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Love's Apprentice: The Romantic Education of…
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Love's Apprentice: The Romantic Education of a Modern Woman

by Shirley Abbott

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395673690, Hardcover)

The preface to Love's Apprentice introduces readers to Madeleine de Scudery, a notorious 18th-century femme fatale, and her carte de tendre. De Scudery's carte was a sketchy, hand-drawn map of love that took the salons of Louis XIII-era Paris by storm. Abbott's undertaking in this, her latest memoir, is to map her own romantic history both to sort it out for herself and in the hope that, "readers find their own stories here, some piece of the carte de tendre." Abbott begins her romantic odyssey in a movie theater at the tender age of 6 when she falls in love with the cartoon character, Gulliver, and from that moment on attempts to re-create the ideals of the movie romance in her own life. She consistently fails, but is rarely dispirited. Upon every unsuccessful amorous adventure, she discovers new models--Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester, Chopin and George Sand, Tristan and Isolde, Bette Davis, Keats. These characters buoy her enthusiasm for love and life despite the universal disappointments of growing up. This is an intensely intimate memoir, but Abbott's connection to popular culture and classic literature invite a strong link with the reader.

Love's Apprentice is very different from Shirley Abbott's first two memoirs, Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South and The Bookmaker's Daughter, in which she focuses outward to the lives of others. This insight into Abbott's life promises to be a treat to those already familiar with her work and a delightful discovery for fans of rich, well-crafted memoirs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:15 -0400)

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