In 1984, Jolene Iolas, a student in upstate New York, encounters Martin Sloane's work while visiting a Toronto gallery. She strikes up a correspondence with the older artist, and eventually they become lovers. And then, without warning, without a word, he vanishes. There is no hint of his fate, no chain of cause and effect to be followed. Over the following months, Jolene sheds her life, losing everything, including her oldest friend, Molly, to her grief. Ten years pass, and Jolene begins to live with Martin's disappearance. But then the opportunity to confront her ghost arises. Word comes from, of all people, Molly, that someone named Sloane has been exhibiting in Irish galleries. Jolene travels to Dublin, where she is reluctantly reunited with her old friend. Together, the two women become lost in a jumble of pasts as they try to piece together what happened to Martin Sloane. Seamlessly crafted and beautifully written, Martin Sloane evokes the mysteries of love and art, the weight of history, and what it means to bear memory for the missing and the dead.
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(200mm x 130mm x 24mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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UK Kirkus Review »
What sort of man would suddenly leave his young lover after several devoted, intense, happy years in which it seemed there was contentment and understanding? And leave her in the dead of the night with not a trace of where he had gone and no word as the years went by? The eponymous Martin Sloane is a reticent 50-year-old artist who is wooed by a lonely college girl with a home life which disintegrated long ago, after her mother's death. Jolene is gripped at first by his mysterious beautifully crafted boxes with ingeniously hidden objects, and later by the artist himself. He is her first love, but theirs is an equal partnership in which both reveal themselves in stages to one another, always keeping something back. As his fame increases it seems there is no obstacle to their happiness, until Jolene's old college room-mate, Molly, comes to stay for the weekend, and Martin abruptly leaves, never to be seen again. Jolene and Molly have different theories about what happened and their friendship disintegrates. After a decade of numb loss and grief, Jolene begins to live and love again. Then, when boxes appear in a Dublin gallery under the name of Martin Sloane, the two women cross the Atlantic and try to salvage enough of their friendship to put the past to rest. In his first novel, Michael Redhill delicately and with wit explores the mainsprings of character which bring two sensitive people into a powerful relationship, and the devastation to one partner when the other disappears. It may sound terribly heavy and morose, but it isn't. Most of the novel is an amusing celebration of Martin and Jolene's love and an exploration of their childhoods, which slowly reveal why the adults behave as they do. This is an accomplished book which wears its thoughtfulness lightly and brings its mysteries to a satisfying conclusion. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Michael Redhill
Michael Redhill is a poet and playwright. He lives in Toronto. Martin Sloane is his first novel.