Read The Future of Love: A Novel by Shirley Abbott Online


Set in New York in 2001, Abbott's debut novel invites us into the lives of good people grappling with the hard choices and the sacrifices they must make to find love. In the manner of a contemporary Edith Wharton, Shirley Abbott exposes the inner lives and the tangled relationships of eight characters—before and after New York's tragedy—and forces both them and the readerSet in New York in 2001, Abbott's debut novel invites us into the lives of good people grappling with the hard choices and the sacrifices they must make to find love. In the manner of a contemporary Edith Wharton, Shirley Abbott exposes the inner lives and the tangled relationships of eight characters—before and after New York's tragedy—and forces both them and the reader to see the world in a new way. Having assembled a smart, compelling ensemble, reminiscent of HBO's Six Feet Under, Abbott allows us to see the possibility of happiness even as the city itself is tested. With humor and profound empathy, she has crafted a novel that runs deep into the heart of our need for commitment from friends, lovers, and family....

Title : The Future of Love: A Novel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781565125674
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Future of Love: A Novel Reviews

  • Jesus
    2019-04-24 22:59

    This emotional read stops just short of melodrama, though at times the intertwining stories of these New Yorkers reads like a soap opera. In the first half of the novel, the characters live in balanced dysfunction, seeking happiness in their unhappy lives through infidelity (or tolerating their lovers' infidelities). But when terrorists bring down the World Trade Center towers, their dysfunctional arrangements are exposed, crumbling down like the towers. Without the false security of their illicit loves, each has no choice but to confront (and accept?) the underlying unhappiness in their lives. Yet this seeming acceptance is without true resolution, and all are left longing for happiness just out of reach. Are we expected to confront our sad, finite lives by pursuing personal happiness and connection? The author suggests it ... but who among her characters is brave enough to do it?

  • Read Between the Pages
    2019-05-04 22:52

    The Future of Love is a novel by Shirley Abbott. It's about 8 different relationships, but it's not as confusing as it seems. Everyone is connected by some way; either neighbors, friends, family, etc. etc. The book is based from August of 2001, September of 2002. The middle of the book is all about 9/11, and the events that happened, so if you don't want to read that, I advise you don't read this book.Each character has their own personality and quirks. Mark has a wife and child and a lover. His lover is his child's teacher. His wife's mother has a lover who is married. The mother's lover lies to his wife on a daily basis. The wife is homophobic and doesn't want her granddaughter's commitment ceremony at the house. The granddaughter's girlfriend/fiancee's uncle is Mark's wife's mother's neighbors and he is also gay and living with his boyfriend of a million years. Ahh...well this story sure sounds like there will be interesting outcomes huh?Okay, the plot is a little too much at first. I thought: Why are there so many characters in this book? But then I realized it mainly focuses on Mark, Anotnia (Mark's wife's mother), Sam (mother's lover), and everyone either has short chapters or their stories and movements are mentioned in these threes parts. This novel is nicely structured, and it doesn't overlap. Each person's point of view gets a chapter, and when that chapter ends, the next person gets their turn. It's easy reading and flow very well.The plot itself is interesting. Everyone cheating and lying and just being overall terrible to each other. Everyone only thinking about themselves and not about anyone else around them. This book will get you mad, but it really shows how people are. Selfish. What comes first is their own well being and wants, and not anyone else's. That's how people think, until they realize: Oh woah no. I have to consider everyone else's feelings if I do this.The description in the book is intense. Everything is described pretty well, but at times it's too much. Like some parts in the book were drawn out for 4-5 pages just because of the description. Instead of this book being 307 pages, it could have been 200. That's how much description is in this novel. But it doesn't make the novel bad. Like, it doesn't enhance it the way Abbott intended, but it doesn't distract from the plot points. Overall, this book gets a 3/5. Took me a long time to get through it, but it was alright. Not superb but not terrible.

  • Lindsay
    2019-05-10 16:55

    It always feels good to finally finish reading a book that I started months ago. I really think I got this last Spring, read a few chapters than got distracted by something else. It wasn't a bad book, when I started reading it again I kept at it, mostly I think to see how it would end. Everyone in the book seems to be cheating on each other, and oddly enough, I actually didn't disapprove of them cheating, because the person who they were married to seemed like a bitch, and I was happy when one of them got what she deserved at the end (death). The story follows the lives of about 6 or so people who are all interlocked with each other, and how the events of the September 11 attacks changed the way they looked at life and love for them. The attacks didn't affect me because I live no where near NYC, but everyone in this book seemed to take it as a sign that it was time to change their lives. Leave their wife and child for their mistress, leave their mistress for their wife. Try to work things out with the cheating husband. It really made me wonder if this is how people in New York thought about things when the event happened. Like it was a sign that they should start living a life that they want instead of the life that they currently had. There was really only one character that I really liked, the mom, and was happy when she got her happy ending. I felt like she deserved it. So yeah, it wasn't bad, but it didn't touch me like I felt it would. There were sometimes when I would get a little confused because there are so many characters in it, and it seemed a bit wordy at parts, but I guess it does make you take another look at the relationship that you have with your partner. So what is the future of love? I think it's whatever you make of it.

  • Jane Pratt
    2019-05-16 21:46

    This novel follows the interconnected lives of eight New Yorkers just prior to and just after September 11th. The common thread to all eight characters is that they are all looking for love, but they don’t necessarily find it in the expected places. The story is centered around Antonia, a widow in her 70’s who is having an affair with a married man named Sam. Antonia’s daughter, Maggie, is married to Mark who is having an affair with their daughter’s preschool teacher. Sam has been in a loveless marriage to Edith for over forty years, yet he can’t even contemplate divorce because he would risk losing his beloved home. Sam and Edith have a granddaughter named Alison who is in a lesbian relationship with Candace and the couple wants to have a commitment ceremony on Sam’s estate. Greg is Candace’s uncle and the downstairs neighbor to Antonia. He’s lived with his partner for forty-five years and is dying of lung cancer. After the World Trade Center bombings, all the characters begin to view their futures in new ways. The author pursues all these plots in a third person narrative and each chapter is devoted to one specific character. Abbott has an elegant writing style and she does a good job of tying up all the interrelationships in the story.

  • Toni H
    2019-05-07 17:07

    This book tells the story of eight different couples, and the various choices, sacrifices, and struggles that they each encounter in finding and keeping love. It shows each of the people both before and after the 9/11 New York Tragedy. The characters were easy to relate to, even though at times it was hard to follow. It was interesting to see how the differences in the relationships, and even how each person interacted with each other, post 9/11. Even though you don’t realize how something like that could impact personal relationships and love, it truly does. [return]Some of the characters were not fully developed or followed as much as I would have liked for them to have been. I would have liked to know more about each of the people, but there’s only so much information that you can fit inside a book. This may have been Abbott’s debut novel, but I would definitely look for other novels written by her.

  • Titus Burley
    2019-05-13 17:45

    Shirley Abbott's book is not a comedy despite the plug on the cover suggesting it a modern comedy of manners. It is a serious novel about relationships. Set in New York before, during, and after 9/11, it alternates a rotating cast of character perspectives. What Abbott does best and with incredible insight is capture the unspoken part of relationships, the things that people think but choose not to say. I was not surprised to learn after completing the novel that Abbott is herself a senior citizen. It takes years of living to gleen the understanding that she has of the human thought process in regard to relationships. There's a wisdom to this novel even as the reader grows frustrated with the doomed choices some of these characters make in their lives. It was a book that hit close to the bone in some regards.

  • Mistiemae1 Downs
    2019-05-16 22:03

    The Future of Love chronicles the lives of eight interwined individuals leading up to and after the attacks on September 11, 2001. While Shirley Abbott's writing was skillful and the characters (mostly) realistic--I especially enjoyed Antonia--ultimately I was left feeling rather blah about the book. There wasn't anything that I particularly disliked, though Mark's storyline seemed a bit farfetched to me, but it could also be said that there wasn't anything I particularly liked about the book either. I lay the book down beside me when I finished and contemplated what I'd gained from reading about these people, in this place, in this time. In the end, the answer was nothing.

  • Heather
    2019-05-19 17:40

    Not a Pulitzer-winner, but an easy, light read that I devoured quickly. Another 9-11 story (why am I drawn to morbidity!?) about a group of people whose lives are more intertwined than they'd ever imagined or hoped. One man has to make a huge choice: start over with a scatter-brained lover or stick with his faithful-yet-bland wife and child? (Ultimately, he chooses both.) Another woman introduces her grown daughter to her lover, a man who adores his palatial homestead more than his wife. A gay couple deals with the ugly process of death. In the end, they all get exactly what they want - and quickly return it, opting instead for the comfortable devils they already know.

  • Danielle
    2019-05-14 22:49

    Pretty good book overall, kept me reading, though I couldn't really connect with any of the characters. They were all pretty miserable, lying individuals. But maybe that was the point. I didn't like how everyone was cheating on everyone and never saw the consequences, although I guess maybe being stuck miserable in a life you hate is consequence enough. I myself enjoyed how 9/11 was interwoven into the story. Very somber story overall.

  • Alecia
    2019-05-17 22:53

    This is a 9/11 book, and it is about the effect it had on different families and couples. Of course, there have been quite a few novels with similar themes written since then. It actually picked up after the horrific events of 9/11 and the story moved along faster. Some of the characters were more fully fleshed out than others. I was not that enthusiastic about this book when I began, but enjoyed more it as I went along.

  • Amanda Birdwell
    2019-05-20 00:00

    I really liked this book. Admittedly, I am biased because it is about nere-do-wells and childlike adults not getting it together throughout Brooklyn and New York. But it was thoughtfully observed, nuanced, and moving. And I am so freaking excited to determine that Shirley Abbott has written other books, all of which I now plan to check out and read!

  • Nette
    2019-05-09 18:52

    I enjoyed this one -- good characters, plenty of wit -- but when it turned into another 9/11 tale I was a bit disappointed. I suppose that a book that starts on a September day in New York City and drops a lot of hints about Bush's first term should have alerted me to what was about to happen. It seemed jarring, though, and unnecessary.

  • Catherine
    2019-04-24 19:07

    While I didn't think I wanted or needed to read another 9/11 book this piece of fiction was complex and different enough to hold my attention. Each character approached life and love in their own way- enough to feel very real to me. Worth reading.

  • Gaurett
    2019-05-19 00:06

    I really enjoyed this book even though it was sad. It is set in NYC about a family. A recently widowed mother, her friends and her daughter and daughter's husband are the main characters. It is a before and after 9/11 perspective of the life of this complex family of characters.

  • Dianne Gruber
    2019-05-11 20:53

    I didn't like this at first. It seemed to be about a passel of rich cardboard characters. But then the World Trade Centers collapsed, and the characters became people. I grew to like all the characters, except Edith of course.

  • Holly
    2019-05-05 20:50

    The Future of Love was an entertaining read about the intertwined love lives of four couples. It involves affairs, death and of course love. It's set right before, during and right after 9/11 in Manhatten. The description of what the characters go through on that day is well written.

  • Lynn
    2019-05-10 18:41

    Starred recommendation in Booklist

  • Sheri
    2019-04-25 18:53

    Interesting book set immediately pre/post September 11.It is a book about relationships and the complexities that come with loving someone and family dynamics.It would make a great movie!

  • Tyra
    2019-04-28 23:09

    A very satisifying story about the year in the life of a multigenerational family. Nice interweaving of characters and life and it was a change from a sweeping saga over many years.

  • Victoria Lee
    2019-05-19 21:06

    The book is about eight different couples and their encounters in finding love. It was okay but many of the characters were not fully developed.

  • Holly
    2019-05-16 20:06

    I'm more than halfway done and am completely wrapped up in all the characters' stories! I wondered if I would like one of these 9/11 books--this one is excellent!

  • Natasha
    2019-05-04 19:09

    Eh. I didn't really get into this book. It didn't keep my attention.