Picks and Pans Review: The Future of Love

updated 03/31/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/31/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Shirley Abbott |

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Abbott's impressive first novel centers on the World Trade Center attacks as a catalyst for characters whose emotional boundaries disappear in a roil of toxic dust. An adulterer allows his wife to think he's dead; a wealthy matron tries to revive her inert marriage; an aging bohemian savoring an affair fears her sin sparked 9/11. Though too many narrators tax her story, Abbott's nuanced take on New York after the fall is spot-on, reminding us that love is about survival as well as loss.

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