American Romantic: A Novel

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A young diplomat is torn between two women during the earliest days of the Vietnam War in this “wide-ranging and well-written” novel (The Christian Science Monitor).
 
Harry Sanders is a young Foreign Service officer in 1960s Indochina when the course of his life is suddenly altered by a dangerous and clandestine meeting with insurgents that ends in quiet disaster—and a brief but passionate encounter with Sieglinde, a young German woman.
 
Absorbing the impact of his misstep, Harry returns briefly to Washington before traveling to Africa, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean on assignments. He marries the captivating May, who is fleeing her own family disappointments in New England and looking for an escape into Harry’s diplomatic life. On the surface, they are a handsome, successful couple—but the memory of Sieglinde persists in Harry’s thoughts, and May has her own secrets too.
 
As Harry navigates the increasingly treacherous waters of diplomacy in an age of interminable conflict, he also tries to narrow the distance between himself and the two alluring women who have chosen to love him, in a novel from a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist that “considers the toll that a life lived upon the great stage of international politics can take on a man of substance” (Kirkus Reviews).
 
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About the author

Ward Just's novels include Exiles in the Garden, Forgetfulness, the National Book Award finalist Echo House, A Dangerous Friend, winner of the Cooper Prize for fiction from the Society of American Historians, and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award and a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Apr 1, 2014
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780544227644
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Romance / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Romance / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This family saga from a National Book Award finalist is a “brilliantly orchestrated tale of several generations of Washington, D.C., insiders” (Booklist).

In this epic and acutely observed novel, three generations of a family of Washington power brokers vie for influence over the fate of the nation. In the 1930s, Sen. Adolph Behl and his wife, Constance, buy historic mansion Echo House with the vision of transforming it into Washington’s greatest salon—an auspicious base camp from which the senator can launch his “final ascent,” and son Axel can prepare his first.
 
Across decades of secrets, betrayals, victories, and humiliations, the Behl family will fight to remain near the center, and behind the scenes, of American political power—from the New Deal to Watergate and beyond.
 
“A fascinating if ultimately painful fairy tale, complete with . . . a family curse . . . The decline of the Behls represents the decline of Washington from the bright dawn of the American century into the gathering shadows of an alien new millennium.” —The Washington Post
 
“Puts the standard run-of-the-mill Washington novel to shame . . . It is Mr. Just’s intimate portrait of the city that makes his book so convincing.” —TheNew York Times
 
“Will be read in a century’s time by anyone seeking to understand how we lived.” —Detroit Free Press
 
“[Ward’s] stories put him in the category reserved for writers who work far beyond the fashions of the times. . . . Masterpieces of balance, focus, and hidden order.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“He has earned a place on the shelf just below Edith Wharton and Henry James.” —Newsweek
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