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Two women reunite decades after their passionate affair in this “nuanced, assured, and razor-sharp” novel about motherhood, womanhood, and “what it means to be alive” ( Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train). “A complex portrait of two women’s sexuality.” —Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones Pages for Her is the story of two women, Flannery and Anne, each at a personal turning point, and the circumstances that lead to their reunion. Twenty years after their brief but passionate affair, chronicled in Sylvia Brownrigg’s earlier novel Pages for You, Flannery has the chance once again to meet Anne, who opened young Flannery up to the possibility of love—then left her heartbroken.
Having long ago put their love behind them, they live now on opposite coasts. Anne has been in a deep, childless partnership with a fellow scholar, Jasper, who recently left her. Flannery, to her own surprise, married a charismatic artist named Charles, with whom she has a young daughter. Submerged by her husband’s demands and personality and her adjustment to motherhood, Flannery has lost sight of herself and her work. When the two women meet at a conference, they find that the passion and understanding between them has endured, though it has been hidden. In rediscovering each other, they are able to rediscover themselves.
Pages for Her is an exhilarating, passionate work that explores marriage, sexuality, and the transformative power of love over time.
About the Author
Sylvia Brownrigg is the author of a collection of stories, Ten Women Who Shook the World, and the novels Pages for You and The Metaphysical Touch. She has a degree in philosophy from Yale University and lives in Berkeley, California.
“Sharp observations about motherhood and womanhood . . . Audacious, confident, smart, seductive.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Brownrigg’s deeply thoughtful, absorbing novel is a sequel to Pages for You (2001), which made a significant splash as a kind of erotic bildungsroman.” —San Francisco Chronicle, ‘1 of 100 Best Books of 2017’
“[A] deeply thoughtful, absorbing fifth novel . . . Pages for Her is filled with such rich considerations—of meaning, direction, comparative ways of being—in restless, sensuous prose . . . We're glad to come to know these women, and to be taught by what happens between them.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“An insightful consideration of the unexpected ways that relationships shape and change us.” —After Ellen
“As sharp as the original . . . Pages for Her is a fascinating bookend.” —Boris Kachka, Vulture
“A thoughtful examination of the passage of time and how romantic relationships, both past and present, warp and sustain us.” —Lambda Literary
“A poetic and in–depth look at the self—as individual, writer, mother, wife, daughter, and lover.” —ZYZZYVA
“Reading Brownrigg’s novels feels like entering a fictional world that is less fussy, more real. Mainstream fiction could do with substantially more fiction about romance between teenagers and between middle–aged women . . . For now, we have these pages.” —Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic
“Touches on so many important women’s issues, including marriage, motherhood, and sexuality.” —Hello Giggles, ‘1 of 13 New Paperbacks to Stash in Your Beach Bag for Summer Reading’
“Captivating . . . Brownrigg, who lives in Berkeley, animates her sequel with love, marriage, feminism and 'the knife–edges of sexuality.” —The Mercury News
“Sylvia Brownrigg’s latest novel, Pages for Her, reads like a contemporary Symposium, in which two whip–smart Yale alumnae try to puzzle out desire in the wake of past satisfactions and midlife disappointments . . . The book’s . . . observations illustrate how compellingly perceptive the characters are—and how rewardingly surprising and precise Brownrigg’s language is.” —Yale Magazine
“Emotionally authentic and sincere.” —Dallas Morning News
“Brownrigg . . . approaches her characters with clarity and sensitivity, capturing the nuances in the women’s relationships to the people they love—as mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, or lover—and the power they give those people to define and inspire them . . . Brownrigg considers motherhood, romance, identity, and the changes brought by time in this tender, insightful novel.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[A] thoughtful, gentle, yet passionate novel . . . Brownrigg’s themes of sexuality, betrayal, marriage, and identity resonate along with this tale’s strong sense of yearning as it poses the question, Can you be a soul mate with someone you haven’t seen in two decades?” —Booklist
“Sylvia Brownrigg’s Pages for Her is a complex portrait of two women’s sexuality. In the romantic universe of Brownrigg’s novel, there is no either/or, no simple black and white. When characters—read people—are freed from the often blinding forces of personal obligation and private loss, a lust for intimacy takes over. In Pages for Her, Brownrigg gives us two accomplished women who, coming together after decades apart, understand that truth laid bare is best beguiled.” —Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
“In this intense, compelling novel, Sylvia Brownrigg writes vividly about passion rekindled in midlife with the force of a tsunami. Pages for Her, the sequel to Pages for You, stands as a beautiful testament to human complexity, reminding us that fierce love comes in many forms, none of them mutually exclusive.” —Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl
“Pages for Her takes on all the Big Questions in women’s lives: what it means to have ‘enough’ in love, sex, work, motherhood; what we deserve; what we long for; how we get trapped; how we can break free. I found myself reading with pen in hand, compelled to underline both Brownrigg’s gorgeous prose and her astute insights.” —Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape
“Sylvia Brownrigg's elegant, absorbing, beautifully written new novel is structured as a double narrative that twists closer together with every chapter, bringing Anne and Flannery together again. The many fans of Pages For You will love this brilliant continuation of their story.” —Kate Christensen, PEN–Faulkner–award winning author of The Great Man
“With Pages for Her, Sylvia Brownrigg has achieved the seemingly impossible, a gorgeous and piercing book that is both a huge gift to the many readers who loved its predecessor Pages for You, and an exquisitely intelligent stand–alone novel about the intertwined arcs of time and love.” —Ann Packer, author of The Children's Crusade
“With Pages for Her, Brownrigg does open–heart surgery, probing the deep chamber where unfinished love resides, untouchable by time, still beating.” —Carol Anshaw, author of Carry the One
“In elegant, graceful prose, Sylvia Brownrigg glides in and out of the lives of two women: Flannery, a writer married to a bombastic artist who values her beauty more than her mind; and Anne, an academic nearly a decade older whose decision not to have a child ends to her long–term relationship. Many years ago, these women shared a once–in–a–lifetime passion. Now, brought together serendipitously, they are surprised to find that time has done little to tamp down desire. Nuanced, assured, and razor–sharp, Pages for Her is both a bittersweet story about rekindled love and a profound meditation on what it means to be alive.” —Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train