The theme of this novel is an extra marital affair and the consequences for all those involved. It's set in the enclosed world of American academia which is well described and atmospheric. The characters, although not likeable, are interesting. However, this is a long novel and for me, it seems to lose focus in the middle. Described by reviewers as a smart and sexy coming-of-age story.
I'd tried to return to my chair without making a sound, yet he glanced sharply at me, and then I realised that his gaze had been drawn by a movement outside in the hall. I turned in time to see a very fair, slender woman come into the frame of the doorway; she must have been climbing the stairs just behind me. Without pausing she through a look at Brodeur that seemed to land on him like a grenade. Then she passed out of sight. His voice, which I'd never heard falter before, died off as if by the flip of a switch. In a beat he resumed, but a little past where he had been.