In the summer of 1963 a plot for revenge destroys a career, a friendship, and a family. The consequences of the scandalous event continue to reverberate, touching the next generation. Thirty years later, over the course of one day, Jon struggles to decide whether to end his affair or his marriage. His wife, Ginny, moving closer to discovering his adultery, begins working for an older man who is mysteriously connected to their families’ pasts. And Jon’s mistress is being courted by a suitor who may be more menacing than he initially seems. As relationships among the characters ebb and flow on that July day, Christina Schwarz illuminates the ties that bind people together—and the surprising risks they take in the name of love.
Christina Schwarz is the best-selling author of Drowning Ruth which was a Best Novel nominee for the Oprah Book Club. Following this she wrote the well received novel All Is Vanity. Now we have her newest story So Long At The Fair, an emotion driven look into a small town family and the struggle of a lifetime.
Jon and Ginny are the average thirty-something couple, but their marriage is being tested by Jon's indecision with regards to his wife. The main plot is set within one day of their lives and introduces us to the main characters and the problems they face. However, through multiple flashbacks we find ourselves learning about how events from before their births are still affecting them. Throw in more flashbacks, and the story of how Jon and Ginny met and married is revealed.
Their are also many supporting stories mixed in telling about Jon's older brother, Jon's mistress Freddi and her suitor Ethan, and also Jon's friend and business associate Kaiser. While all of these characters are relevant to the main story-line, it can become somewhat convoluted when trying to remember whose related to who and when.
So Long At The Fair was well written with strong dialogue, an interesting story and average characterization, however upon reaching the end it seemed like a long build-up to an anti-climatic ending. More follow-up on Ginny seemed called for and I felt myself much more interested in the supporting characters of Kaiser and Ethan.
Last thoughts on this book are that I did enjoy reading it, but I would have been happier with a more thought-out ending.
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