The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd is the debut, literary fiction novel about a woman who loves her seperateness. After Celia's husband dies prematurely from cancer, she buys an apartment building consisting of four apartments. She becomes the landlord to three other tenants in a downtown Brooklyn building. Celia is highly practiced at remaining apart from the people in her building until Hope arrives.
Hope is an unwanted subletter who Celia sees as a threat to her being able to remain alone and without the usual intimacies that come with living in such close proximity to other people. Celia would rather wallow in her grief although it has been five years since her husbands death. After many failed attempts at living a full life again, she eventually embarks on a journey towards redemption and hope.
The Affairs of Others is exceptionally well-written. My ARC has many highlighted passages that show a keen awareness in Loyd's writing and has made lasting impressions on me. I love the mentioning of women say sorry too often even when it is not their's to say. Mostly Celia is reflective which is a good thing, but a bad thing as well.
Celia's need to make sense of everything ways heavy on the reader especially when it seems she's so maudlin most of the time. I wanted to strangle the life into her and insist she enjoy the world and all it's offerings for the sake of her husband. Since she credits her separateness to his death, it's easy to want to challenge her to live fully because he's unable to. Celia is a character that has mostly no direction and takes some weird steps on her journey of letting go.
Essentially, Amy Grace Loyd has written a novel worth reading. The Affairs of Others is not for everyone but I encourage lover's of literary fiction or women's lit to give it a go. There are beautiful passages galore. I only wish I could have warmed up to Celia more. Then again that would be in direct violation of remaining separate. ***