Four Tales of Troubled Love
Matthew James Babcock
Harvard Square Editions
Enter this tetrad of tangled love tales at the turn of the last millennium when what were then the latest technologies—personal computers, fax machines, and mobile phones—started to short-circuit pacemakers. This tour de four of realistic love stories operates operatically, like a piece of music in four movements, sometimes zany and tragic, at times surreal and sublime. Help Phone Thirteen' (scherzando con misterioso): A young father moves his family across the country to escape his oppressive in-laws and, when his job and marriage implode, gets guidance from a mystical voice on a “help phone” at the local mall and a professional clown masquerading as social savior. 'Meer, Tarn, Water, Fell' (marcia moderato con fuoco): A poetry-loathing Dutch tour bus driver on a stopover in The Lake District plots revenge on his German ex-wife, unaware that the daughter he never knew he had has followed him half way around the world for the love she was denied. 'Impressions' (appassionato): An ex-military pilot turned tech CEO finds his unconventional marriage and newfound faith at odds when he discovers the joys and dangers that come with waiting for answers from heaven and the heart. 'The Seal' (eroico non troppo): A young family, caught between the baby blues and the deep blue sea, battles professional and personal pressures, but thanks to a homeless benefactor and captive harbor seal, learns that loving the environment and loving each other are a matter of instinct. T. S. Eliot had his Four Quartets of poetry, now comes a foursome of fiction. For beach readers, literature connoisseurs, and book club junkies alike, these tales will quadruple the pleasure in reflecting on how we live and love. Wherever you take them, they will find you once again, in love with trouble and troubled by love.
A veteran presenter, professor, and reader, Babcock has traveled, studied, and written in Utah, New York, Pennsylvania, Great Britain, Germany, and has come home to roost in the great basins of the Rocky Mountain Northwest. He lurks online under the code name ‘Wordman’. Visit Matt’s web site.