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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


MWTR Blog Tour: The White Rose by Jean Hanff Korelitz

I am participating in a new Blog Tour sponsored by Mom Writer's Talk Radio. Mom Writer's Talk Radio is an internet talk show that you can either listen to online or download as an mp3. Hosts and mom writers Paula Schmitt and Alana Morales talk weekly with various authors, hold contests, produce a newsletter, and do a lot to help spread the word about women who have written books while juggling their busy lives as mothers.

As a stop on their blog tour, I'll blog once or twice a month about a new book. Sometimes I'll write reviews, sometimes I'll interview authors, and sometimes I'll just give you some tantalizing bits. In any case, I hope you feel compelled to buy the books and to support these mom writers.

The White Rose
By Jean Hanff Korelitz (Miramax Books, 2006; $13.95)

Jean Hanff Korelitz is a novelist who lives in Princeton, N.J., with her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, and their children.

The White Rose is set in Manhattan, where Marian Kahn has a full and comfortable life. At 48, she is long married, living on Park Avenue, and a tenured professor of history at Columbia, not to mention a very successful author (with boxes of reader fan mail to prove it). Yet she risks everything when she falls passionately in love with Oliver, the 20-something son of her oldest friend and the owner of a chic flower shop in the Village – The White Rose. Their affair is crazy, and Marian knows it, but she can’t seem to find her way out of it, and she isn’t sure she wants to.

Enter Barton, Marian’s snobbish cousin, and Sophie, an heiress and a student in Marian’s department, whom he is engaged to marry. It’s a truly unlikely match and one that Sophie begins to question when she meets Oliver, who personally delivers flowers to her door (ordered by Barton). As the relationships between these four become increasingly entangled, the effects are both comic and tender, and the lesson – that love is seldom straightforward, but always a gift – is applicable to all.

Ever since she first saw Richard Strauss’s opera, Der Rosenkavalier, Korelitz has ruminated on its themes of love and the passage of time, themes which, she admits, only resonate more as she ages. With The White Rose she has cleverly carried the opera’s preoccupations forward to a modern day setting, and produced a provocative, gratifying, and entertaining novel for our times.

"Korelitz is alert both to New York's social geometry and to the melancholy that underlies the glittering surface of her novel." --The New Yorker

"The White Rose engages the imagination and delivers a satisfying tale about the subtleties of love and what it means to follow one's heart." --USA Today

"Incisive and harks back to the gender confusions of Shakespeare's comedies while adding some surprising contemporary twists...Korelitz's characters - charming, idealistic and contradictory-are what make The White Rose so appealing...This novel represents a significant step forward." --The New York Times Book Review

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