Wishful thinking: Leaving, by Roxana Robinson, reviewed

One evening, a man and a woman who haven’t met for decades bump into each other at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It’s a familiar tale, but one to which Roxana Robinson brings many twists in her highly enjoyable latest novel, Leaving. Sarah and Warren were childhood sweethearts in a suburb outside Philadelphia. Sarah was uncertain, made biddable and cautious by cool, judgmental parents. Warren was bold and full of ambition and crazy-sounding dreams. They proved too much, too threatening, for the timid Sarah and she married a man she thought a safer bet. It turned out to be a mistake. Rob, who has electric blue eyes and an

Isolating with the ex: Lucy by the Sea, by Elizabeth Strout, reviewed

Elizabeth Strout’s fourth book about Lucy Barton comes on the heels of Oh William!, shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize. That book tracked Lucy’s growing friendship with her first husband, William, after the death of her second. In Lucy by the Sea, she accompanies William to Maine to ride out the pandemic. Closing the door of her New York apartment, she does not know that she will never see it again; that she will lose a friend and a family member to Covid; and that her relationship with William and her two grown daughters will change. Lucy is at sea at first: she hates the cold, the locals’ distrust of