All He Ever Wanted The "he" in Shreve's cautionary romance -- set in the popular author's favorite time, a more genteel past -- is a priggish academic so obsessed… All He Ever Wanted The "he" in Shreve's cautionary romance -- set in the popular author's favorite time, a more genteel past -- is a priggish academic so obsessed… 2003-04-15 Fiction
Book Review

ALL HE EVER WANTED (2003)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Apr 15, 2003; Writer: Anita Shreve; Genre: Fiction

The ''he'' in Shreve's cautionary romance -- set in the popular author's favorite time, a more genteel past -- is a priggish academic so obsessed with a woman he sees on a New Hampshire street that he pursues her into marriage. Then he punishes her horribly, in an imperious, turn-of-the-20th-century masculine way, for having thoughts and emotions of her own. Much is baldly educational in the plot, especially the shock value of the prof's casual, unexceptional anti-Semitism. But the simple, skillful storytelling doesn't fail the intended audience: Shreve (The Pilot's Wife) alludes to a serious 19th-century literary style, but writes for the sensibilities of 21st-century romance readers.

Originally posted Apr 18, 2003 Published in issue #705 Apr 18, 2003 Order article reprints
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