A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
I’d only known Frank Deford as a terrific sports writer, so I was intrigued to see a novel by him on our new fiction shelves. Since reading it, I have recommended it to a number of people because it is one very good story.
A big part of why it succeeds is the framework: Sydney, an 86-year woman dying of cancer, has asked her son Teddy to visit so she can tell him important things about her life that she has not spoken of before. During her narrative, she speaks of her childhood and young adulthood. She concentrates especially on her once-in-a-lifetime love affair with the Nazi diplomat’s son she met while she was at the 1936 Berlin Olympics with the American women’s swim team. Teddy is thunderstruck by her revelation because the only man he ever knew in his mother’s life was her deceased husband, his father, and he saw their marriage as long and happy. As she resolves for him the reality he experienced with the one that preceded it, he learns a great deal about her life, his own, great loss and great love.
–Reviewed by Christine