For years, following an early first marriage, Daisy Andalusia remained single and enjoyed the company of men on her own terms, making the most of her independent life. Now in her fifties, she has remarried and settled into a quieter life in New Haven, Connecticut. She's committed to a job she loves: organizing the clutter of other people's lives. Her business soon leads her to a Yale project studying murders in small cities. While her husband, an inner-city landlord, objects to her new interest, Daisy finds herself being drawn more and more into the project and closer to its director, Gordon Skeetling.
When Daisy discovers an old tabloid article with the headline "Two-Headed Woman Weds Two Men: Doc Says She's Twins," she offers it as the subject for her theater group's improvisational play. Over eight transformative months, this headline will take on an increasing significance as Daisy questions whether she can truly be a part of anything -- a two-headed woman, a friendship, a marriage -- while discovering more about herself than she wants to know.
Fifty-something Daisy Andalusia sorts and organizes the clutter of her New Haven, Conn., neighbors for a living, a profession that perfectly complements her affinity for secrets. Married to a man she's not sure she loves, she becomes romantically involved with a client entirely unlike her husband. A tabloid headline she reads while at work, "Two-Headed Woman Weds Two Men," accounts for the title of the book, inspires a community theater production that establishes new and unexpected bonds among its participants and illustrates Daisy's dual role as wife and lover, or, as she puts it, a "woman who's good half the time." When her affair loses its initial momentum, Daisy must struggle to find purpose and connection through her work and weigh the appeal of a lover with no secrets versus that of a husband with many. Mattison's fascination with relationships, the perennial subject of her critically acclaimed fiction (The Book Borrower; Men Giving Money, Women Yelling; etc.), lies in their complication; indeed, Daisy may thrive on the "unresolved." No friendship is clear-cut, no dalliance entirely fulfilling. As the title would suggest, there are two faces to everyone, and Mattison captures each of them beautifully. Agent, Zoe Pagnamenta. (Aug. 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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August 16, 2005
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