Banishing Verona by Margot Livesey
A Novel

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A couple begins an intense affair, only to be separated abruptly-and perhaps irrevocably-in this surprising, suspenseful love story

Zeke is twenty-nine, a man who looks like a Raphael angel and who earns his living as a painter and carpenter in London. He reads the world a little differently from most people and has trouble with such ordinary activities as lying, deciphering expressions, recognizing faces. Verona is thirty-seven, confident, hot-tempered, a modestly successful radio show host, unmarried, and seven months pregnant. When the two meet in a house that Zeke is renovating, they fall in love, only to be separated less than twenty-four hours later when Verona leaves abruptly, without explanation, for Boston.

Both Zeke and Verona, it turns out, have complications in their lives, though not of a romantic kind. Verona's involve her brother, Henry, who is tied up in shady financial dealings. Zeke's father has had a heart attack and his mother is threatening to run away with her lover, all of which puts pressure on Zeke to take over the family grocery business. And yet he finds himself following Verona to Boston. As he pursues her, and she pursues Henry, both are forced to ask the perplexing question: Can we ever know another person?

Deftly plotted and filled with unexpected twists, Banishing Verona marks the arrival of another lyrical and wise novel from a writer whose work "radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery" (Alice Sebold).


About Margot Livesey

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MARGOT LIVESEY is the acclaimed author of the novels The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture, The Missing World, Criminals and Homework. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue and The Atlantic, and she is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. The House on Fortune Street won the 2009 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. Livesey was born in Scotland and now now lives in the Boston area. She is a distinguished writer-in-residence at Emerson College. Visit her online at or on her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter @MargotLivesey.
Published September 1, 2005 by Henry Holt and Co.. 367 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Banishing Verona

Kirkus Reviews

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In fact, Verona extracted Zeke’s name from a mutual friend (“people were always getting themselves out of sticky situations by offering his services,” he thinks ruefully) because she needs a place to hide after being menaced by two men trying to collect a bad debt from her ne’er-do-well younger b...

Sep 15 2004 | Read Full Review of Banishing Verona: A Novel

The New York Times

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Verona wakes to a world where ''earth and air still seemed to be composed of the same dirty-gray fabric,'' and a moment of her upset is described like this: ''Now a little red car fueled by fury and lost illusions hurtled round and round her brain.'' If only these deftly turned phrases were ...

Dec 05 2004 | Read Full Review of Banishing Verona: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Holt , $24 (320p) ISBN 0-8050-7462-7Livesey's lovely fifth novel tells the story of Zeke, a 29-year-old London housepainter with "the face of a Raphael angel" and an autism-like difficulty relating to other people, and Verona, who shows up at a house Zeke is working on, very pregnant and claiming...

Aug 30 2004 | Read Full Review of Banishing Verona: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Page by page, Livesey chronicles Zeke and Verona's semi-comic daily lives, dominated by family duties, work obligations, neuroses, and unsatisfactory friendships that conspire to keep them apart.

Nov 05 2004 | Read Full Review of Banishing Verona: A Novel

USA Today

Scottish-born novelist Margot Livesey has created quietly amazing characters, including Ewan Munro and Mollie Lafferty, the accidental child abductors in Criminals, and Eva McEwen, the girl whose ethereal companions shape her life in Eva Moves the Furniture.The best of the bunch may be Zeke, the ...

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Bookmarks Magazine

As Zeke, a beautiful 29-year-old painter and carpenter in London, finishes up a job, a pregnant woman, Verona, appears at his clients’ door, claiming to be their niece.

Jan 17 2008 | Read Full Review of Banishing Verona: A Novel

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