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Falling in Love with Natassia: A Novel by…
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Falling in Love with Natassia: A Novel

by Anna Monardo

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At times I wanted to put this book down and never pick it up again. The characters can be disturbing, and do quite disturbing things. But, life isn't a neat package, as Monardo shows us, and sometimes beauty does arise out of the ugly.
  volvomom | Sep 13, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385514662, Hardcover)

Mary and Ross were in Rome on a junior-year-abroad program when they had their baby, Natassia, who was conceived on a dare: “Do it with no birth control,” another couple had challenged. “We’ll do it if you do it . . .”

Mary and Ross are unmarried, ambitious, and way too young, and though smitten with their daughter, they eventually—and with regret—abdicate responsibility to Ross’s parents, who raise Natassia in the intellectually stimulating (and seemingly loving) atmosphere of their Manhattan apartment. Fifteen years later, 1989, Natassia is an honors student and a violin player. Despite the absence of her mother, a world-class modern dancer who survives by living in the moment, and her father, a physician in the Pacific Northwest, Natassia is thriving—until her mysterious romance with a man she will not identify derails her so profoundly that her parents, grandparents, and even her godparents, Nora and Christopher, must come together to save her. A dancer, a doctor, two book editors, a painter and a psychotherapist—all are forced to turn away from and also draw upon the creative and intellectual endeavors that consume and define them. Struggling to buoy Natassia, her guardians sink along with her into the deepest darkness.

Mary, a Korean war orphan, must learn from step one how to provide the mother love she herself never received; indeed, the daughter's breakdown sparks the mother's coming-of-age. Ross, still in love with Mary after ten years’ separation, must face the consequences of his obsessions. And Nora and Christopher, burdened by a decades-old secret, use desperate measures to save Natassia—and their marriage.

Within the intimate universe of one unorthodox family, Falling in Love with Natassia explores the blurred lines between love that heals and sex that harms. These characters will shock you with how forcefully their hurt hearts demand restitution; they will mystify you with the paths they choose as they move toward recovery and redemption.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:44 -0400)

Mary and Ross were students spending their junior year abroad in Rome when their daughter, Natassia, was conceived on a dare: "Do it without birth control" another couple challenged. "We'll do it if you do it." The young students -- unmarried, self-centered, and overwhelmed -- abdicated responsibility to Ross's parents, who raised the girl in their intellectually stimulating Manhattan home. Completing the circle of loving but less-than-perfect guardians of Natassia's well-being were her godparents Nora and Christopher, a childless, seemingly happily married couple. Despite the absence of her mother, a world-class modern dancer, and her father, a physician, Natassia thrives. When she is fifteen, however, a mysterious romance she's been engaged in ends, and Natassia suffers a collapse that forces the adults to face their deepest darkness. Mary, a Korean War baby, must provide the unconditional love she never received. Ross, still in love with Mary after ten years' separation, must face the consequences of his obsessions. And Nora and Christopher, burdened by a decades-old secret, must use desperate measures to save Natassia -- and their marriage. -- From publisher description.… (more)

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