The Handles have one of those quiet, suburban marriages that has ticked along for decades without anything very momentous happening. William, a distinguished violinist and leader of the Elmtree Quartet, and Grace, a modest watercolorist, enjoy a serence, domestic routine where easy silence, an acceptance of each other's ways, is the norm. The two spend each day in their respective corners of the house--William upstairs practicing, and Grace downstairs working on her latest wildflower illustration--and they even take careful steps to prevent a chance encounter. For what do people who've been married that long say when they meet on the stairs? But just as quickly as their routine emerges, it is yanked away by the winds of change. When the long-serving viola player resigns from William's quartet, the Elmtree hires Bonnie, a brilliant young player with perfect dimples and an ample bosom. In no time, William is smitten. Meanwhile, Grace's days have become enlivened by visits from Lucien, a troubled young man who lives down the street with the mothers he loathes. Though his presence unnerves Grace, he provides her days with a bittersweet frisson, and before long, she is captivated. As William and Grace secretly find their hearts tugged in opposite directions, the once-cozy couple moves closer to confrontation. But with the introduction of sudden menace, the story takes a darker turn--until real-life horror explodes and a murderous twist sends their world spinning. From the acclaimed author of Land Girls and Wives of the Fishermen comes an elegant, if shocking, dissection of a middle-class marriage. In Easy Silence, Huth combines remarkable insight with biting wit to create a delicious black comedy.
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Published March 13, 2001
by Thomas Dunne Books.
Literature & Fiction.