The Future of Love

It’s early September, 2001, and eight interconnected New Yorkers are trying to make sense of their love lives. Mark?s an out-of-work stockbroker cheating on his wife with his daughter’s preschool teacher; Antonia?s a widowed 1960s feminist sleeping with a married aristocrat; and Candance is a lesbian power lawyer planning a fancy commitment ceremony. In her first novel, The Future of Love, Shirley Abbott (who?s the author of a memoir titled The Bookmaker?s Daughter) manages an ambitious cast with a reasonably smooth hand. Not so her handling of 9/11. But though she treats the tragedy with respect, it never feels organic to the story, playing instead like a mere device for her to explore the well-trod themes of life, love, and death. B-