Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 03:53
Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick
Cynthia Ozick is one of America’s literary treasures. For her sixth novel, she set herself a brilliant challenge: to retell the story of Henry James’s The Ambassadors—the work he considered his best—but as a photographic negative, that is the plot is the same, the meaning is reversed. At the core of the story is Bea Nightingale, a fiftyish divorced schoolteacher whose life has been on hold during the many years since her brief marriage. When her estranged, difficult brother asks her to leave New York for Paris to retrieve a nephew she barely knows, she becomes entangled in the lives of her brother’s family and even, after so long, her ex-husband.