- Title: Where or When
- Author: Anita Shreve
- ISBN: 9780156031271
- Page: 165
- Format: Paperback
Charles Callahan is reading the Sunday paper when an alluring and oddly familiar photo catches his eye it is Sian Richards, his first love, a face he has not seen for than three decades He is entranced by her image, flooded by memories of their teenage summer together, and utterly conpelled to make contact with her again Charles sends Sian a letter, knowing all theCharles Callahan is reading the Sunday paper when an alluring and oddly familiar photo catches his eye it is Sian Richards, his first love, a face he has not seen for than three decades He is entranced by her image, flooded by memories of their teenage summer together, and utterly conpelled to make contact with her again Charles sends Sian a letter, knowing all the while that from the very first sentence of the very first note there was nothing innocent about it Sian writes back she is now a poet living with her husband and small child on an onion farm in Pennsylvania She is intrigued that Charles has sought her out after so many years but wary of where their correspondence might lead For Charles, troubled by financial woes, on the verge of losing his home, and concerned about the security of his family, the letters become a secret obsession and another source of instability in his already complicated life Despite their reservations, the power of Charles and Sian s attraction leads them to meet again and again As Charles understands it, for the two of them, eros is linked with time It is the very urgency of time he dreads, the sense that their minutes together are short and numbered, that he must say what he has come to say before she leaves, that gestures and words cannot be wasted Anita Shreve takes the classic theme of Romeo and Juliet and gives it an unusual twist two lovers struggle against formidable odds, reaching across a lifetime to reclaim what they once lost In doing so, they set in motion a tumultuous series of events that moves inexorably to a shocking conclusion.
Recent Comments "Where or When"
I have to put this one in the 'Hated it' category. It's truly one of the most terrible books I've ever read with the most selfish characters imaginable. It's about a couple who reunites after only knowing each other after meeting in a summer camp when they were 12. Supposedly, they "fell in love", but their continued love story which knows no bounds, not even the bonds of marriage, and is less about love and more about lust. You'll find more smut than the worst Harlequinn novel between the pages [...]
I love this book because it interposes the akward innocence of deep young love with the carnality of mature love. The book is summed up in this quote: "Was there, or could there ever be, he wondered then, and wonders now, a reconciliation between innocence and sexuality?" It does this by intertwining present day sex sessions with flashbacks to the intensity of young adolescent love in which every gesture and touch meant something. The book is about old innocent first lovers who meet again 31 yea [...]
I have to say I am shocked by all the negative reviews of this book. I found it phenomenal, a tour de force of love, lust, destiny and confusion. I saw the ending coming almost from the very beginning, yet I was compelled to read on, compelled to find out how they reached the inevitable train wreck. I'm not sure why many people dislike books simply because they dislike, or cannot relate to the characters. Many masterpieces of literature have despicable characters; the story and its denouement ar [...]
Ok, first, they were 14, not 12. If you don't believe a person can fall in love at 14, don't bother reading this, or "Romeo and Juliet," either. Second, some of the sex scenes were graphic, but it was not "smutty" and nothing like a Harlequin novel. Anita Shreve is a gifted writer, regardless of whether you personally like her characters. Third, who reads fiction for moral guidance? It's a novel, about fictional--and flawed--characters, not a self-help book. I found the descriptions of the chara [...]
Thought this book would be great by the back of the cover"What would you do if, out of the blue, you recieved a letter from your first love?" How many times have i been fooled by the back cover!?Too, bad i thought it would be a good read, but it is just a sad story, the main characters wreck thier lives, and marriages, the dude drives off the bridge. he dead or what??? The ladys husband shoots himself?? Puh-leeease! Get a grip- what do you think is gonna happend then the worst part is the badmin [...]
I'm not really sure how to rate this book. While it was good and I had to finish it to see how it ended, I was repulsed by the story also. The writing style was a little different than what I was used to and it took a little while to figure out who's point of view you were reading. Like I said before, the story was compelling and kept you going, but at the same time, I was repulsed by the story. I think it was the fact that I didn't agree with what they were doing and felt like you have to be ol [...]
Anita Shreve is my favorite author but this book was horrible. I hated the main characters, I hated the premise and found it totally unbelievable. They met for one week at summer camp when they were twelve? And fell in LOVE? And now, in their adulthood, they are going to leave their spouses to be together? It just really didn't do it for me.
I usually enjoy Anita Shreve quite a bit. This story was a sad story as well as repulsing. I just can't stand how selfish humans can be. This was not Shreve's best book.
I have so many conflicting feelings about this book that I really hesitate to presume to write a review. In the first place: this is such a childish plot, it's more like a Nicholas Sparks book. Two people meet 30 years after they fell in love at camp and spent only one week together when they were age 14. Who does that in real life?!In the second place, this book is really an anachronism because so much of the communication is based on desperate letters sent by overnight mail and phone calls mad [...]
Despite what other people said, I really liked this book. it was well-written and the story was very intriguing. Young love, coming-of-age, reunion and infidelity, things I love to read in a novel every day. Besides, this book is so dear in my heart for it discusses first love, losing it and then finding it back again after years of waiting and almost forgetting that there was still a person out there who still remembers you. Maybe this book gave me some hope that this could also happen to me. W [...]
THE MOST I COULD SAY ABOUT THIS BOOK IN GENERAL IS: "IT WAS OK". ALTHOUGH I READ IT FAST IN TWO DAYS, THERE WERE A LOT OF DETAILS THAT DID NOT FIT. THIS MAN COULD NOT PROVIDE A LIVING FOR HIS FAMILY, AND KEPT SPENDING MONEY ON TRAVELING TO MEET HER, HOTEL ETC. HE ALWAYS SAID IT WAS A BUSINESS TRIP BUT NEVER PRODUCED ANY MONEY. MORE THINGS KEPT BEING ADDED TO THEIR PAST RELATIONSHIP THAT NO LONGER FITTED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN A WEEK AT CAMP WITH TWO FOURTEEN YEAR OLDS.I WAS DISAPPOINTED IN THE END [...]
A heart wrenching sad love story.Can we rekindle young love?People live unhappy lives and only realise when they find what they have been looking for, but is it too late?A very moving book that will stay with me !
I enjoyed reading this bleak book about an affair between two people who fall in love at the age of fourteen, and rekindle their relationship decades later when they are both in their forties, much less than other books I've read by Anita Shreve. I felt the plot moved too slowly in this novel, and I had difficulty in believing the premise of the book: that teenage love can survive 30+ years. The passion of the relationship was well described, as was the see-sawing of the lovers' feelings from eu [...]
The author presents a very graphic portrayal of that common query “What might have been?” of two people grasping with a gap of 31 years since first meeting as young teenagers. Their dilemma is in balancing erotic love with morality and responsibility, both having relatively normal but not completely satisfying marriages and children they adore, but with both marriages besought with what seem like relatively trivial personal issues, but very serious financial problems. The very enlightening n [...]
The sad thing about this book is that it is not believable at all. And it's not in the fantasy genre, so no excuses. I'm a romantic to the core, but I highly doubt that these two very immatured people found love at the age of 14, and that too in a week's time. Uh huh, I'm not buying that! More like lust, if you ask me. Charles comes across to me as an irresponsible, deranged man who just wants to escape from his financial troubles. Also, it's quite amazing how he is broke, but he magically alway [...]
I normally enjoy reading books by Anita Shreve, however, this book was nothing like her other books in not only the style of which it was written but also it's contexts.Where or When is about 2 people who met at camp when they were in their late teens. They fell in love during that week and then they both went on to live their seperate lives. Fast forward 31 years and they meet again, fall back in love and start an illicit affair - both are married with children. I had great difficulty reading t [...]
I haven't read anything by Anita Shreve before. Not sure if this was written for a predominantly female or male readership, but as a guy I found sufficient depth, sensitivity, and insight into the middle aged male psyche here to send shivers down my spine. Published in the early nineties, the subtext of the story is one of financial decline, depression, businesses closing, therefore every bit as relevant now in 2011 as it was back then.The male and female leads here are middle aged, both married [...]
Guess I'm not a hopeless romantic. This book was a little too sappy for me. To me, the love of your life is the one with whom you weather all of life's storms and sunny days, not the person to whom you were physically attracted during one week of your childhood. Total destruction and devastation were the result of the betrayal and selfishness that came from chasing a dream that was probably too good to be true in the long haul.
Awful book about two adulterous scum. Had I known that was what this book was about, I would have never picked it up. I did read the entire thing, but simply to learn something of why these types of people think as they do - abandoning a real life - a spouse and children to have a little fun. Waste of a life. Waste of a book.
2 stars because I just positively love the style of this author but eek the plot was so sad and wrong. Great example of how wickedness never was happiness. I had to skip several paragraphs throughout because of the explicitness. But I do love the author's style and enjoyed a few of her other books.
A satisfying story of love/lust that is driven by middle aged dissatisfaction. Anita Shreve is good with words, so I could easily suspend disbelief or distaste for the main character for the 240 pages.
This is the second Anita Shreve book I have read and I found it very similar to the other (The Last Time They Met). Both had middle-aged people reuniting with their one true love from their youth. Both had dramatic endings - though this one did not match the astonishing ending of The Last Time They Met. And both I found to be faintly wishy-washy in the first part, an almost dreamlike quality appearing in the writing with lots of atmospheric language. The second half picked up and went hurtling t [...]
A picture in a news advertisement; the "innocent" exchange of a few letters; an aranged meeting after 31 years, and lives are changed forever. Where or When is one of those disturbing stories that some of us have magically lived, some of us have longingly wished for, and some of us are grateful to have never experienced. Throughout, readers ride on a wave of emotions that range from heart-wrenching sympathy to sensual excitement to overwhelming disgust. It's a story that deeply loves, breaks hea [...]
What a selfish book. Two people marry for the wrong reasons and go back to their childhood sweethearts instead of admitting they married for the wrong reasons. The man is obsessed with the woman, clearly. Why worry about your business and losing your house, and try to do something about it? No, let's go have an affair with your "true love" that you met thirty years ago for one week that you know practically nothing about. And what kind of woman leaves her husband right after she gives him the ne [...]
I expected not to like this book (given the adulterous subject matter) but I actually enjoyed it and felt the reality of the situation in the writing. Ms Shreve has a writing style that I love reading and she has such a way of creating characters that are so real in their flaws and thoughts that you feel that this is not a work of fiction. She adds different media into her story either through adding newspaper articles and research papers (which she did in strange fits of passion) and letters be [...]
From the get-go, I knew this was going to end in disaster. I was not at all fond of the Charles character. I felt he acted irresponsibly in his financial life, his marriage and ultimately, in his seeking of the past, which I think may have been part escapism from his current mess of a life. Yes, I think he did love Sian, that they were fated to mate, that they should have been together but that does not excuse the rest. I found I was sincerely irritated at him for being so passive about his busi [...]
I remember I went to some movie about a love affair between people who were married to somebody elses, and finding it unappealing. I wondered if it was simply because I found it immoral, but I couldn't quite make up my mind.This book held my attention the whole time, and all I felt for the people was great sorrow. The compulsion that (was so well-written and) pulled the two lovers together, while knowing how much they would hurt their spouses and children, was overpowering.I didn't used to think [...]
I didn't love this book, but I didn't dislike it either. It had its moments, but it also had some areas that did not peak my interest. The story of a businessman, bored with his day-to-day life who on a whim decides to write a note to his first love. After much correspondence between the two, they decide to meet upd neither of them could have imagined the whirlwind they were in for. Much of this book is predictable, although there are a few twists and turns that throw you for a loop. Not Shreve' [...]
Anita Shreve is quite the story teller. The concept of a long ago love coming back into your life after 31 years sounds much too delicious. Yes, some of the story just didn't add up, like how could a broke guy afford hotel rooms and such, but the gist of the story was so compelling, I forgave these little distractions. The music choices brought me back to my own teenage years. What would one do if faced with a similar situation? I'd like to think I know. A very interesting ending. Just for bring [...]
This book is about finding an old love and the memories that resurface and challenge everything you're comfortable with and think of as your future. The ending catches you off guard which makes the book even that much more intriguing rather than having a typical ending. It's also a combination of stories from each of the lead character's perspective and love letters between the two. It was a quick read - I finished it in less than a day.
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