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Readers who enjoyed exploring the power and limitations of love in The Time Traveler's Wife and The Confessions of Max Tivoli will find a similarly magical set of circumstances at work in Zevin's tenderhearted novel. The narrator of this tale, simply known as "N.," is a teaching assistant who falls in love with one of his students, Margaret Towne. Though his love is reciprocated, it comes with a caveat. For Maggie declares she is "cursed." Undaunted by her admission, N. wants to marry her, so Maggie takes him home to meet her family. But it doesn't take long for N. to realize that something very strange is afoot in Margarettown; for Maggie's family consists of a handful of women -- of varying ages -- each of whom carries a name derived from that of his beloved.
Zevin's novel takes several unusual turns as she leads readers on a survey of the many forms of love. Ultimately, the tale is revealed as a kind of diary, which N. has written for his daughter. But the narration changes midstream, and Maggie gets a chance to tell her side of the story before handing it off to the couple's unborn children. In Margarettown, Zevin ingeniously demonstrates the challenges faced by an enduring love, during which time the beloved changes, only to become a conglomeration of many different personas.
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