In this beautifully crafted novel from the author of the critically-acclaimed Two Sisters, comes the story of a woman who retreats into a fantasy world on New York City’s Upper West Side as she slowly loses her once whip-smart husband to dementia—perfect for fans of Still Alice.
When life falls apart, a little fantasy goes a long way…
It started as a dream vacation in Spain, with Fay and Paul Agarra enjoying all the delights of a European holiday. A respected New York City judge, Paul has always been the man Fay can rely on, no matter what. When he inexplicably disappears from a Barcelona street corner, Fay knows something is terribly wrong. Once reunited, Paul shrugs off the episode as a simple misunderstanding—but Fay suspects her almost perfect life has taken a dark and sudden turn.
Soon there are more signs that Paul is beginning to change. Bouts of forgetfulness lead to mistakes in the courtroom. Simple tasks cause unexplainable outbursts of anger. Fay’s worst suspicions are realized when she learns her husband—her rock, her love, her everything—is succumbing to the ravages of dementia.
As her husband transforms before her very eyes, Fay copes with her fears by retreating into a fantasy life filled with promise instead of pain. In Fay’s invented world, she imagines herself living a glamorous life free from heartache, with a handsome neighbor she barely knows rescuing her from a future she can’t accept.
Poignant and beautifully crafted, Left is an unforgettable tale about life’s aching uncertainties—and a woman who discovers that somewhere between hope and reality, an unexpected future will find its way forward.
Hogan (Two Sisters) chronicles the life of Fay Agarra, the wife and caregiver of a husband with dementia, in this touching novel. Fay struggles to overcome the heartache and frustration caused by a recent trip to Spain with her husband, Paul. He hasn't been himself lately misremembering things, wandering off, and even leaving Fay at a gas station while on their way to the airport. As incidents pile up, Fay comes to the realization that something is terribly wrong. Meanwhile, Paul, a retired judge, becomes less and less like the man Fay married, and Fay begins to fantasize about living a different, carefree life with a new, more compatible husband within one of the many fancy brownstones that surround her. The book jumps back and forth between the present, Fay's memories, and her fantasies, making the narrative often confusing to follow. Although presented as a love story, Hogan's tale rarely feels romantic; instead, the book poignantly portrays Fay's struggle to come to terms with Paul's dementia while opening up (but never attempting to resolve) uncomfortable yet necessary questions about the conditions of love.