoping to know." The chance to do both is offered here, richly.

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