For more than a year, Alan Mackenzie has had a bad back. It is ruining his life and also the life of his loyal and affectionate wife, Jane. After years of happy marriage, this attractive and intelligent couple has more or less stopped making love and are turning into people they hardly recognize. Jane, to her own horror, is becoming a resentful caregiver, and Alan is becoming a resentful caregetter.
Meanwhile, another, very different, couple has recently arrived in town. Delia Delaney is a famous writer who has just been appointed a visiting fellow at the university where both Alan and Jane work. Delia’s husband, Henry, appears to be cynical and demanding, though most of his demands are for things Delia wants. At first, Alan and Jane do not like Henry and Delia very much, but these two outsiders soon totally alter them and their lives.
Truth and Consequences is a comedy about love and its disguises, and about identity and change, about the small disasters and sudden attractions that can turn even the most stable relationship upside down. Alison Lurie’s latest novel suggests that a minor illness can cause major trouble. But it can also, with luck, determination, and the right sort of help, free both caregivers and caregetters to become more interesting, braver, and more passionate than they were before.
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