by Jonathan Dee

Overview: In her small upstate New York town, Molly Howe is admired for her beauty, poise, and character, until one day a secret is exposed and she is cruelly ostracized. She escapes to Berkeley, where she finds solace in a young art student named John Wheelwright. They embark on an intense, all-consuming affair, until the day Molly disappears–again. A decade later, John is lured by the eccentric advertising visionary Mal Osbourne into a risky venture that threatens to eviscerate every concept, slogan, and gimmick exported by Madison Avenue. And much to John’s amazement, one of the many swept into Osbourne’s creative vortex is the woman who left him devastated so many years before.

Faith Bowers (05/15/16): This is written in 2002 just before cell phones and there are no chapters. The story is divided into 3 parts. This is another find off the "need to be shelved" library cart. I enjoyed Dee's writing and I thought the story was interesting, not great. The first part has the history of the two main characters and how they come together and then separate. Molly is from a dysfunctional family in the 1980s' during the IBM boom. Her personality is shaped by her angry mother who resents living in the middle of nowhere for her husband's job. John Cartwright grew up in the south and went to college in Berkley where he ends up meeting Molly both as twenty year olds. The back and forth between the two histories in different times is what kept me going.

I like business and the book touches on the IBM boom/bust and then goes into depth of an advertising agency. I enjoyed reading about the fantasy of this advertising agency and we again follow John and Mary. In part 3 they meet up again in the culmination of this novel. I enjoyed the book enough to find a later book written by Dee.
Rating: ****

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